St. Louis Hits the Road: Tips From the Many Local Bands that Toured in 2012

Doom Town in Hamburg, Germany
Hard times, high gas prices and an ill economy did little to derail local artists from expanding outward in 2012. As a musician, I've never seen so many of my peers crawl out from these red brick buildings to push their River City sounds than in the past 12 months. Many return with invaluable advice on touring and supporting fellow artists.

"Always change your underwear," says Josh Jenkins of local post-punk trio Trauma Harness." If you don't change your underwear, after a couple days you'll start to smell," he says.

See also:
- The Best Hip-Hop Release to Come Out of Saint Louis This Year
- St. Louis Music in 2012: Break 'Em Off with a Little Review of the Remix
- The Six Most Absurd Pop Songs Of 2012

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The Year-End List of Lists to End All Year-End Lists This Year (You Wish)

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Tame Impala's Lonerism is on one of these many lists.
I am a chronic ranker of things, a lister. You give me a category - movies, music, vegetables, just about anything besides my children - and I'll give you a nice, neat list of my favorites. For my summary of the year 2012, a single Top Ten List didn't seem sufficient, so instead I submit my Top Five Top Fives of 2012. First, a disclaimer: I read about and listen to as much music as I can, but music is my vacation, not my vocation. So if you read this and are inclined to deride me with "what about (fill in whichever album I missed)?", I probably didn't hear it. If there is something my life wouldn't be complete without me hearing, let me know about it on Twitter (@thegeeter).

So Without further ado....

See also:
- The Top Five Notes on My Bass Guitar
- The Six Best Shows of 2012 That Nobody Attended
- The Ten Best Musical Happenings of 2012: Humble Edition

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Announcing the Winners of the First Voice Media Group Music Writing Awards

Photo by Christine Taylor
Jesse Sykes
By Ben Westhoff
Each week in our print editions and every day on our blogs, the 13 Voice Media Group papers feature some of the best music writing in the country.

That's why we're excited to announce the winners of our first VMG music writing awards. The honor goes to the authors of one blog post and one print piece; eligible were any of our freelance scribes.

The envelope please...

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The Best Hip-Hop Release to Come Out of Saint Louis This Year

Editor: Tef Poe is an artist from St. Louis City. Through powerful imagery and complicated honesty, he has earned a reputation as one of the best rappers telling the story of St. Louis, which is about much more than one place. Poe has been featured in music publications such as XXL and Urb Magazine. His newest project War Machine 2 was released on June 5th and will be followed up by a full-length with DJ Burn One entitled Cheer For The Villain. Follow him on twitter @tefpoe. Get War Machine 2 here.ollow him on twitter @tefpoe. Get War Machine 2 here.

I believe the honor of Best Hip-Hop Release to Come Out of Saint Louis This Year belongs to none other than Rockwell Knuckles for the tireless effort he put in on his latest work, Take Me To Your Leader. I don't intend on turning this blog into a music review or a step-by-step critical breakdown; I simply want to put into perspective the endless amount of vision embedded in this project.

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St. Louis Music in 2012: Break 'Em Off with a Little Review of the Remix

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CaveofswordS - no stranger to collaboration and the art of the Remix
In the decade I've been writing about national and local music for the Riverfront Times, there's been a near-constant rumble on how our city's bands, clubs, bookers and fans should refer to themselves. Are we a "scene" or are we a "community?" The difference is easy enough to parse - scenes are exclusive, communities are inclusive. At our most charitable we preach inclusion, a come-one, come-all spirit that's based in the knowledge that St. Louis' music culture is not so big or profitable to exclude anyone. Of course, that doesn't stop the shit-talking, the hierarchies and the social jockeying.

See also:
- Adult Fur's New Remix Project RÁN is Out Saturday: Review and Album Stream
- R Kelly Got His Crotch Grabbed 26 Times and Performed 50 Songs At The Fox Theatre
- The Bands Leading St. Louis' Ass-Shaking Groove Revival

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The Ten Best Musical Happenings of 2012: Humble Edition

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Pussy Riot's incarceration was one of the most remarkable musical sagas of 2012.
Editor's Note: The end of 2012 is upon us, so we thought we'd put a cap on things by sharing some of our personal favorite shows, albums, events and general shenanigans. Join us as we indulge in some navel-gazing!

I am not the most active of local scenesters. I am not up on many of the year's critically-lauded releases. Therefore, consider this a purely subjective, humbly-submitted Top Ten list of music-related items that caught my attention in 2012.

But first, special thanks to Kiernan Maletsky for sticking it out as music editor this year. Not only was he professional and easy to work with, but he was willing to at least consider whatever bizarre idea I proposed ("a piece about GG Allin's critical re-evaluation? Go for it"). So let's wish him luck as he heads to Dallas, and be glad that he's left the section in good hands with Daniel Hill.

See also:
- The Six Best Shows of 2012 That Nobody Attended
- Japandroids: How A Just Okay Record Became The Best Album of 2012
- The Bands Leading St. Louis' Ass-Shaking Groove Revival

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Japandroids: How A Just Okay Record Became The Best Album of 2012

Japandroids - Celebration Rock
Japandroids' Celebration Rock is my favorite record of 2012 because I'm tired of albums that want to change my life. This is the simplest conclusion I can come to in my search for a deeper reasoning of what Celebration Rock means to me - or, more accurately, what liking Celebration Rock says about me. Even though Japandroids' record will land on almost every tastemaker's top ten list, it's likely to peak at #3 (your move, Pitchfork). Somehow calling the album my favorite feels like a rebellion. It's a slight middle finger move to a system I'm burned out on but not such a far departure to be futile. It's writing in Ron Paul for President rather than writing in Bart Simpson.

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What Were Your 2012 St. Louis Music Highlights?

Yowie at The Heavy Anchor, November 21, 2012. Photos by Theo R. Welling.
Our annual Year in Music issue hits a newsstand near you today or tomorrow. For 2012, we've compiled a timeline of some of the shows, events and milestones that mattered most to us. And we'd like to hear from you -- do you agree? Do you have additions you'd like to see memorialized? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter.

See also:
-2012: The Year in St. Louis Music by the RFT Music staff
-The 50 Best St. Louis Records of 2012
-After the Show photos by Theo R. Welling

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The 20 Best Concerts That Happened in St. Louis in 2012, According to Us

Steve Truesdell
Wailing on an air guitar at a Wailers concert earlier this year at the Old Rock House.
It's been another steller year for live music in St. Louis, whether you were looking for the most legendary living pop artist or the quiet birth of a powerful local band. We've racked our brains and come up with our twenty favorite shows (they're listed below), but what tops your list?

Was it The Urge at the Pageant? Those Darlins at Off Broadway? Magnetic Fields at the Sheldon?

Something different entirely?Just sound off in the comments, of course.

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St. Louis Music in 2012: What Will You be Including in Your Scrapbook?

Yeah, this show was OK, I guess. Photo by Alexis HItt
Are you excited for the coming deluge of our opinions about the year in St. Louis music? Because we're sure excited to bring them to you. But in our continuing quest to make sure we've upturned all the stones in River City, we'd like to offer you the chance to tell us what mattered to you in music this year.

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