After a long talk with sound-mate G Lucas Crane, I’ve decided to retire the Coincidental Hour act.
According to this particular power-tripper, women apparently get so frenzied at the sight of fire, so blinded with panic, they cannot read or understand brightly colored five-letter words like E-X-I-T. They just all simultaneously rush to one door, creating a vicious bottle-neck leading to the HELLISH DEMISE OF ALL (except for the intuitive males that cooly and casually strut their way to the rear exit)! I guess places of assembly just shouldn’t allow women if these hysterical life-safety time bombs are going to just clog up the nearest exit in an emergency!
The inevitability of loss doesn’t make loss easy to deal with, but the circumstances around it can certainly make it harder. Mark Baumer, writer, performance artist, activist and amazing human being, was hit by a car and killed on the 100th day of his barefoot hike across America, a project he chronicled on his blog called “Not Going To Make It”.
Mark was a regular Coincidental Hour fixture when I performed in Providence. He was a natural fit to be on a Coincidental Hour bill, never failing to perplex. From drinking a gallon of milk and then running around the room kicking the jug as hard as possible, to playing in a band that just wanted to talk, Mark was provocative by just being unabashedly Mark.
He was documenting his barefoot trek with some of his best writing, combined with an accumulation of increasingly gnarly foot shots on Instagram. As gutting as it is to know that his last entry on his blog – a picture of the word “killed” with a yellow arrow pointing ahead – will remain his last entry, the blog is an amazing document. https://notgoingtomakeit.com/
Mark was on to something. You could really sense that he was settling into his own as an artist and individual. He was a weirdo, one of the best, and his weirdness could often be socially challenging. “I don’t get it” was a common response to Mark’s work. But Mark was saying something. Without compromise, he was saying something important, he was saying it impressively, and people were listening. No matter how adult I get, and despite being faced with difficult challenges and injustices with more regularity and facing them with more informed reactions as I age, sometimes a situation can only merit the simple response: It’s not fair.
It’s not fair that the world, so desperate for heroes and artists taking action, loses an activist like this.
It’s not fair that such a kind human being, an artist really starting to blossom, can be taken away at 33.
It’s not fair that we couldn’t see him finish.
Love you Mark Baumer. You moved and have moved us.
This would have been Mark’s second cross-country walk. This time, shoeless, his walk was raising funds for climate change awareness. His crowdfunding goal of raising $10k has been posthumously met and is now at $20k and counting. Check it out here: https://www.youcaring.com/fang-fighting-against-natural-gas-670303
Not every art space should be pressured, threatened or scared into becoming legal. Some spaces may not be up to code, but would like to be as part of their mission. But, the illegal space must still exist. The house shows (residential acting as assembly) must still thrive, warehouses that keep rent low by being clandestine live-spaces are vital, spaces acting through critical disobedience should not be scared into compliance. For some, the recent crackdown means “how can we get up to code”, but for others, fighting for the sacred precarity that is so integral to the identity of those who live, manage and associate with those space will require a different approach. Keep your paths of egress clear, and your curtains closed.
Over the past year, every time I do the Coincidental Hour, I feel like I’m coming out of retirement to do it. I keep thinking, “this is the last time”. I hope to see some folks at this one at EMP with my old partners in mayhem, Cellular Chaos, plus pals Quna and Maryland Mansion. I might only have a couple Coincidental Hours left in me, so I’ll push it as hard as I can and promote some real deep freedom.
WEDNESDAY NOV 16 @ EMP [Baltimore]
GETTING NECESSARILY OUT OF CONTROL
The Coincidental Hour https://coincidentalhour.com/
Cellular Chaos skingraftrecords.com/bandhtmlpages/cellular_chaos.html
Maryland Mansion https://hvrfcentralcommand.bandcamp.com/album/discreet-charms
Once in a while I get a strong feeling that I really need the Coincidental Hour. Now is one of those times. Too much destruction in the world, and none of it done with love, grace, and jazz hands. So I’m getting on the road for four shows with Halloween Trés to fuck it up nicer and weirder. I need it and I hope you do too. Tour info below…
Aug 2: Rhizome, D.C. With Distaff.
Aug 4: Secret Project Robot, NYC. With Matthew Thurber.
Aug 5: Lava Space, Philly. With John Ehrens.
Aug 12: The Glove, NYC. (Note: no Halloween Trés on this bill, just CH) With Arrington de Dionyso and Gospel of Mars.
After a 3 month hiatus, Coincidental Hour will resurrect on Easter Sunday, March 27 at Myspace in Baltimore.
There will be some sounds, and some of the sounds may sound like music. But do not be deceived. The Coincidental Hour is an anti-music affair. It’s the rock and roll without the rock and just some rolling around. It’s the ballad without the melody, the beat without the rhythm.
Come out to see me on Sunday and when you hear a sound and see me sing to it, think to yourself “Hey, I thought he said -” and before you can finish your thought, that song will be stomped upon by stupidity, or crushed under the weight of randomness, or intercepted by silence or ushered away by any other music-denying force. Sure, some musical sounds will be introduced, but that’s only to exhibit that which is being vanquished.
Music must be destroyed! All music is the soundtrack to capitalism! Every song is the national anthem! Tar-Ra-Ra-Boom-De-Ay is the one and only decent tune ever made!
Someday I will do a Coincidental Hour without any music at all. And it will be very boring. Or maybe not. I confess, I too am a victim of the fact that not making music onstage is easier than not making music onstage. I dream of dancing silent, insane looking. Only the music stands in my way.
(poster by Carl Dunn)
The 4th Coincidental Hour Holiday Special Dance Party will take place on Dec 19th at 5th Dimension, our first holiday special in Baltimore!
The holiday shows have always been a sensorial feast, a gluttonous smorgasbord of entertainment, an ejaculation of jubilee wind straight from the bowels of the xmas spirit!
Coincidental Hour on Halloween makes a lot of sense, yet this will be the first time I’ve ever done a show on Halloween.
This year, it will be a Coincidental Halloween at Babycastles; a late night exorcistic delight featuring many old Coincidental Hour pals like Ogg Myst, Cave Bears, Luxardo, Santa and my favorite love song duo, The Creepers. DJ ShhcuLT will also be there spinning spells in between acts.
I’d like to thank Babycastles for being so brave in hosting this. I honestly can’t imagine what’s going to happen. I have a feeling things are going to get out of hand. It’s going to last until Halloween is over, that I know. I’m anticipating some blood, a huge mess, a little crying perhaps. Halloween offers so many false horrors, that it only whets the appetite for the real.
So bring a sack, stick your head in it, rage around like you’ve been tossed in the trunk. It will be real.
THE PSYCHIC READINGS COMPANY presents
ⓉⒽⒺ ⒸⓄⒾⓃⒸⒾⒹⒺⓃⓉⒶⓁ ⒽⓄⓊⓇ ⒽⒶⓁⓁⓄⓌⒺⒺⓃ
and Special Guests (santa)
DOORS @ 10PM ALL-AGES NO-BYOB
$10 normal OR $7 with costume!
Baltimore: Sept 24-26 @ EMP
NY: Oct 19-21 @ JACK
I sometimes forget that the Coincidental Hour is violent. I forgot because I feel like I’m creating a safe space for violence to occur if it wants to. But people will occasionally remind me – like an audience member did last month at Silent Barn – that because of the line it rides, it can come off as unapologetically and unconditionally violent. The audience member approached me after a Coincidental Hour where I got people in the audience to take off their pants and destroy a Barbie dream house with bricks. She approached me crying, shaking after the performance. She asked me why I had to do violent things. We sat in the courtyard and talked. I apologized and reminded her that I didn’t really do anything violent other than encourage others to be violent if they wanted to. This particular point was understandably not very satisfying to her, but we talked for a while about a number of things and she eventually gave me a hug and told me she was “at least happy to find out I was real” (I guess as opposed to an animated demon?). At any rate, it made me think more about the role of violence in the Coincidental Hour. Ultimately, I’m ok with it. And I’m ok with people not being ok with it.
If people don’t need to go to the places that I ask them to go when I perform, then good for them. They are probably well-adjusted people and not my really target audience. But I will say that the violence in the Coincidental Hour is very controlled. Composed and sometimes contrived even. Most of the time very fake! It’s like the difference between a horror movie and an actual serial murder spree. The violence is being exacted on symbols (U.S. currency, microwaves), or through professional conduits (my body). It’s the violence performed in a rite of sacrifice, which is burned up to make the world spin according to the word of the cult.
I understand, though, that people will find the violence triggering. I sometimes do myself. But I’ll try to make the violence worth something. If I don’t, that’s when it really fails.
The Coincidental Hour is revamping its schtick and we’re starting to put together a few shows starting in August.
But honestly, right now I can’t really think about anything else but this Miss Chthonic Pageant that we’re working on. We’re in that gut-wrenching phase of raising money through one of those fucking THINGS and we’re not doing a great job at it right now because we hate it but we should do it because it’s important to us and because we can only afford to do a few shows a year with our theatre company while other companies are fearless enough to de-pants themselves in public all the time so they can churn out “fearless” work which just means “fearless because they aren’t afraid to produce a log of horseshit floating in a tub of lukewarm water” meanwhile I’m an idiot because I sit back and say we don’t need money to make good work and it’s true but then nobody gets to see it because we can’t afford to tour it much and we start to devalue ourselves as artists because we get in that bad habit of forgetting to take into account that our time energy labor and ideas are worth something and this is the end of my rant. Please donate.
I performed in Providence for a handful of people Sunday. No sleep afterward. Thinking with shoes on in the bed, staring up, wondering if I would be happier doing car insurance commercials and Broadway musicals. Feeling an age thing hard, veteran of the game now. A growing sense of distance from my idiot dance moves and greasepaint face.
I have chosen a strange path thus far and have sunk whatever talents I have into an arcane entertainment fueled by idiosyncratic motivations. Tonight it’s one of those nights where I think about what it would have been like if I chose a more conventional life; meanwhile, somewhere else someone who chose a more conventional life stares up at a ceiling wondering what it might be like to be able to dance like an idiot with a face full of makeup. The grease is always golder on the other side, as they say.
In the morning I had to remind myself: just stay weird and don’t hurt anybody.
I haven’t always gotten that last part right, but I’m working on it.
Playing with The Creepers in Providence on 22nd at Psychic Readings.
The Creepers played first ever Coincidental Hour in 2010. It wasn’t actually called the Coincidental Hour, the night was dubbed “With Your Host”, but it had all the CH trimmings. There were games, prizes, special guests and it even featured a Chipotle kissing booth (bathroom).
The Coincidental Hour, The Creepers, Brian 4 Ever, Joe DeGeorge Sax Machine.
@ Psychic Readings (95 Empire st)
Sunday, Feb 22, 10pm
There have been a few occasions where I’ve attempted something along these lines with the Coincidental Hour. Just try to tap into some bullshit performance magic. And even though I think it can work to a certain degree when restricted entirely to language – like a David Antin talk or a Michael Basinski reading – I’m finally ready to believe that a completely open field improvisation of the Coincidental Hour, one that wrestles an aesthetically pleasing composition out of thin air, is not possible.
I hope this past weekend was my final lesson in understanding that putting in labor yields far better results than relying on magic. I blew it at PS1 on Saturday trying to force a last minute show with no time to prepare. Usually, I come up with some marks to hit, things to say, stunts to attempt. But even when I had some time before the show to work on an outline, I decided this was an opportunity to pull off an effortless improvised fantasia performance, guided only by impulse and experience.
It was bad. The words I said, mostly stuttered or chewed up, were dull. My movements were strained and my real time ideas were real shitty. Everyone else on the bill was great, and my last minute collaborator Anastasia Clarke did what she could to keep me from drowning. But I drowned in that frightening sea of structurelessness, not scripted enough to rely on material, not nestled comfortably enough in a prepared environment (of sound/light/objects) to be able read the crowd and the space as living score.
At any rate, I’m actually a little glad I bombed. Believing in magic was making me lazy.
The Coincidental Hour will be doing fewer shows over the next couple months. We’re going to take a breather to sew buttons back on shirts, replenish my makeup tackle box, and write some new songs.
It also gives me and Lucas some time to focus on our upcoming performance piece, Miss Chthonic Star Dream Pageant. It’s the next project from our theatre group, The Psychic Readings Company. Yes, this is the same group as Performance Thanatology, we just changed out name last year because after twelve years, people still called it Performance Scientology or some variation.
Miss Chthonic will take place a few times, in different variations of the piece, over the course of 2015, definite dates include Baltimore, Providence and two NYC shows. Yeah, it will be a beauty pageant fashion show, a monstrous pageant of internal realities. Everything will go horribly wrong and we will all love it.
We will be hosting public auditions for the pageant on March 7th at Silent Barn in NYC. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to audition?
For more info, check out http://www.psychicreadings.church
Don’t miss your chance to get your very own DEATH DRIVE! We only have four left for sale and we’re letting them go for low-low-ho-ho-ho prices, just $12! The DEATH DRIVE is the new Coincidental Hour, which is on a thumb drive attached to a quality knife. We have one each of four models (pictured below), The Night Stabber (the big one), The Country Stabber (the wooden one), The Easy Stabber (black) and the Multi-Stabber (swiss army).
Each thumb drive has 13 Coincidental Hour songs including fun time favorites like Candy, Nothing, Destroy and Ontological Clock! PLUS three bonus live tracks by Ogg Myst! AND AND each drive is unique because we dumped random shit from our desktops on the drives!
What? You hate the Coincidental Hour? That’s cool no problem! Just erase the shit on the thumb drive, put your own sorry ass files on it. And you still have a knife you can wave around like an asshole. This christmas, give that special someone a weapon with music on it.
Nothing but the deepest cuts from all of us over here at… The Coincidental Hour!
(to order, paypal $12 to email@example.com, geez)
The Coincidental Hour Holiday Specials are always a little different from the usual Coincidental Hour, which are also usually different from the usual Coincidental Hour, but the Holiday Specials are even more different than the usual Coincidental Hour. That’s why it’s a special, ok?
Christmas tends to expand the extremes of sugary good times and bloody chaos that defines the Coincidental aesthetic. So see you on the 20th for some tinsel and throbbing glitter.
It’s the 4th annual Coincidental Hour Holiday Special. It’s fucked up. Extra special holiday prizes and nougat and I love you! It’s xmas like you wouldn’t believe, it’s XMAX, it’s really fucked up. So many songs and dances, plus a visit from Sanna. Someone said FLUCT will be making an appearance too. Lights, colors, festivities and delight. This will be the worst.
See Talibam! play live!
And Ogg Myst is on fire like a xmas tree in hell!
Static Lagoon will get you subtly prancing!
Tickets cost $50,000!