Seattle is full of regret—you can practically smell it walking down Pine Street at 3:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning. In fact, my personal list of regrets is so long, it didn’t fit here—you’ll have to read the whole thing in my column on page 57. But first, peruse what some of the city’s finest rockers, DJs, writers, bookers, and badasses had to say about how they spent their last 365 days—some forgot to tune their guitars at high-profile gigs, while others wish they’d not jumped in that brown lake that smelled like Old Spice. 2006 came with so many memories, and oh so many mistakes too. But with this soul-cleansing purge of our collective regret, we shout to the heavens to bring on 2007—we’re ready for it. —Megan Seling, interim music editor
Speaker Speaker regret:
1. staying at the Jayhawk Motel in Lawrence, Kansas.
2. playing at a former strip club in a suburb of Cleveland.
3. "Jumping the Shark."
4. not writing the theme song to How I Met Your Mother when we had the chance.
5. practicing in a storage unit.
6. lighting fireflies on fire in Ohio.
7. that our AMAZING full-length record is unreleased as of yet.
8. that number seven was pretty arrogant, and number nine will be as well.
9. THAT NOT ENOUGH LABELS HAVE E-MAILED US AT email@example.com.
10. We should regret dropping a bottle of liquid fabric softener off the roof of Baltimore's fabulous Carlyle Hotel during a lightning storm, but we don't. At least the parking garage smelled better.... SPEAKER SPEAKER
I regret vomiting all over the Bus Stop and passing out an hour and a half into my going-away party back in January. I regret not buying stock or something in Of Montreal because that shit sure did take off like a rocket. I regret (essentially) all of August through October. I regret being such a salivating Jens Lekman fanboy that I ran up to him like he was on fire only to find out that I had NOTHING to say to him other than "OMG I LOVE YOUR ALBUMS!!!" I regret that I am not Swedish, because that would have been a good thing to talk to Jens Lekman about. I regret that I still haven't found a way to live inside of the internets. But, most of all, I regret not devoting more time to my plot to brutally murder Zach Braff and his fucking expressionless face. ELI ANDERSON, CROCODILE CAFE
I really regret doing a massive month-long East Coast tour in the middle of summer. I regret the fact that I can now say that I have been to every single fucking mall in the country, while seeking relief from heat and humidity. I regret taking a 10-mile hike through Boston at 3:00 a.m. because I was having "lady problems" that boys couldn't possibly understand. I regret agreeing to tour with bands that treated us like shit, and I regret not shanking them all in the fucking throats. NOUELA JOHNSTON, MON FRERE
While 2006 was overall a good year, you bet I have regrets! It sucks that so many great Northwest bands broke up! Dead Moon, the Cripples, and Gas Huffer—all gone, damn it! I also regret that the City of Seattle and Washington State have it in for live-music venues. The big one is the mandatory fire-sprinkler-system installation. This will cost the Funhouse more than $40,000 to come into compliance with, which is more than we make in profit yearly. We don't own our building, so any money we spend on improving the building will give a tax break to the building owners, not us. And it doesn't matter if our local fire department thinks our club is safe as is—we have to install a sprinkler system or stop doing live music.
This statewide law affects every club that:
1. has a max capacity of over 100,
2. makes its money off either a cover charge OR selling beverages, and
3. has any live entertainment.
So yeah, it kinda pisses me off. If the law doesn't change and we don't have a sprinkler system installed by December 2007, then we will have to stop doing live music.
Add to this the nightlife ordinance Mayor Nickels has in the works and things look pretty grim for local live-music venues. So yeah, I do regret that this city and state seem to do everything in their power to cut off the music scene at the knees.
Thankfully, the Seattle Nightlife and Music Association was formed, so hopefully we club owners can figure out ways to stay in business. BRIAN FOSS, THE FUNHOUSE
I regret that at the Capitol Hill Block Party, I didn't stop and tune my guitar. I am pretty sure we played four songs completely out of tune... and possibly a little fast. D. CRANE, BOAT
My greatest regret for the past year, as it has been for so many years, is that the dread Cthulhu continued to fail to rise from his eons-old slumber beneath the sea in Rhyleh and lay waste to the world of men. I am beginning to think that the dread Cthulhu is simply lazy, or possibly agoraphobic. I also regret that the beard I am attempting to grow seems to be coming out in several shades that have no logical relation to one another on the classic color wheel. Also, during the past four months, I have been unemployed. I regret that I did not use this time to finally begin writing my long-imagined novel about a cyborg vampire who hunts down rogue cyborg dragons for the government in exchange for human blood. One can only assume that this would have been very commercially successful. BILLY CORAZON, SHORTHAND FOR EPIC
I regret not seeing either of the Murder City Devils' reunion shows this past summer. I was somewhere far less rad, far less loud, and I was far more sober than I should have been at the time. ANDREW HARMS, 107.7 THE END
This year I regret becoming even more nocturnal than last year. I regret encountering so many people this year who failed to recognize the genius I think I am. I regret nearly getting canned from this here fish wrapper by attempting to push deadlines around like they were the UN. I regret not asking Kelly O and Nicole why they wanted permission to use my picture in the paper ["New Column!" Feb 23–Mar 1]. I regret even more that the aforementioned "New Column!" generated more feedback than anything I've ever actually written for the paper. I regret losing my temper with people who didn't deserve it, and I regret being around when other people lost their temper with me. (I never once deserved it.) I regret the price of decent tequila and the hangover deployed by the shitty stuff. I regret the cocoa plant and all its derivatives. I regret turning 30 this year. I regret neglecting my checking-account balance to the tune of several hundred dollars' worth of overdraft fees. Mostly, this year, I regret still not finally getting my shit together. Resolutions: This year I will finally get my shit together, probably. GRANT BRISSEY
We regret that the Light in the Attic office is not located in an attic at all, but in a very, very leaky basement. We regret the feminine-hygiene product that caused a three-foot flood in February. We regret the unfortunate direction the wind was blowing in May that sent rainwater pouring into the house like a faucet. We regret the melting snow in November and the overflowing toilet in December. We regret having to manufacture waterproof CD booklets and vinyl that can double as life preservers in a pinch. We regret having to swim to the fax machine and ride a roll of bubble wrap to the stereo every time we want to change the music. We regret not having the foresight to heat the whole thing and open up a much-needed Tubs location in Phinney Ridge—we would call it Tubs in the Basement. We regret that we still haven't taken the wise advice of Tilson from the Saturday Knights: "BUY A WET-VAC." New Year's resolution: move the operation to an attic! LIGHT IN THE ATTIC RECORDS
Sub Pop's regrets for 2006: Not checking out the new tunes on your band's MySpace page; occasionally, mostly by accident, checking out the new tunes on your band's MySpace page; not already having a blog; not already having a blog called "Blogga, Please!"; seeing My Super Ex-Girlfriend in the theater; that watermarking didn't deter that fuckwit in France from leaking the new Shins record four months before it was due to be released; that Sleater-Kinney and Dead Moon broke up after putting out records with us; finding out what the dudes in Panic! at the Disco look! like!; missing that John Hodgman reading at Elliott Bay; and not one goddamned thing about any of the records we released or the people we work with. CHRIS JACOBS, SUB POP
I have serious regrets that the SS Marie Antoinette didn't close earlier and that I continued to go to (and promote) shows there, even when I knew it was a terrible place. The last crop of organizers rode on the coattails and credibility of previous occupants and ruined a lot of potentially great shows by breaking many unspoken rules of a DIY venue and generally lacking the ability to organize and operate the space in a sensible and sustainable way. Losing a DIY venue is usually a tragedy, but in this case I laughed and danced. (Note: I am a jerk.)
I also regret that MySpace has become a genre/aesthetic of music unto itself. I regret that, working at an all-ages venue on the Eastside, I am enabling truly awful bands like Tysen to gain popularity on said website and that I am enabling youths to witness a watered-down, commercialized, and generally vacuous version of everything that I ever cared about in DIY/punk music. I regret how many teenagers have become emo caricatures and that I've attended "Suicide & Harm Prevention" workshops with parents and teachers who ask serious questions about the correlation between tight jeans/tattoos and cutting and self-harm.
While I have many regrets, I most sincerely regret that some in our local government are trying to keep the kids from dancing, again. I regret that they seek to marginalize youth while simultaneously hurting artists and local businesses. I regret that it is unlikely these individuals have experienced music so transcendental that it transformed them in a truly substantive way. I regret that we have to fight this fight over and over again. I do not regret any future laughing or dancing. CHRISTOPHER HONG, WRITER/MUSICIAN
We, Three Imaginary Girls, regret that we decided to derive our name from the Cure album Three Imaginary Boys. We totally should have chosen Pornography. Our site certainly would have received way more hits, and just think of the T-shirts we could have made! "Your Imaginary friends covering the Seattle music scene," pshaw! We were naive. We now know that pornography rules. THREE IMAGINARY GIRLS
I regret getting nude in the Mojave Desert for a picture (nude, except for my SmartWool socks and a tie). I got a burr on my balls. At first I ran, because I thought a wasp had attacked me, and I was pissed, thinking, "Man, I pose nude for one picture in the desert, and I get stung by a wasp on my balls." Then I realized it was just a burr.
I also regret ever having participated in frog races as a child. You know frog races? Where people line frogs up and then beat on the ground and yell at them and try to make them go to the other side? They even put little lanes down, but there's no way to make the frogs go straight. Inevitably, some poor kid ends up with the frog that just sits there. Well, that kid was me. I beat on that floor as hard as could, but my frog wouldn't move an inch. Some other kid's frog won and she got a trophy.
All the grownups came over and comforted me. They said, "You did real good, Trent. You'll get 'em next time." I smiled and said, "Yeah, I had fun anyway." But really, I was pretty upset and wanted the grownups to leave me the hell alone. TRENT MOORMAN, WRITER/HEAD LIKE A KITE
The Whore Moans have had a lot of fun this year. We've had way more free drinks, catcalls, and laughs than any crew of dorky white boys deserves. However, the lush life leads to low points and high waters, and we've scraped bottom a few times this year. For example, bearing witness to the High Dive throwing Little Party and the Bad Business off the stage for being too loud. (FOR BEING TOO FUCKING RAD IS MORE LIKE IT! JIVE-ASS HONKIES CAN'T HANG!) Also, we regret placidly drinking our summer away instead of shoring up our basement for the inevitable floods of winter. Some of us regret our bassist Ryan's brutal mustache, while others regret only its shearing. His facial hair, much like our damp basement, became an ominous, moist problem that we preferred to ignore and keep downstairs in the dark. These few regrets are, however, taken with a little taste of sugar. For the bad times are usually more memorable, and certainly more interesting, than the good times we are constantly hoping for, and they make for better stories while sitting around and enjoying a glass of ale with our fellow wizards. Cheers, wizard rock for life, love, the Moans. THE WHORE MOANS
Only a few regrets from the year. (2006 was good to the Mvmnt.) No one buys vinyl anymore (but we'll still make it anyhow). The people want bit rates instead of packaged music. The bands with those MP3s need tour support, and I didn't make it to their shows. I'm sorry I didn't make it out to all of those events when I told my friends and fellow musicians I would. I should have worked less and vacationed more. (Seriously, taking a break makes your work and art better.) Last but certainly not least, the City of Seattle doesn't seem to like public transit much. JOSH WARREN, FCS NORTH/MASS MVMNT
So we were on our way from San Luis Obispo to Flagstaff. It was a very long, incredibly hot 11 hours in August. We were really tired of driving, and by the time we got to the Arizona border, we drove over a huge, amazing river. So we decided to take the next exit to try and find an entrance even though we were already late for our show. We were so delirious and exhausted from this drive that we thought it would be a good idea to roll up all the windows and turn the heat to full blast. This would make the dip in the river that much more refreshing. After about 15 minutes of this, my face was completely wet and I couldn't tell if I was crying or maybe my eyeballs were sweating. We eventually reached the end of a dirt road and could see a body of water in the distance. We jumped out of the van and ran past a bunch of barbed wire and "No Trespassing" signs until we finally reached the river. When we jumped in, it turned out to just be a waist-deep brown lake that smelled like Jell-O and Old Spice. It was retarded. SCOTTIE YODER, THE PHARMACY
Regrets: Slapping local theater critic at a house party, which started a slap-avalanche (slapvalanche?) that reddened faces of unfortunate partygoers. Bringing a girl to the secret band retreat. Buying shit-ass car on eBay. (Never trust a middle-aged man in braces. [Never trust own instincts.]) Not telling more people I love their girlfriends. Telling my girlfriend the previous regret. Sometimes we regret being seven performers who each need to hear all 70 instruments and all seven vocal parts in every stage monitor. (Actually, we cede that regret to those honorable persons who mix us.) Trying to start (other) shit-ass car with frozen radiator and engine, even though I grew up in the Midwest and should have known better. Like all other sensible people, we deeply regret having to suffer through Ben Harper at Sasquatch just so we could see the Flaming Lips. We regret Ben Harper in general. Also, we occasionally regret some of the (much) less effective stage banter resulting from having seven available vocal mics. Evan Mosher, "AWESOME"