I just want to take a quick moment to give a big fat high five to the November Group for their excellent CD release show last Saturday night (April 12). After about three weeks, and 8,000 miles' worth of tour, the boys finally made it safely back to Seattle and celebrated their return and the release of their new album (Hang Us All As Traitors) at Redmond's Old Fire House. The show was great, and even though I'm sure all five of 'em just wanted to collapse into their own beds, they still poured all they had left into their short and sweet set. It was a great show, so props and thanks to them.

While I was at the Old Fire House, the wonderful Miss Kate Becker gave me a quick tour of the Fire House's brand-new Media Lab, which is in its final stages of completion. Years in the making, the lab is set to officially open on Friday May 9, and I'm excited to say the space is amazing.

The lab will be available for local young, emerging artists who are looking for a place to do video and audio production. There are isolation booths, a mixing room--all that fun stuff. Tons of great equipment has been donated (including instruments like a shiny new drum set, guitars, etc.), and if you're as clueless as I am about what all the knobs and switches do when it comes to producing and mixing a record, the OFH will also be offering cheap classes to anyone interested in learning more about the process. There will also be scholarships up for grabs.

In order to raise some last-minute cash to finish up the lab, the Fire House is hosting a weekend of benefit shows on the 18th and 19th. Friday's show features Day Time Hero, Blue Sky Mile, Namesake for Noise, Bad Apple, and Chasing Tomorrow. Blue Sky Mile is fantastic--a dynamic brand of rock peppered with hard-hitting beats and melodic vocals. It's fabulous, I tell you. If you're a fan of Pretty Girls Make Graves, you just might dig Blue Sky Mile.

Saturday's show is just as good as Friday's, with Rookie Alliance, Akimbo, the New Mexicans, and Replicator. Akimbo, if you're not familiar, is screamy, metally, incredible hardcore. The band puts on a great show. Plus they make funny faces when they scream into the mic. It's super.

Both shows start promptly at 8 pm and cost six bucks. The money goes to a great cause, and it's well worth it considering the amount of rock you'll be receiving in exchange. MEGAN SELING