Tag Archives: Kinks


The Cactus Blossoms Keep Mercury Lounge Cool on a Hot Night

July 13th, 2017

The Cactus Blossoms – Mercury Lounge – July 12, 2017

Honky-tonk noir anyone? Well you’re in luck because Minnesotan brothers Jack Torrey and Page Burkum are serving up just what you’re craving as the Cactus Blossoms. They resemble a blend of vintage sibling pairs, with the harmonies of the Everly Brothers and the bittersweet waltz of Santo & Johnny’s “Sleep Walk.” It’s not surprising that the two made their national-TV debut on the recently rebooted Twin Peaks: The Return, playing the melancholic “Mississippi” as the third-episode outro. After a string of Midwestern dates opening for Jenny Lewis, the duo returned Stateside following a quick European tour to grace Mercury Lounge with a late-night session on Thursday.

Playing to a sold-out crowd, Torrey hit the stage last apologizing for the late start as he was locked in the bathroom. Thankfully freed, the reunion produced an evening of sweet Southern charm as the Cactus Blossoms played a large portion of their debut full-length album, You’re Dreaming. The title track had the crowd soaring to the brothers’ harmonies, followed by the eerily haunting track featured on Twin Peaks. Drummer Alex Hall literally wheeled up to the stage with suitcase in hand to relieve his stand-in, Grant. Turns out Hall’s flight had been delayed 12 hours. But the consummate professionals rolled with the punches, noting that as musicians, it’s rare when things go as planned.

The Cactus Blossoms treated devoted fans to cuts from their back catalog, including the farewell tune, “Adios Maria,” which was less about a woman and more about parting with a place. After a new song, they covered the Kinks“Who’ll Be Next in Line,” paying homage to a fellow sibling pair, and dedicated “Happy Man on a Gloomy Day” to an unfortunately canceled Spain show. A previously requested “Spotlight Kisses” was happily applauded, and the country waltz of “Powder Blue” had everyone in the room swaying in delight. With the encore imminent, Torrey announced it was “too hot to rock,” instead concluding the evening with a slow one, “Travelers Paradise.” It was a fitting adieu on a steamy night. —Sharlene Chiu



Saint Rich and the Blank Tapes Play Mercury Lounge Tomorrow Night

February 11th, 2014

Steve Marion is probably most well known for fronting the cult favorite Delicate Steve.
But last year the singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist teamed up with Delicate Steve guitarist Christian Peslak to form Saint Rich. They quickly recorded seven songs over a long weekend with Marion on drums and Peslak on guitar and vocals, and later added another five tunes to flesh out the catchy Beyond the Drone (stream it below), which came out last October. And tonight at Mercury Lounge, Saint Rich (above, doing “You Ain’t Worth the Night” for KEXP FM) play the early show.

Matt Adams, another singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, grew up in Southern California with songs filling his head. Influenced by the Kinks and the Beatles, but also Robyn Hitchcock, he began recording music at home. As Adams came up with increasingly more material, the project eventually blossomed into a full band, the Blank Tapes (above, performing “Look into the Light” for Jam in the Van). They’ve released a host of EPs and LPs, including the sunny full-length, Vacation (stream it below), out last year. Catch them tonight at the late show at Mercury Lounge and again on Friday, opening for Jonathan Wilson at Music Hall of Williamsburg.