By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
By Joseph Hess
By Allsion Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By RFT Music
By Christian Schaeffer
By Gabriel San Roman
10/14: Happy 25th B-Day, KDHX. Local independent radio station KDHX hit the quarter-century milestone this year, with more depth than any 25-year-old should rightly have. In 1987 the station's owner, the Double Helix Corporation, planted itself in the very center of St. Louis and began blasting culturally rich, significant musical gems. It wasn't surprising when listeners proudly began saying, "Oh, that KDHX. That kid is going somewhere."
"I've been everywhere, man," KDHX might say. Rockabilly. Blues. '80s electro-pop. Ska. Old- school R&B. When you eschew listening to the iWhatever and instead tune your radio dial to 88.1 FM, you realize that KDHX has grown into one of the finest independent radio stations in the country, shaped by the hard lessons of Johnny Cash, Lightnin' Hopkins and Elvis Costello. Those lessons don't simply exist in radiowaves, though. From local music festivals to arts-advocacy programs to an army of station volunteers, KDHX brings music and independent thought to the people in ways that command attention.
KDHX is planning to trade its cramped Tower Grove East digs for a renovated building in the heart of midtown. Having earned its cultural importance over the past two-plus decades, the station will this spring be part of music's cool crowd that includes the Fox Theatre and Powell Hall. Most 25-year-olds aren't ready for that kind of responsibility. Then again, most 25-year-olds haven't lived as KDHX has. —Allison Babka
11/1: Every punk in town heads to Fubar to pay homage to Keith Morris and OFF!
11/5: The Luminary Center for the Arts holds its last concert on Reber Place. The Luminary Center for the Arts hosts indie rapper WHY? as the final installment of its 2012 Elevator Music Series, which brought Van Dyke Parks, Shabazz Palaces, Cloud Nothings and School of Seven Bells to the venue throughout the year. The WHY? show is not only the season finale, it is the last concert at Luminary's current location, an adequate but sterile room in a renovated convent near Tower Grove Park. The nonprofit art center's co-founding, co-directing, cohabiting couple, Brea and James McAnally (to whom RFT awarded MasterMind Awards in 2011), makes public plans to purchase and renovate a building on Cherokee Street. They launch a Kickstarter campaign to raise $20,000 for the move, receive an outpouring of local support and crush their goal by two grand. But not everybody is pleased with the McAnallys' plan to move into the building occupied by DIY space Pig Slop. Despite the drama, the Luminary triumphed in September, signing a lease on three consecutive buildings on Cherokee. The Luminary Center for the Arts v2.0 plans to open in spring 2013. (RW)
11/11: Vegetarian, pothead and pop-genius Paul McCartney says F.U. to time. Apparently, this is just what Sir Paul does (three-hour shows, no breaks, 30 plus songs, eyebrow-searing fireworks, face plants, raging guitar solos, silly light shows), but he hasn't done in it St. Louis in something close to forever. McCartney and his lean, learned band own a rink-to-rafter-packed Scottrade Center with a set directed at fans who may never get to see him again. Beatles songs dominated — with "Helter Skelter," "Paperback Writer" and a roaring "Back in the U.S.S.R." among the highlights — and at the age of 70, he can still deliver them with the boundless joy that defies his years. (RK)
11/12: Scremin' Mee-Mees drummer Jon Ashline dies. After ten years with bone marrow cancer, Jon Ashline of long-defunct local duo the Screamin' Mee-Mees, passes away. Ashline's legacy includes dozens of sloppily recorded cassettes of stream-of-consciousness punk tunes that found a cult following with worldwide collectors of outsider music. (RW)
11/15: R. Kelly ignites the Fox Theatre. R. Kelly brings his absurd, hypersexual R&B to the Fox Theatre for a booty-shaking, crotch-groping, jaw-dropping performance. (RW)
11/16: The Fortune Teller Bar reopens on Cherokee Street, reinvented from its long-gone original incarnation, and immediately becomes a gathering place for everyone from south-city music-scene fixtures to those who've called Cherokee home for decades.
Late in the month: Liam Christy lights out for Spain. The finest flamenco guitarist in St. Louis, and one of our city's purest musicians, Liam Christy bids farewell — at least for the next six months to a year — as he heads to Madrid, Spain, to hone his craft and live la vida flamenca. (RK)