Bumbershoot Guide

Happiness Is All the Rage

The Promise Ring and I Finally Meet After Several Years Filled with Boys, Breakups, and Misunderstandings

Happiness Is All the Rage


The Promise Ring is founded as a side project by Cap'n Jazz singer Davey von Bohlen, a man who has the best lisp in rock and roll. I celebrate my 15th birthday, have hundreds of glow-in-the-dark stars taped to my bedroom ceiling, and listen to MxPx. I don't give a shit about Cap'n Jazz, the Promise Ring, or von Bohlen's lisp.

September 9, 1996:

The Promise Ring release their first full-length record, 30° Everywhere. I listen to it and deem it boring and sappy. I spend the whole winter listening to Weezer's Pinkerton instead, cursing the fact that I don't have a boyfriend. The irony is absolutely lost on me.

October 14, 1997:

The Promise Ring release their second full-length record, Nothing Feels Good, on Jade Tree Records. It's produced by J. Robbins and lauded as the ultimate (pre–Dashboard Confessional) emo record, earning the band national attention. Without even bothering to hear a single minute of a single song, I refuse to give it any attention, claiming I want nothing to do with that crybaby bullshit.

October 13, 1999:

The Promise Ring play RKCNDY with Burning Airlines and Juno. I am obsessed with the band Juno, so I go to the show, but I do not stay for the Promise Ring (and their boring crybaby bullshit).


After releasing their last full-length record, Wood/Water, the Promise Ring break up. I do not care.


While discussing my distaste for the Promise Ring, a boy I have a crush on demands I revisit 30° Everywhere. I oblige, but still dislike it. A few months later, I throw the burned CD he gave me out of my car window after we have a fight because fuck that guy and all the bands he likes.


Members of the Promise Ring and the Dismemberment Plan form a new band called Maritime. My love for the D-Plan trumps my hate for the Promise Ring, so I listen to their Adios EP... and LOVE IT. I fall in love with Davey von Bohlen's lisp but still will not give the Promise Ring a second (third?) chance.

November 1, 2005:

Alternative Press magazine runs "The Oral History of the Promise Ring," in which von Bohlen says 30° Everywhere "was definitely the most disappointing thing we had ever done." REDEMPTION!

Summer 2006:

After my car breaks down, a different boy I have a different crush on drives me home from the auto shop. I'm grumpy; I'm broke. As I get out of his car, he hands me Nothing Feels Good and says, "You need this more than I do right now." IT IS SO GOOD. It isn't emo at all. It's fun and bright and poppy, and I spend the evening listening to it while dancing alone in my apartment.

Fall 2006:

That cute boy becomes my boyfriend, and we make out while listening to the Promise Ring's 1999 release Very Emergency, specifically the song "Happiness Is All the Rage." The Promise Ring is the best band ever!

Spring 2009:

Thanks to the internet, there are unfounded rumors of a greatest hits album, prompting all Promise Ring fans (myself included) to get worked into a tizzy over the possibility of a reunion tour that never happens. Sad face.

November 12, 2011:

I get married! Not to one of the guys who forced me to listen to the Promise Ring.

November 18, 2011:

The Promise Ring tweet "Hello again..." My heart explodes with happiness!

September 2, 2012:

The Promise Ring and I are together at last! Maybe! Will it happen? Find out at Bumbershoot! I'll be the woman in the front row, singing along and apologizing profusely for never giving them credit when I first had the chance. Sorry about that, dudes. recommended


Comments (3) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
If I recall, the Promise Ring played with Jets to Brazil and Pedro the Lion around the fall of 98 at RKCNDY. I know it coincided with my first year at Evergreen.
Posted by MyNizameHerrre on August 30, 2012 at 8:58 PM · Report this
Megan Seling 2
@1 They did! I also did not go to that show because Jets to Brazil weren't Jawbreaker and I was mad about that.
Posted by Megan Seling on August 31, 2012 at 11:17 AM · Report this
You sound more emo than they were. (Not a total dig. We were all that way then.)
Posted by Casual_Observer on August 31, 2012 at 12:51 PM · Report this

Add a comment