Pete Capponi (the Intelligence, Dancer and Prancer): I regret not making a bumper sticker for my car that reads “KEEP MY APARTMENT WEIRD.”
Steven Severin (co-owner of Neumos, Wake Up Productions): I regret continuing to hit that button after my surgery, which kept me feeling good for the time but ended up almost causing my journey to end a LOT sooner than I had planned. Aren’t doctors supposed to know how much is too much?
Shenandoah Davis (Shenandoah Davis): I regret agreeing to stay in a place called “Shit Mansion” in Buffalo, New York. It smelled like cat pee, human pee, cigarettes, and decomposed food. I also regret sitting through a performance in Provo, Utah, where a young singer-songwriter mourned the successes of Barack Obama. It was called “Black Butterfly” and was met with violent applause. Ick.
Bree McKenna (Tacocat, Stranger writer): I regret getting drunk and trying to go swimming at Dale Chihuly’s weird houseboat party, because the jerk head security guy thought I was stealing a bathing suit off the hook in the dressing room and I got kicked out, got in trouble with my date, and then later that week got fired AND eighty-sixed from my job at Neumos ’cause apparently the owners were there and got mad at me about the whole thing. I regret all the time I spent this year waiting for the number 8 bus to pick me up before I decided to just walk. I also regret following Dave Mustaine on Twitter because it made me realize he has the personality of a crabby Republican dad. I regret touring during a brutal Midwest heat wave, but I do not regret the countless hours of van time I must have spent listening to Rebecca Black’s hit song “Friday.”
Derek Erdman (a whole bunch of things): I regret sleeping too much and taking too many drugs and eating too much food. But I was really just trying to live, you know?
M. L. Birdsall (Don’t Stop Believin’ Records): I regret that I’m getting all snobby and jaded about getting to shows in time for opening bands. I regret only making it to one of the four Saint Genet shows. I regret how super into UFC I’ve gotten lately and what that might say about me as a person. I regret that Iceage were stuck playing a 21-plus show in Seattle and how our liquor laws had them sequestered backstage, which seemed to affect their performance. I regret blowing it by missing PNW performances by Total Control, Alcest, and Ash Borer, and that Loretta Lynn canceled her show. I regret not getting back to Jive Time in time to buy those sick reggae records I had on hold. I really regret how awful I am at mailing people records they have paid for in a timely manner, and no matter how sincere I was at the time, I regret naming my record label after a goddamn Journey song.
Galen Disston (Pickwick): I regret poking my eye out at band practice while watching a girl on YouTube attempt to sing Whitney Houston. I regret two-sixths of our band getting hit by cars while riding bikes. I regret that face I made while headbanging at the Neptune.
Josh Bis (photographer, nice guy): I regret trollgaze and horrorcore, whatever they are. Witch house, though, I guess can stay. I regret that Brite Futures’ video for “Too Young To Kill” didn’t make it onto Pitchfork’s best of the year list and probably won’t even be nominated for a VMA. It’s complete cinematic adorableness and a great song, too. I regret complaining about the prevalence of awkward silences and the near absence of between-song banter at the Fleet Foxes album-release show at the Moore. It was an accurate observation, but it didn’t stop that show from being one of the prettiest of the year.
Aaron Yost (Grenades): I regret letting He Whose Ox Is Gored win Grudge Rock, not having superpowers yet, and that folk music exists.
Cristina Bautista (Visqueen [RIP] and Boom City): I regret how hard I nerded out at Krist Novoselic when he was just being a nice dude after I got to play “Territorial Pissings” in front of him at 20 Years of Nevermind. It was bad. You would have been embarrassed for me. I’m also kind of sorry that it became public knowledge that I named my dog after Ted Leo, so that’s another hero I’ve probably wigged out this year. But most of all, I regret not dropping to my knees and begging Rachel and Ben to keep Visqueen alive! What was I thinking?!
Dean Whitmore (Unnatural Helpers, Sub Pop Records): I regret sleeping in a vacant lot underneath a billboard in Portland on the last night of the Uzi Rash tour and opening my eyes to see a dog and its master—who was sitting on a Rascal scooter—staring at me while the dog took a shit.
Troy Nelson (KEXP and the Young Evils): I regret standing on the side of the stage at the PJ20 concert in Wisconsin, when I was informed that the band wanted ALL the participating bands to run out onstage during the final song, which was “Rockin’ in the Free World.” I was preparing, took off my jacket and set it on a huge speaker next to me. The lights went up and the band waved everyone on. I ran out there and danced my ass off, right in the middle of the stage, with a good bottle and a half of wine in my belly. When I finally looked up, I realized I was the only person in the middle of the stage (no wonder Mr. Vedder was looking at me so strange), and for some reason I decided to just own it. It was such an embarrassing yet sensational moment (apparently there’s YouTube video to prove it), but goddamnit I never saw that coat I set down on that speaker again.
Nouela Johnston (People Eating People): I regret not finishing my Michael McDonald take of “Santa Baby” for Exohxo’s Christmas album.
Eric Elbogen (Say Hi): I regret being a self-deprecating ass head. I regret buying too many analog synthesizers this year. I regret that Spotify lists all the Say Hi records as Say Hi to Your Mom records, even though we’ve asked them nicely to fix that many times. I regret that I’m sometimes mean to people online. I regret that I’m sometimes mean to people offline. I regret that we only toured once this year. I regret reminding myself last week how much I enjoy chocolate ice cream. I regret that I’ve spent approximately 2,497 hours in my bedroom making a record that still isn’t done. I regret that stores like Sonic Boom are going out of business because more people don’t buy records. I regret that I couldn’t make a top-10 list this year. I regret how incomplete this list of regrets actually is…
Chris Rasmussen (Police Teeth): I regret playing last on a five-band bill. Actually, five-band bills in general can stick it. Hell, even if it’s a four-band bill, how about everyone share some gear and maybe not play for 35–40 minutes and take nearly as long to set up your gear. I also regret that the Bismarck is still the most underrated band in Seattle.
Jason Baxter and Kyle Hargus (USF): We regret not spending our day at Disneyland on harder drugs. We regret staging the insert shot of Ozzy Osbourne pouring the orange juice in The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years. We regret crashing our Jet Skis into the Miami Beach Bridge in May. We regret fucking up Jason’s sampler somehow right before our attempt at covering “Idioteque” with Haunted Horses at Healthy Times’ Decades Covers Night. We regret postponing our “Let the Memories Begin” tour with Big Spider’s Back. We’re still waiting for our memories to begin. We regret not changing our name to ʮ$£ and making faded-ass beats. We regret not touring with Born Gold again this year. We regret that we haven’t started our all-bass band, “Bass-mon,” with Stephanie’s Matt Lawson. We regret being too stoned to leave our trailer during the filming of Cat People. We regret lying about half of these regrets. We regret that some of the lies are easier to discern than others.
Brian Foss (Funhouse): I regret not coming up with anything funny to send in.
Jeff Rosenstock (Bomb the Music Industry!): Although I’m a graphic designer by trade, I get just a handful of freelance jobs a year. A few days ago, after returning from a short trip out of the country, I received a text from an employment agency (one that I signed up with four years ago and had since heard nothing from) offering me a job making PowerPoints for like $35 an hour. After confirming that yes, they did actually want me and this wasn’t spam, my contact, Rachel, asked to see some PowerPoint samples. Not having any, I said, “I’m working right now, will send when I’m home!” I smoked some weed, crash-coursed that shit, and made a decent presentation. That night, a company I drive trucks for had its holiday party… open bar. After drinking several scotches out of my price range (the opposite of regret) as well as a few mysteries and question marks, I stumbled into my home and fired off an e-mail to Rachel. “Hey Rachel! Here’s a PowerPoint example! Please let me know what else you need!” Seemed easy enough, but I never heard back. Texted her in the morning, “Just making sure you got those, Rachel!” And still, jack shit. I combed through my text messages and eventually found that homegirl’s name was Raquel. Not Rachel. Fuck. Goodbye security. Byeeeeeeeeeeee.
John Dwyer (Thee Oh Sees): I regret Lars Finberg joining the band, blowing out my voice doing Lars impersonations, and learning to accept Campari.
Kim Warnick (the Cali Giraffes): I regret being too fucked up/wasted to play a show with my idols, You Am I, last summer. The Cali Giraffes sucked, and it was all because of ME. That was both the worst thing and the best thing: worst ’cause it fucking sucked, best because I went to rehab after and got better. But it was a BIG, BIG regret and I apologize to my bandmates and anyone who had to witness such a gross train wreck. God knows this is a hard category to pick from, since I’ve been involved in many a train wreck throughout the years, but this one was bad. Hey, kids! Don’t get that fucked up and play before your idols. Uncool. And if it keeps happening? Go to rehab. It’s fun! Then maybe your band can get better?
Monogamy Party (total creeps): We regret the following: playing in Phoenix on one of the two days a year they have rain. Not locking motel bathroom doors and walking in on your bandmate masturbating. Our singer buying bunk acid from some random college kid in Santa Barbara, then taking it in San Francisco and having a bad trip which led to him generally acting like an asshole. Not having enough time to play more dominoes while on the road. Breaking an iPod in El Cerrito, greatly limiting our on-the-road music. Leaving a drug box in Albuquerque, a longboard in Boise, and a sweatshirt in Spokane. Chipping teeth on a tequila bottle during a set. Not even trying to get Good to Die Records to put used condoms in our records.
Kerri Harrop (lady about town): I kinda regret seeing the Cars—they did not let the good times roll. I definitely regret the effects this terrible economy has had on my record-buying budget. But mostly I regret the sea of smartphones present at every single show I saw this year. Those little electronic screens in the air drive me absolutely bonkers. C’mon people, put down your fucking iPhone and enjoy the performance.
Zack Bolotin (Porchlight Coffee and Records): Two of my major regrets of the year involve members of The Stranger staff. First off, I regret wearing my Russian Circles shirt every goddamn time Brian [Cook] comes to get coffee from me. Secondly, I regret forgetting to tell Megan [Seling] that Latterman was reuniting for MULTIPLE East Coast shows. The guilt is overwhelming.
Brian Cook (Russian Circles, Stranger writer): I regret the combined folly of trusting TheWeatherChannel.com’s promising 10-day forecast for Melbourne and Sydney, shrugging off my own innate assumption that winter in the southern hemisphere is still going to be cold, and packing three tank tops but no coat or jacket for a three-week tour of Oz. A word to the wise: Australia in September can get really fucking cold. I do not regret the secondhand leather jacket I bought in anticipation of an overnight drive from Canberra to Sydney in a van with no heat and a side door that wouldn’t close all the way. But even that was not sufficient protection against the antarctic drafts during the drive—nor were all the fluffy pink knit caps, cups of hot water, and plastic tarps purchased from a rural gas station all that effective at insulating heat. Yes, Australia gets really fucking cold. And just as Seattleites don’t really think air-conditioning is necessary for those couple of weeks of oppressive summer humidity, the Aussies apparently don’t believe in indoor heat. Heads up.
Alex Osuch (DJAO): I regret moving to the U-District at the end of August. I had to find out for myself, I guess. I regret a song I made called “Y’all Better Go to the Cleaners and Get Y’all Sunday Best Right.” I regret starting my new retail job on the first day of Decibel Festival, resulting in me working two jobs while trying to maintain a complete musical alter ego. I had a terrible, unsustainable routine for those five days. I regret having terrible business sense, especially in certain instances where I answered the question “How much would you charge for that?” I regret not having more time to say good-bye to my dog. My parents sold their house (we don’t talk, really) and they left for a couple hours so I could come by and pick up my things. It ended up taking longer than I’d planned, and so I only had about five minutes to say good-bye to Cedric, my family’s ancient English bulldog. I told him I’ll miss him. I regret not knowing how to play piano or sing but doing a lot of both onstage in front of real people who probably paid money. I don’t regret staying sober for all of 2011. This list might’ve been a lot longer. Instead I got to put my energy toward other things.
Scott Teske (Seattle Rock Orchestra): I have no regrets, just an ever-increasing collection of learning opportunities.