Still keeping up with psychedelic rockers Marion Walker as they traverse the US? Catch up on their latest journeys through Philly, Jersey and North Carolina.
Words + Photos by Marion Walker
Who do we love? Sean from Tiger Mountain. We can’t really discuss any details about his life mainly because it’s nearly impossible to keep up with him. He is a dreamer, a trouble-maker, a heart-breaker, a dear friend, the proud possessor of the only chandelier Kyle has ever made, the host of Tiger Mountain, a creator of his own Conan the Barbarian role-playing game (the rule book is 100,000 pages and we don’t fuck with that). If, and when, you go to Asheville, look up Tiger Mountain and check it out. You’re most likely to find a good time and a great show. But, watch out, it’s a locals’ bar and some of the people you’ll meet there will make you want to become a local yourself.
What was in the water when they made the Lawlors?!!! This family is seriously amazing! In Jersey/NYC, we were hosted by Brian (who is number 7 of 9 siblings). After our show in NYC, Brian took us on an epic quest across the city to another club where his oldest brother was playing a show. Mike (1 of 9 and a virtuoso guitar player) was near the end of an 8-hour set as we watched from the packed room at 3am. We have since met another Lawlor sibling, Caitrin (9 of 9), who was house-sitting for her sister out near Sussex, NJ. She provided us lodging in a beautiful farmhouse, deep in the woods by a babbling brook. The house was built pre-Civil War and has a sweet old hunting dog/hell-hound that can open the front screen door at will living there. Caitrin took us on a hike up the hill behind the house to see the town's reservoir. But, before we could jump in for a swim, we noticed a wall of water quickly approaching us. In seconds, the sun was consumed and the deluge began. We were instantly soaked from head-to-toe and were forced to run back through the woods towards our positively possessed quarters to dry off.
All three of us immediately called dibs on Philadelphia. We loved it from the very get-go. It has everything you need as a creative type to thrive on. It has an amazingly talented group of bands that are pounding out some killer Rock’n’Roll vibes: The Southern Queers, The Retinas, Tangiers, and Twiin. We played at a place called Everybody Hits which operates as batting cages during the day and hosts crazy shows at night. After the extraordinary evening of meeting tons of Philly locals and talking shit, our buddy Ben took us back to his neighborhood in West Philly. Right down the road from his house is the semi-abandoned cemetery known as Mount Moriah and that's where we ended up at 3am. (Disclaimer: all of the following is true.) As we walked around the massive cemetery we discovered head stones deep in the trees, graves tangled up in roots and honeysuckle bushes. We trekked through tall grass up a forgotten path and emerged in a clearing full of obelisks where all the Free Masons from the 1700’s had been buried. In fact, some of the only manicured areas of the graveyard were the secret societies and the (Civil War era) military sections. Aside from a group of kitties that were hiding in some broken headstones, we didn't see another living being. But, we did walk up on the embers of a fire in a fallen tree, a creepy find at the end of our evening stroll through the country club of the dead. None of the pictures we took developed and we assume this is due to an electrical disturbance caused by an apparition. Instead, here is a picture of us on an abandoned Philly coal pier that is super beautiful now that the decaying infrastructure has been tagged all the way to Hell.
We got to stay with one of those Lawlors we were telling you about in Jersey City, our dear friend Brian Lawlor. He is a musical prodigy and we had the honor of playing with one of the many groups he plays for, Slim Wray, at Lucky’s 7 downtown JC. The show was absolutely wild! At one point during the set a woman wrapped her arms around Jessie (while she was playing) and proceeded to take selfies of the two of them. There was a relaxed look on Jessie’s face as she leaned back into the woman’s arms and continued playing. Shortly after our set was finished, the lady introduced us to her friends for the evening. One of her friends happened to be ranked the #3 knife fighter in the world. They commented on how both Jessie and Kyle should practice knife fighting based on the way they moved their hands and feet during the show. (We're prolly gonna look into this!) He showed Kyle how he could cut him five times in 1.5 seconds.
As is most usually needed when crossing over state lines a certain rite of cleansing or baptizing oneself is necessary. Catawba Falls is just east of Asheville and was promised to be a spectacular sight. We had played a particularly raging show the night before and had only managed a few hours of sleep but still decided we should do some adventuring. We were not disappointed at all in the stunning North Carolina wilderness but we did get ourselves profoundly lost! Only after we had crawled our way back to the path did we realize the importance of sticking to the left-hand side instead of the opposite. We had split off to the right and followed the creek. The creek would inevitably lead to the falls, right? Wrong. The trail suddenly ended and we found ourselves hiking straight up the creek bed. The rocks were insanely slippery and we had to grab hold of what was most likely poison ivy vines to scale the rock faces. It didn’t seem like we had gone that far in the wrong direction, but we later learned there were 3 or 4 creeks running parallel to each other. While we are still not sure what creek we were walking up, we never made it all the way to the falls themselves. We were stuck in a weird loop as we walked back and forth over these slippery rocks, barely arresting our movement as we involuntarily bathed ourselves in the water.