The 1919 Boston Molasses Flood, Nick Flynn's memoir, Monkey Rock Writer's Circle, Rick Berlin, H.U.M.A.N.W.I.N.E., and Kellie Lin Knott (CNC Indie Music Marathon).

The 1919 Boston Molasses Flood, Nick Flynn's memoir, Monkey Rock Writer's Circle, Rick Berlin, H.U.M.A.N.W.I.N.E., and Kellie Lin Knott (CNC Indie Music Marathon).

So I stumbled upon some really interesting events, as per my usual, a few days before they’re happening. There’s the 1919 Boston Molasses Flood Commemoration benefit show at the Middle East Upstairs on Wednesday, and there’s also an uber-cool thing at Cafe 939 – Buffalo Tom will perform a short acoustic set before Nick Flynn reads from his new memoir. And a third thing on Wednesday, but apparently it happens every Wednesday at All Asia Cafe: Monkey Rock Writer’s Circle. On Thursday, notable Bostonian Rick Berlin and others perform at T.T. the Bear’s Place. At All Asia Cafe, there’s this ongoing CNC Indie Music Marathon which happens every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. And last, but most certainly not least, what promises to be a fascinating evening of music and performance – H.U.M.A.N.W.I.N.E., Mighty Tiny, and Laura Jorgensen at Berklee’s Cafe 939.

Wednesday, January 20

Boston Molasses Disaster, Self Assembly, Hot Molasses (EP release), Young & Old @ the Middle East Upstairs – Wednesday Jan 20.

Sailors search through rubble in Boston's North End following the Great Molasses Flood in 1919, in an image from the book "Dark Tide" by Stephen Puleo. (photo from <a href="http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2009/03/19/lost_in_a_deadly_flood_and_stirred_by_every_page/" target="_blank">Boston.com article</a>)

A very strange (and sadly fatal) accident in Boston history is oddly commemorated this evening at the Middle East Upstairs, with proceeds to benefit a very good cause – ACE – alternatives for community & environment, a Boston-based organization that helps strengthen lower-income communities in New England to “eradicate environmental racism and classism and achieve environmental justice”. From the prog-rock jam band Boston Molasses Disaster, to highly recommended indie folkies Young & Old (they performed at this Jonathan Richman tribute a while back and I thought they were excellent), this should be an entertaining evening.

Buffalo Tom (acoustic set), Nick Flynn (reads from his memoir The Ticking Is the Bomb) @ Cafe 939 – Wednesday Jan 20.

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Actually, there are two readings from Nick Flynn’s new book, The Ticking Is The Bomb – one is at 7:00 p.m., which includes musical performances by Eric Martin (of The Neats and Illyrians) and Drew O’Doherty, and then again at 9:30 p.m., and the later show will include a short acoustic set by Bill Janovitz and Chris Colbourn of Buffalo Tom, as well as a set by Franc Graham. It should also be mentioned that this is an all-ages music venue and coffeehouse run by Berklee College of Music students.

Monkey Rock Writer’s Circle (6pm), Open Mic hosted by Bryan Murphy of the Shills (9pm) @ All Asia Cafe – Wednesday Jan 20.

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Another venue I have yet to check out, All Asia I’ve somehow just noticed has a lot of cool stuff going on. Every Wednesday, they start at 6pm with Monkey Rock Writer’s Circle, a collective of artists and friends who support each other by promoting and performing as a group. At 9pm there’s an open mic hosted by lead vocalist of The Shills, Bryan Murphy. The feature act this particular evening (at 10pm) is Corey Road.

Thursday, January 21

Findlay Brown, Marc Pinansky of Township, Rick Berlin, Sodafrog @ T.T. the Bear’s Place – Thursday Jan 21.

Rick Berlin at the JP Art Market 10/24/08

Rick Berlin at the JP Art Market 10/24/08

Scanning countless band listings, my eyes fell upon Rick Berlin in the middle of a mid-week T.T.’s line up. He’s been well-known on the Boston music scene for many years, performing with various bands including Orchestra Luna, Berlin Airlift, Rick Berlin: The Movie, and The Shelley Winters Project. He’s a pianist and singer-songwriter who has at times been compared to Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen. His latest solo album is Old Stag (Hi-N-Dry, 2008).

Thursday, January 21 – Saturday, January 23

CNC Indie Music Marathon @ All Asia Cafe – Thursday Jan 21, Friday Jan 22, & Saturday Jan 23.

Kellie Lin Knott performs on Thurs night as part of the CNC Indie Music Marathon

Kellie Lin Knott performs on Thurs night as part of the CNC Indie Music Marathon

This is presented by CNC Music Productions, a Boston-based booking and promotions company. They seem to have their events primarily at All Asia Cafe (near M.I.T. in Cambridge), but I see they did a show at Harper’s Ferry last week. They seem to have 5-6 bands on a bill, so it’s a great way to see lots of local acts. This week’s line-up: (Thurs) Kellie Lin Knott, York Band, Timberfakes, Highly Suspect Band, and Cole Medeiros Band; (Fri) Robin Young, Superfrog, Ballou, kuuluuko, and another one “TBD”; and (Sat) Benjamin Burgess, Josh Penslar, “TBD”, and ModGun. A quick glance yielded a folkie, a prog-rock/reggae band, and a country/pop singer-songwriter… so you can count on quite a bit of diversity.

Humanwine, Mighty Tiny, and Laura Jorgensen @ Cafe 939 – Saturday, Jan 23.

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This is going to be one freakin’ bizarre and interesting show… There’s Laura Jorgensen, who accompanies her unusual, pretty and yet somewhat unsettling vocals on accordion or piano – and is sometimes joined by friends on trumpet, mandolin and banjo. Then there’s Mighty Tiny who are kind of a vaudevillian gypsy caravan, and finally a band I’ve previously heard of and been curious about, H.U.M.A.N.W.I.N.E., who are not easy to describe. A dark and beautiful world of their own making – gothic cabaret, artsy gypsy world music, extremely unusual with deeply haunting vocals. That’s my best attempt until I’m able to see them in person. Maybe, if I’m lucky, Saturday night.

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