The Ten Best Musical Happenings of 2012: Humble Edition
6) Mission of Burma at The Firebird. At some point, most band reunions veer dangerously close to the 1950s revues of yesteryear, with one original member and no new songs. Mission of Burma, however, could have played nothing but material postdating their 2002 reunion and brought down the house. Performing at the Firebird as part of a short Midwest tour, this Boston trio sounded absolutely vital and up-to-date, mixing classics like "That's When I Reach for My Revolver" and "Academy Fight Song" with newer gems like "2wice" and "Donna Sumeria." The band also released Unsound this year, a fine new album.
5) "Back to Rockville: An R.E.M. Tribute," Off Broadway. One of an ongoing series of tribute nights presented by KDHX, this evening featured 13 local acts aping a variety of approaches to this most influential of American indie bands. From classics to late-period deep cuts, the whole night felt like a celebration.
4) Local releases. Here's 50 of them. Personal favorites included the piano-driven power pop of Middle Class Fashion's Girl Talk, Bruiser Queen's stomp and stammer (as captured on Swears), Medical Tourists' taut post-punk, Tower Groove Records Compilation, Vol. 1, and Sleepy Kitty's deadly catchy "Don't You Start" -- a nice taste of what promises to be a fine second album. The St. Louis music scene continues to grow and diversify in its own steady way. I've never seen it so healthy in the almost 10 years I've lived in town.