Seattle/Reno rockers Marion Walker are about to close out their summer-long Serious Picnic U.S. tour. From catching up with old buddies to getting caught in the rain at Niagara Falls, the band clued us into their latest adventures in Seattle, Salt Lake City, and Buffalo for the last of their three-part tour diary.
Words + Photos by Marion Walker
Kimmy T is a soul sister, a longtime best friend, a magical/powerful creative force, and one of the folks we always make sure to catch up with when we're in Seattle. This visit we swung by her studio and happened to land ourselves an impromptu private concert by her and her bandmate Eric. (Nearly a year and a half prior, while Marion Walker had an artist residency in Seattle, Kimmy T had come over for a sleepover and we ended up playing music ALL NIGHT LONG and helping her write one of her very first songs.) Kim and Eric have a ton of fun together and are inventing some pretty interesting ways to compose music and talk to each other about it. They’ve been mapping songs out with colors (Kimmy T is quite the accomplished painter, she just got back from an artist residency in Portugal). It was a unique treat, and a refreshing one after being on the road for six-plus weeks. They sent us on our way with an extra shot of love to our hearts. Suggestions for their band name include: Kimmy T and The Freaky Fridays, Kimmy T and The Goose Poops, Kim-ee-Mac, The Tough Cookies, etc...
Lex and Jared of Staghorn are some incredibly sweet and thoughtful people. Traveling around the country it is rare to find a group of individuals working on their own trip while trying to make things easier for others on the same path. They have set up shop in St. Louis, quite literally. While Staghorn is the musical identity of the pair, they are also working together with an engineer to make some sonically/aesthetically stellar amplifiers (Mills Custom Amps). They also work with non-profit agencies of their choice and donate proceeds from their shows, usually animal rights organizations as Lex works with our primate cousins. We met them because we were part of a lineup at a show in Tampa together, stayed in touch, and they put us up in St. Louis when we passed through. We just wanted to send some love to Lex and Jared cuz y'all got it going. You've created a one-stop-shop to make this tiny little world a whole lot better. (We didn't get a picture of them, 'cause they're super heroes, but they did take the picture of us in front of the fire truck which is in the parking lot at their compound.)
June 23! This day was extra special 'cause it was the release of our new
Serious Picnic EP. We have been traveling all over playing songs off the EP and it was really exciting to have it officially released. It came out on cassette on our dear friends' label, Casino Trash Records. They are based in Seattle but are old Reno homies. Casino Trash is a relatively young label, but they've already released some killer work. Also, in their own band, V.H.S., they are some serious rockers (but we keep missing each other on the road like ships in the night)! Our show that night was at Diabolical Records, a sweet Salt Lake City record store tucked away down an alley. The store has only been around 18 months and they're already about to have their 200th show! Do yourself a favor and check this spot out next time you find yourself in SLC!
The water element has been strong on this tour. We keep finding ourselves completely drenched! It isn't always by choice, but this time it was. To step near the edge of Niagara Falls only gives a person a glimpse of the sheer magnitude of power that water can hold. We had to go further. Kyle asked everyone he could find about obtaining a barrel, but we settled on a boat. The river fairies give you these plastic ponchos that are 100% ridiculous and seem totally unnecessary at first. Then, as the boat gets closer to that forever picture-perfect example of majestic nature that is Niagara Falls, you begin to appreciate the ponchos. The mist was so thick that Kyle got lost on the boat, accidentally following strangers that he thought were Jessie and Donovan (everyone was wearing blue ponchos and he didn't have his glasses on). We grabbed as much water-magic as we could with hopes of bringing some back to the West Coast, but the drought (probably) has nothing to do with magic.
Tour isn't even over yet and we can definitively say that our show in Buffalo, which was at Dreamland and put on by the D.O.P.E. Collective, was our ABSOLUTE FAVORITE!!! There are quite a few reasons why this show was the most special: The first and foremost being that we were welcomed with open arms/hearts. (Kyle went to shake Dana's hand and she refused, only to pull him in for a hug. None of us let go for two days.) Race/Gender/Sexual Identity equality have been constant themes during this tour. (Fuck Yea. Love Wins!) Buffalo is one of the most segregated cities that we encountered on our tour, but our show wasn't. We were the rock band in a crowd full of soul singers, DJ's, rappers, dancers, black, brown, white, some purple haired people, and Seth's dog (a poodle/pitbull mix<-----wtf? scruffy cuteness!). The honor was truly ours because for some of the East Side kids it was THE FIRST TIME THEY HAD EVER SEEN A LIVE BAND!!!!!! We all played raw as hell, opened a few new gates, and probably made a pretty lasting impression on each other. Don't fuck around in Buffalo. They know their music, they know how to have fun, and they aren't afraid to stick their necks out. All our love to BoSwayzeee, L.C.A., Milsep/In and Out, Saint Opal, Black Soul, Dreamland, and D.O.P.E Collective.