Holiday reunions are always a mixed bag: For every warm fuzzy and soulful hug you get, there are just as many awkward pauses and buried feelings. This is true about your estranged cousins, high school classmates and former bandmates. So St. Louis hardcore fans of yore are thankful that the guys in Not Waving but Drowning, which called it quits in 2002, regroup every so often. The band will hug it out and get down to the business of eardrum assault this New Year's Eve. This reunion serves not only as a way to ring in 2012 but to remind fans that the band's math-rock riffage and demonic screams have only gotten better with age. Fellow shredders Machree, Fister and the Disappeared fill out the bill for this free show.
Not the Same Auld Lang Syne: Champagne toasts are for the weak. Ring in the new year with a pull of Jägermeister and a swig of someone's unfinished Stag.