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.