Horse Knot: If it’s too loud, you’re too old

Our “kickoff show” was at Make.Shift with Livingston Seagull and super catchy garage-pop band from California called Sourpatch, after which we planned on hitting the road early the next day… but of course, punk rock celebrations afterwords meant a late start and one bitch of a hangover the next morning.

Leaving Bellingham around two in the afternoon on Friday we had nearly reached Lake Samish on the interstate when the van started rapidly decelerating. After being almost plowed into inferno by a sadistic oil rig driver as we pulled back onto the road, we were hit with the same problem. This time we were parked right after a big curve on the freeway, where the cars barely saw us through the pouring rain before they were on us, and decided we needed professional help. Zach, the trusty mechanic who is the Make.Shift van’s guru picked us up off the road and drove us off the freeway.

Four hours later our bandmates slept off the remainders of the lingering hangover, while Zach had cleaned out all of the gunk that’d been collecting in the fuel tank and replaced the fuel pump. Shifty (the name we lovingly bestowed upon the Make.Shift van) ran like a dream the rest of the tour. I mean, as well as a ’86 Chevy van can run!

We decided to take it easy on Shifty and took the backroads and highways from Bellingham to Seattle. We got lost, we went in giant circles, we almost got stuck in Everett (cue Twilight Zone theme music), we blew way more on gas than we should have, but we made it to Lynnwood just in time for Dicks so all was good and all bellies were cheaply satisfied.

Saturday we had a 4 p.m. matinee show at the Rat and the Raven. Unfortunately the main local draw band dropped out quite unexpectedly, so we ended up playing for three friends, the door and sound guy, and the other band who also happened to be playing their third show. About a minute into our set an 80-year-old man in a long trench coat at the bar walked into the venue flipped us off, mouthed “f___ you” and left the building. I guess that’s what happens when you play in a punk band, but as the saying goes, “if its too loud, you’re too old!”

After us was Health Problems, whose set was reminiscent of Mission of Burma and Monogamy Party. but they knew about an acoustic show later that night that was actually going to have people at it. After refueling the van with diesel, and the band with more Dicks (starting to see a trend here?), the boys of Health Problems took us through a swamp and onto an abandoned bridge where we were able to bask in the fading Seattle light and listen to some truly moving acoustic music by some local Seattle musicians. We were fortunate enough to bust out some acoustic songs after the local acts had finished up, and then made the somewhat executive decision to power through the early morning to Portland.

However, true to form, we were running a little late and by the time we were approaching Olympia our fearless driver was in need of some a quad Americano, stat. Robin directed us to stop at Sizizis, the local 24-hour hour coffee-shop. Inside we were able to find espresso as well as some friendly folks who reside at one of Olympia’s Black Houses with couches out front, and we all managed to get a good and healthy four hours of sleep before we were back on the road to Portland (yay expresso!).

Many van guitar jams and mandolin renditions of Sublime guitar solos later we made it to East Portland. While the rest of the crew split up to either lounge in Laurelhurst Park or check out the shops the main drags, Robin went down to Hawthorne to find us a show to play that night. There are two things that Robin firmly believes about Portland: 1) Portland is a magical fairy-land where anything can happen, and 2) Liberal street fundraisers are always super rad people. After striking up a conversation with Spenser who worked with Planned Parenthood, we had secured ourselves a house show. We played our set, and then were followed by a noise set consisting of vocals, drums, keyboard noise. By then the beer was free and flowing as well as the good spirits, and we all jammed on two drum kits, bass, guitar, and a communal vocal mic for an hour before the cops finally showed up at midnight to ask if we were done. We told him we were and then started a bonfire in the back yard. Good vibes Portland, good vibes.

The next night we were due in Olympia at eight for the final show of our mini-tour. We took the interstate north in the mid-afternoon, and were entering Centralia (22 miles south of Olympia) when we lost the tread on our back left tire. Thankfully we retained air and were able to make it to an exit. Parked behind a Subway on exit 80 we began to make our calls, still determined to make it to Olympia for the show. Robin’s brother Patrick was the day-saver, making it to Seattle in a rental car and hooking it up with the AAA to deliver us and Shifty safely to our Olympia house show destination, and in time to see Dog Jaw too!!! It turns out that all that waiting around made us quite antsy, and we had the best show of our trip that night.

Many adventures and trials took place through out that night and up until the next one as we made our way slowly back up to Bellingham, but all your really need to know is that Tire Dogs in Lacey has every tire you could possibly need, Horse Knot loves Dick’s, Cat Sieh is a bad ass and incredibly supportive lady, and that Shifty made it home to 306 Flora st. safe and sound, and without a scratch.