Chalk up another good year for the Old Fire House. Last September you'll remember the Redmond club celebrated a decade of successful all-ages action with an entire month of fantastic shows featuring Mudhoney, the Blood Brothers, the Posies, Gas Huffer, and many more. Well, it's that time of year again, and Washington's longest-running all-ages venue is turning 11.

When I turned 11 I got a remote-control car and some Barbie dolls, but the Old Fire House is marking its anniversary with a CD release extravaganza on Friday the 19th featuring local lovelies Rosie Thomas and Rocky Votolato (both are releasing new records this month).

Now I know I've written about Rocky more than I've written about: uh: practically anything, but I swear he's not paying me for it. I really like his music (strangely enough, since I'm generally a fan of things more spastic, loud, and generally annoying to my parents) and Rocky's talents lie in singing heartfelt lyrics delivered softly over an acoustic guitar.

When Mr. Votolato performed at Studio Seven a few months ago, he played an especially touching song called "Suicide Medicine." He sang, with all the fervor he could muster, "Is it the red wire or the blue wire? Just pick one and cut, it just doesn't matter anymore," over a pounding guitar riff. I hadn't heard that one before, so I thought maybe it was on a record I didn't own. The kind merch-table gal told me it was a new song, though, to be released on the record that'll be available at the anniversary show. Luckily, Rocky also released a couple MP3s on his website (www.rockyvotolato.com), and "Suicide Medicine" just so happens to be one of them. Check out the link to get a taste of what you'll be in for during tonight's performance.

Because one show is never enough for the Old Fire House's birthday celebrations, the very next night, they're hosting a Solid State Records showcase featuring Norma Jean, the Agony Scene, Figure Four, Beloved, and Emery. I've written about Emery before too, but it was before the local band got a little boost by signing to Tooth & Nail/Solid State Records. Because Solid State is the heavier side of Tooth & Nail, all the bands on the bill pull influences from hardcore, metal, and punk. Emery is no exception. Live, the hard-rock band hits you with a wall of energy, mixing a jumble of guitars with a storm of vocals, building intensity with every song. They're finishing their new record, which won't be released until spring of next year, but now's a good time to either see Emery for the first time, or revisit them to see how far they've come in recent past. The show starts at 7:30 pm, and like the Rocky/Rosie party, it's $10.

I love birthdays.

megan@thestranger.com

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.

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