Ian MacKaye is one amazing guy. When he was in town on May 27 for a Q&A session at the Vera Project, he was more than happy to answer questions for over two hours. People asked about everything from favorite nonfiction authors and his opinion on modern straight-edge to his involvement in the Riot Grrrl movement. Once the talk was over, he stuck around to sign posters, pose for photos, and answer even more questions. I'm sorry if you missed it.

Speaking of amazing people, Kate Becker's official May 23 goodbye show at Redmond's Old Fire House was fantastic. The place was filled to the brim with sweaty kids ready to rock. After an insane and screamy set by Akimbo (I swear they get better each time I see them), Rocky Votolato made the crowd swoon with his romantic voice and acoustic guitar, giving everyone a chance to cool down from all the jumpin' and pushin' around. Then there was the tearjerking moment as folks from the Old Fire House and Vera Project gave their thanks to Kate for her years of dedication and amazing efforts by dedicating the Old Fire House's new media lab to her.

After people dried their eyes and gave Kate monstrous applause, the Blood Brothers tore the place apart. It was hotter than a sauna, and no one seemed to mind.

Speaking of Akimbo, if you were one of the many kids denied access to the very sold-out Fire House show, June 6 offers another great opportunity to catch the ferocity that is the Akim to the bo. The folks at the Punkin House are hosting a heavy-hitting show (that means it's good) at their U-District abode (5036 Seventh Ave NE, if you need directions, e-mail XpunkinhouseX@hotmail.com). It starts at 8 pm with March 15 opening; the November Group closes out the show.

And speaking of the November Group (I promise, that's the last time I'll say "speaking of..."), their new record Hang Us All as Traitors was released back in March. I said it then, and I'm happy to say it again: That record is G-O-O-D. These guys have something to say, and they say it loud with aggressive and intricate hardcore sounds to back 'em up. I have even more respect for the NG because they play nothing but all-ages shows. That's something definitely worth supporting. The show is free but you should throw down a few bucks for the Group's new record. They deserve it. MEGAN SELING


Need more? You can hear my personal picks for the week on 107.7 The End every Monday and Friday at 5:30 pm during DJ No Name's Afternoon Experiment.