The Coincidental Hour

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The Coincidental Hour is dead

After a long talk with sound-mate G Lucas Crane, I’ve decided to retire the Coincidental Hour act.

I’ve actually been thinking about capping the gold greasepaint for good for the past year, it’s just been hard to turn down opportunities to do it, but I’ve also found it even harder to perform it.
When I first started doing it six years ago I was pretty insane, barely holding myself together. And performing that character was far easier to slip into, to feel some agency within an otherwise uncontrollable emotional/mental state.
I’m in a different place now, it’s a different time, and it doesn’t feel as natural and effortless anymore.
Beyond that, Lucas and I both agree that it was starting to earn too much of a reputation as a blatantly destructive and violent act, which was never the intention despite all the smashed appliances over the years. It’s always been about the magic trick of controlling the chaos, to spontaneously choreograph a treacherous ballet and spark more imaginations of danger than danger itself. A catharsis in the most Greek drama sense of the word, but with added audience participation.
I kept deciding to give it another go because it can be and has been some of the most intoxicating and personally rewarding stage experiences in my life. But it has had its run, and now Lucas and I will do something new, find some other experiences to have and to give.
I hope it’s engrained some of the weirdest memories in your brains and left some images that will be hard to un-see! That’s the final prize. As I always say in the show, the gift is not a gift until the gift is destroyed.

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We had a fire inspection at Le Mondo on Friday. The inspector told us we needed to have clearer exit signage towards our rear egress because “women, and young people, will always try to go back out the door they came”.
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!
I don’t really have anything negative to say about Baltimore’s “Artist Task Force”, which was formed by the mayor’s office in response to the Ghostship fire and Bell Foundry, but the idea that bringing reps from the fire department to these meetings will have any positive or profound effect on the relationship between artists and code-enforcing authorities is unrealistic.
As long as members of the fire department make statements that imply that women are a liability, as long as artists are keeping it too weird for the average bro to relate to, and as long as the code enforcers can rest upon ridiculous standards and financially prohibitive requirements in the International Building Code, the task force can be at it a thousand years, but artists/art spaces and authorities like the fire department will always by nature co-exist uncomfortably.

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It is not fair that Mark Baumer is dead

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.

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:


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Spaces of Disobedience Need Not Comply

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.

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A good time to lose it

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]

The Coincidental Hour

Cellular Chaos


Maryland Mansion


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Coincidental Hour + Halloween Trés = Theatre is the new and oldest music

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…


The Coincidental Hour + Halloween Trés: “THEATRE IS THE NEW MUSIC” tour 

Two of Baltimore’s most eccentric, histrionic, and very alive live acts on tour together to see what happens.
Halloween Trés:
Coincidental Hour:
July 31: Red Room, Baltimore. Part of “The Gunge Show”, featuring the premier screening of Gunge Buddies, by Meredith Moore.
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.

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I used to be a better writer. Or maybe this is just what writers tend to say when they get older. But I can at least say with certainty that it has become increasingly hard for me to confidently write with well-crafted nonsense. For years I’ve been trying return to the good raw form when I was in my early 20’s. With age comes different pressures that can bend the words towards a receivable signal; the appetite for narrative tends to grow stronger, and bad words can build like plaque, lining the tongue with a facebook-friendly vocabulary.
I found an old piece I wrote in 1999, just a page full of words interrupted by a random transformation of the words MICK JAGGER. Simple really, just some found text, some typewriter play, and then a blast of variations of MICK JAGGER. It was like noise writing, visual poetry or whatever you want to call it. Back then I didn’t care what it was called, but then school happened. So hard to unlearn school.
I think what I do with Coincidental Hour has been an attempt at returning to an idiosyncratic rawness, an indescribability with grace. It’s an application intended to remove the fear and the bad words. And the Coincidental Hour has grown increasingly chaotic and unstructured over the past 5 years and I want to actually push it further into the unhinged. This is what I have in mind as I start booking a couple short tours over the next few months. A fasting from quotidian concerns and an attempt at stripping down to nothing. Futile perhaps, but hopefully entertaining at the very least.