Brad Hamers

Art as a paradigm shifting tactic.

Brad Hamers

Post No Dreams
Label: Token Recluse Recordings
Format: LP, Digital, CD
Country: USA
Released: Nov. 2010
Genre: Ghost-Hop, Art-Hop, Lo-Fi, Experimental

Album written, played, recorded & produced by Brad Hamers
lyrics & vocals by Brad Hamers
mixed by Brad Hamers and Big Pauper
mastered by Big Pauper
features additional instrumentation & vocals by Big Pauper, Jennifer Griffo & Shannon Steele
album art by Brad Hamers
Over 3 & 1/2 years in the making, Brad Hamers second official solo effort was released on Nov. 30, 2010.
Post No Dreams was Brad’s most conceptually cohesive and accomplished work yet.
Capturing what wasn’t taken to the zoo before it was freed, this album is a snapshot of the (in-fashion) chains we find ourselves in, a hole one can only dig themselves out of. Most songs were conceived out of an unshaven and woolly keyboard with its heavy heart caught in an amplifier, rotted and humming; and recorded onto a computer from the last ice age with buboes. Layered with shit drums and cassette fuzz, almost all of the album’s 13 tracks evolved out of old keyboard sketches and then grew new body parts and extra clothes from there. It is sooty and astral. It is lo-fi and fizzes. It is for the pensive and the head-sick. For the sleepless and the sleeping. For the myth-less and the mixed-up. The album features some accompanying instrumentation by Big Pauper (the other half of Two Ton Sloth), who also mixed and mastered the album in its entirety. And as with all of Brad’s work, this album is best listened to in headphones while alone and reading along with the lyrics.


Flat Yoke LIVE in Paris - 2011 - video by Big Pauper


Review from Trip-Hop .NET (2011): 

Rating: 4 (out 5)

“Cet album est incroyable, rarement voir jamais un artiste n'a transmis autant d'émotions à travers ses paroles. C'est sombre, dépressif mais les beats et les lyrics sont très recherchés. Ce n'est pas un album facile à écouter mais après plusieurs écoutes c'est énorme.
Brad Hamers mérite tellement plus de reconnaissance, c'est dur de voir qu'il restera probablement à jamais dans l'ombre de toute la merde commerciale.”

“Un très grand artiste”

(Translated to English):
“This album is incredible, rarely see an artist ever transmit so many emotions through his words. It's dark, depressing but the beats and the lyrics are in great demand. It is not an easy album to listen to but after several listenings it is enormous.
Brad Hamers deserves so much more recognition, it's hard to see that he will probably remain forever in the shadow of all the commercial shit.”

“A very great artist.”


Review from Chroniques électroniques .COM (2010): 

Note : 9 (/10)
Genre : Rap lunaire

“Il aura fallu trois ans et demi à Brad Hamers pour donner une suite à son premier solo, Ligature, sorti en mars 2007. Plus de trois années pendant lesquelles il a peaufiné ses textes et travaillé pour son groupe Two Ton Sloth. Big Pauper, l'autre moitié de Two Ton Sloth, vient l'épauler musicalement et pour le mixage de ce Post No Dreams. Rappelant Buck 65, les vieux Sage Francis et Psyckick Lyrikah, l'Américain produit un rap profond, intime et puissant.
L'homogénéité est rare. L'intensité étonnante. Le flow de Brad Hammers, entre rap et spoken word, est souvent chuchoté, sur le ton de la confidence. Il avoue ses plus sombres secrets, ses réflexions inavouables. Au creux de notre oreille, il déverse ses textes étourdissants de franchise. Ses paroles captivent. Pour les délivrer, il s'appuie sur des claviers cotonneux et enveloppant. Quelques guitares, flûtes ou autres cloches peuvent surgir par moment sans rompre le confort. La batterie vient aussi s'insinuer discrètement.
Difficile de sortir un titre du lot tant l'album est un récit construit et cohérent. Certains passages expriment la mélancolie, d'autres la douleur, la rage ou la folie. La voix se dédouble, s'éloigne, fantomatique dans la mélodie. L'Américain nous entraîne dans les méandres de son cerveau, de ses délires, ses peurs, doutes. La retranscription musicale de la pensée a rarement été aussi parlante.
Brad Hamers a bien fait de prendre tout son temps pour produire ce disque qui constitue une très bonne surprise de cette fin d'année. Son voyage introspectif n'a pas fini de hanter mes enceintes.”

(Translated to English):
Rating: 9 (out of 10)
Genre: Lunar Rap

“It took three and a half years for Brad Hamers to follow up on his first solo, Ligature , released in March 2007. Over three years during which he refined his lyrics and worked for his group Two Ton Sloth . Big Pauper , the other half of Two Ton Sloth, comes to support him musically and for the mixing of this Post No Dreams . Recalling Buck 65 , old Sage Francis and Psyckick Lyrikah , the American produces a deep, intimate and powerful rap.
Homogeneity is rare. The amazing intensity. Brad Hammers' flow, between rap and spoken word, is often whispered, in the tone of confidence. He confesses his darkest secrets, his shameful thoughts. In the hollow of our ears, he pours his dizzying lyrics with frankness. His words captivate. To deliver them, he relies on cottony and enveloping keyboards. A few guitars, flutes or other bells may appear at times without breaking the comfort. The battery also creeps discreetly.
Difficult to take a title out of the lot as the album is a constructed and coherent story. Some passages express melancholy, others pain, rage or madness. The voice doubles, moves away, ghostly in the melody. The American leads us into the twists and turns of his brain, his delusions, his fears, doubts. The musical transcription of thought has rarely been so meaningful.
Brad Hamers did well to take all his time to produce this record which is a very good surprise at the end of the year. His introspective journey has not finished haunting my speakers.”


Review from Indie Rock Mag .COM (2010):

“Deuxième album du rappeur de Portland moitié du duo Two Ton Sloth, Post No Dreams donne dans le spoken work introspectif sur nappes lo-fi cotonneuses parfois envahies de glitchs vocaux angoissés, comme une version éthérée et astrale de Buck65. A découvrir via bandcamp.“


Review from Rapohnelizenz (2010):

“Post No Drreams, An epic, thrilling, dream-catching trip in avant-garde hip-hop.”


From an Interview w/ 405 Magazine .COM (2010):    - (Interview Below)

“Brad Hamers is a visionary man; he creates beautiful and nostalgic atmospheres out of nowhere.” 


(Show Poster made by Big Pauper, 2011)

Traveling Back From the Fire LIVE in Münster, Germany - 2011 - video by Big Pauper

To Back (Feral Real) LIVE in Augsburg, Germany - 2011 - video by Big Pauper


Flat Yoke

i can’t light fires off the songs i swallow before each meal each day
won’t ever drown in a puddle of love or go hungry screaming for mothers
and things inherently allusive to wombs and open wounds
will your dead god rob his own egg of trick questions
do you steal other robot’s (battery money) internet connection
see a tree still burning 30,000 (light)years after its been cut-down
to install a 2nd moon a zero gravity shopping mall
my granddaughter wears its advertising logo tattooed to her forehead
who kills science  hangs queens  nails evolution to crosses
this brainstorm shall be sacrificed in the middle name of dependency
and psychiatrists overthinking thinking recipes and sheep counting
for animals don’t do math the same way a wind really doesn’t blow
keep trying to sing down brick houses and put out water
i lost my bullets in a president’s head   got molested by capitalism 
my manifest mutations all breathing outward in some imbalance of unison
the symmetry in a car accident or the perfect sense in laughing
we hung ourselves
like paintings   all night   throughout parking garages and bar bathrooms

i can’t throw neurosis off achievement peaks steeping in a cup of feverish anticipation
like a mountain in a warehouse with my burnt tongue blowing smoke in people’s faces
music without corners dries up in air like cigarette smoke won’t appease my leash out of breath
and longing for my moving parts   my decision appliance and formulated dream film
i can’t watch tv off sturdy ballads and no unconcerned push cart
not even off character charity or standing in line emasculated
i can’t light wars off the books i feed  wandering and repeating  paying to be unbound
what the ball of holes is trying to say
holding a topic like a hat in a drawer looking for a purpose
average encounter with her awareness sanded down says something about strange weather
i can’t develop without dieing  won’t stamp shirts or carve legal trees for a 14 bedroom void of regret
or go starving breathing my unexpectations

but i too carry my medicine

i’ll take my dead tongue’s specific strut to strange and new places with its tailpipe trailing its 7thousand definitions
and need for exact numbers  let the spectators sweep the smog off the streets and into files
you speak differently to everyone  well you don’t play a trumpet like a drum
from work to murky sofas sleep and back again  if i’m not intoxicated i’m delusional or deceived
work grain indicating an entire forest
antiidle bubble bursts only half through its life span
moral wing  we’re the wind  moral wing  we're the wind

(the strong scent of soap can be as laxative and rousing as spilling a poem over the long rug of a piano thick from wall to wall
with me tangled in it suspended in a chair like a spider web facing the corner of the room
i’m coming up with too many words for this cave (as of lately my confidence and clarity (self-image) have been much like my
beard) – (imagine me mirrorless)

i can’t push fire on already lit rooms  drying up in a puddle of love
won’t dream in a gold bed  ever die out in the sun
i’ll take my playing song to its end

i can’t sell fire to already lit rooms  scratching in a dried up puddle of love
won’t dream in a white mansion  ever die out in a bucket full of gasses
i’ll take my affection to silent fields to sing along with me

i can’t push flames on complacency  convinced of love proper  without a puddle or its own reflection 
won’t aspire mansions in mansions  ever die in atoms
i’ll take my dancing to the beat

Traveling Back From the Fire

traveling back from the fire
the deputy carried my burns
parading his better-bones
i didn’t pay for the train
and turned myself in
reflecting on a skyless window
(window waive the sky) or dollar store moon)
i held the next day collateral
we hitch-hiked a bum creditcard
across the vanilla folds of a nother indexed cemetery
under-construction and supposed hill
to the light we left on in the rent
traveling back from the fire
i helped carry the hoses
still trying to put out the siren
a passing-bell lead me back to the town
a hinge in the suit of a king
marooned in a high hedge where the drought begins
i brought stolen water  and the sun as gambit
then looked for shade so we could remove our hats
shaking my pocket for the key to sing home
i tried to sing it without all the crows
on a second floor
in a levied room
in the ossuary
i put my legs up
my arguments wander
looking for the blank to rest their bones

a shovel was needed to move forward
the only way out was down

nothing in our dialogue jumped high enough to break earth
we couldn't get any closer to dieing than we already were
all of us tried 
some of us with pianos and moving straps
some of us with boxes of wood and nails

we each held death in ourselves
some on a tire swing
some in handcuffs and moving straps
some on several tied together bungee cords

the conversation never jumped from its branch
we were all the same brand bird in one tree without leaves
each a different amount of sky away from flying


there was a boat out of her sickness
an ocean under the facts
the last fisherman caught yesterday’s dinner again the medication bell
stay-put-wetback-dreams jumping sequence  i earned the shovel and pork fat  greasing down a minute hand 
cut-off pant and growl  wasn’t the doorbell   jumped beaten down dream  overdone off-track run-on box-car logic 
hopped-up fence and 4-car-garage-equality   all the water you want    my teeth on a running-away utter  all the gold-receipts
you want   my teeth on a missing tit  escaped ride-cow  black/white graze-cow
sugar on the bland moon  4th cup incoherent burnt tongue speak-less-clear easy go and come-down parachute-sun
skydiving-day  hard-to-fly turkey  in turning gun’s keyhole  broke-in fit-like-a-glove plenty and sleep  lo-tech reach for the carrot
good-for-you star in your broken-in-to eye watched the boat leaving  didn’t believe the ocean of facts  out-of-stock-hard-to-
get clearance-dream  last deep-sleep fisherman caught a fence in the knee-d- down-must-act  next sheep on-we-go no-
parachute  jumping the-races-have-begun-gun  gone-off-track sheep in the grays and blacked out drinking from the grease-
pan  formal egg and dead chicken-out  cook your own caught and remembered dreams  not a boat out of the illness
no un-chartered ocean under the math  4-teeth-left pulling-on-the-stop-chord  pitched-off chorus-ant  red and biting the
blackened-gray-can’t-remember  just wave to the see of facts  a whole see of concrete and brick-for-brick-go-along-anthems
goose-down-dream singing out like a feather-gone from a dead swan  soon all lake all allege and fish caught in the boat-wreck
go-along-grab-a-plank-equal-opportunity-won’t-share-holder works-for-us-math  symmetrical noose and bow-tie floating-bell
ring-around-the-neck climb-upstream color-in-the-lines-tongue and hooked-cheek life-float dead-man’s-face-down caught in
a crowd of well-dotted-eyes  ordering chicken around a corner  out of a half-loaded-window  asking me for change
done-well over-done once-again under-passion over-charged next-minute-down-parachute and miss  shotgun sawed-off
dream  hold-up broke take (/) hold-up the next minute-hand shaking in the mold and allege  incoherent-tongue-feedback-dog-
waiting-for-bell-crack high-price-high-pitch-mayday-and-night-sold-out-sucking on the pork-grease-fumes  high-level-algebra-
side-effect oil-feather- down-dream-equality chorus-ant well red and biting back at the blackened out when-did-we-lose-it
where’d-it-go next-minute-contraction broke hold-up-labor off the books on the tubes sewer-dreams resuscitated-take-it-no-
more  flush-away and restart  4th glass-and-not-counting-math  pass-out-sleep-for-everyone-work  great-opportunity-equal-
and-sweetener-union  no-think-straight-lace-hole-in-the-sole  fly like shoe  time like cannon  shot-down-dinner  bell flopping
around on deck broke big-hole-in-the-boat-out   there was a worn hole out of her sickness  a lost-its’-see under the preserved
thoughts floating dead-man’s-lite across the top of my head like a forty-and-eight across the track-marks on a strung-out-
plain-and-once-again here-we-go-jumping-parachute next-minute-down-cloud and miss  works-for-us-subtraction
symmetrical loose bow down and pick-up hitch-hike-floating down the climb-up-stream and looped
there was a worm-hole out of her sadness  a box-car out of her war  a fresh-water-ocean under the hope  thrown at us like
dogs like ropes like trained-teeth on ropes around cut-trees  a whole see of must-be and maybe  un-brick-by-brick push-along
all the space under the stars  all the space under the stars  like the see under the facts  like the unseen under the ocean 
we are records of ourselves and each other live-man floating on the cracked-bell wrung out like duck in the window
reaching for a plank from the boat out

Rapid Wing Movement (Bull RAM)

she was bored
she did this in a past life
i fell out of a (no story) window again
hoping someone would hear it differently this time
i poke at the me i see in the computer
this is about communication
we created ourselves
she was in the yard
putting an addition on her memory
i try and climb the barb wire
there because i see it
his eye ran out of ink
they walk him along a wall
a general becomes more
his battalion marches out the tempo
selling buying more (selling buying more)
the dollar falls over dancing
the air laughs under its breath
a free spirited slave falls over to work
falls over all the way home
he got his thoughts on the black market
we got our food rations from the general
i try and climb the monitor
but fell out a window again
(considering too loud)
this is about communication
she learned the word for blue
after she learned the word blue
red was already red before it was read
i bite a light bulb
all on a burnt dream
i asked the money
she sees no barb wire
we shut the window to muffle the bliss
the yard spotlight sweeps over our bed
and the threshold of my dream
over the sadness
through all the drives

Saddest Rifle

saddest rifle on the trench line
plow pulled by buffalo
melted down to knife metal
i was sold as topsoil
paying for the plant life
only to be eroded
rented flowers on my powder-horn
sang steady with the gun-shots
thought it was a shofar
reaming at the tree bark
banging at the fruit rind
sold us zues’s goat bone
next moment:
in grown bullet at the bull’s-eye
pulling for my trophy-teeth
hope they become piano keys
dream behind next door
greener always blank yard
empty house rem sleep
ghost dinner hoof-step
resold vegetable-ivory value
rifle through the buttermilk
saddest subservient oxen on the tipping-line
crying eye push-off
tear at the edge
plow on the waiting line
melted down to cutting-metal
saddest penny in the rifle-clip
hit the target’s heart like alarm clock
out of its’ head on the mark on we go

but the buffalo nickel i rode in
and back home
wearing its fur
and interest-rates
wasn’t the only gunpowder
in my loose-fit-musket-ball-sadness
the only all killed color in my flat wheel
it seems the sadness shines independent of the obvious cloud –
it hovers always there –
like a tied up bison
or modern already shot hollow tip bullet on a string –
(on display)
(on a string) –
like teeth-
like teeth
pulled or not
always there
like my organs
my heart
like teeth

Back (Feral Head & Tarpan Dreams)

this is another poem waking up
the dream the other poem forgot

upon waking ,all my thoughts were bird calls
couldn’t tell if they were from whistles or had really happened
most of me lays dead so it seems it was the hunter
or was it only my dreams
i wake up in a half cut tree  on a limb off a brain stem
couldn’t taste my simple fruit or sweet gum
called myself numb
stood in line to get pinched 
still couldn’t tell i was dreaming
most times waking up i can taste the whole world at once
goes right through me  like beauty or chain(ed) food  too big to hold
i’m only the filter
in a salty fish tank
full of dreaming horses not concerned about birds
the worms stuck left in me swallow too much eating themselves out of the morning
upon waking all my memories were heavy sacks of cotton
(were overweight on a treadmill)
were buzzards on their way to cages
were sitting ducks in an air current or jet engine’s ingestion
were on bird strike
didn’t know if it was a dream 
couldn’t tell if they were supposed to have their feathers on
wanted higher skies and trees and fruit they could taste with no tongue holding their nose
waking up i was stuck out like a dead but still sharp bent upward ingrown house nail
where i hold together my head i’m caught on all the sewn together moments at once
swelling and panting like cheap blinds looking outward on the carved block exhaling (inward)
it breathes in like the street vendors opening their meat coolers only for seconds
never vending within 20 feet of a dream
upon waking ,all my thoughts were bird calls
couldn’t tell if they were from whistles or had really happened
most of me lays dead so it seems it was the hunter
or was it only my dreams
i wake up in naturally fallen tree  on my own limb  trying to believe my eyes
couldn’t feel my fruit or tongue   only heart and head
thumping  like an axe on the dream
this is the root or seed
this is the root or seed
(chopped down to build houses for land birds  or was it the rotting fruit buried underneath 
or was it the seeds to create poem metal  or new feathers  like a thousand tongues on one (new flavor) dream
on a stick like an ingrown tree
all its birds ,from hawks to bought house ducks stuck up a dream )
(the dream )
(this is the root or seed)
(this is the root or seed)

To Back (Feral Real)

they cut along the edge of the counted upon like an orange from a fridge- yellow and red said in short or slang
we wore our handcuffs on the top of our heads  it was drawl for who known it or who needs an astronaut (to know we're) in space
we were in spaces  in between lines  part of the page  waiting for words to describe the ineffable
the white to know something else is blue  the black of knowing it all  (blind)  tear gassed  tripped over the pot of gold  it was in
their eyes on a search team for themselves  they cut along the (discipline)must-wait like hidden gift paper  like an apple from the neighbor’s tree
because you know it’s all yours  red is in the sun  no short or slang to stand for it  they wore their heads cuffed like pants in a flood
wet money and in debt  red blue green and yellow  too much color  they couldn’t see the tv  didn’t really need to  it’s like the food you’re eating
we chewed the hand-out  fed up and talking about it  the cut wasn’t made with a knife nor anything sharp
our oranges slit themselves open for us  already come mixed with yellow and red  we each wait in our own fridge  pricing our own toe-tags
gnawing on the beauty  don’t know what we’re eating  digested as sinkhole , as depression  blue and black said in shorts or a skirt
from her eyes to the ground  they cut the wool out of the heard it from the rest of them  all wanted to be shepards  heard it from the sleep
and the wind through the fences  and every one counting in their dreams  and every one counting on their dreams
and we never hear them cut us open in the echo of the room  never hear the echo of ourselves  the way it is  sawing on the corner in a room
down to the next morning  obtuse (pointless and round)  cuts along the edge of a forgotten dream like canned sun or jarred half moons in oil
always knows it’s own ingredients  can recite the yellow teeth on the dream grinding away (its way back home)
if your leash was time  if time didn’t exist outside of counting it  outside of counting on it
the ceo shouts cut over the line of plywood props and filed down extras
they cut for the door like skips on a dvd  like sun through the trees  like leaving in slang
like a short way to say goodbye   asking for their money   (their paycheck  - their cut)


a cut in half bomb
with its rings being examined
is chopped down
to make paper and thousands of last pages (blank)
a blooming ideology blinks
each blade of green grass wild on her plains -
a weighted trigger  which takes some seventy years to pull
i cut my hand trying to rip up a marigold
(she was the lip of the impact (of the quiver) waiting for a bandaid)
a patch of humans between a sidewalk and a building
being fertilized and fed in a fenced in section of their head
standing on their morals
a (dreamless) bird standing on its head
maybe we’re like ostrich and other bird which can’t use its wings (or wick)
wind in a bag
a black-eyed summer sky in a basement tied to a pipe and a beam
rolling like a picture wheel
like a universe in a jar
(like a bomb on a highway)
his piano was heavy and moving
…and on a slope

Part B (hidden poem) :
broke flying kneed down hawk preying on food church trying to trade or sell the rings around my eyes (to those who already
have em) pawned my chain they wouldn’t take the ball in my throat circling like hawk(up) back down into its drain
pinball stomach sinks for eyes i stole the scrap metal and pricey-copper out on my head down to its piping and bone to
get(thru)the security check (pawned the reward out on my head for the bullets to collect myself) sublet my skull for a corner
to sleep in (sold every door for more wall) killed the content for more room in the belt (less things to trade with the indians)
i sat somewhere in my electricity like the last great brown-out watching the stars change color the culture dive in (the ideology
slowly losing its breathe) black-lung-lincoln-greened-shadow-mint-breathing down my neck  shirt tag wearing tracked bird
broke flying beak down crow perched on its caw  an arched roo f two ways to wake from a bed of eaten flowers  dear eaten
words dear eaten words sit on the outer edge of my licked mouth like stamps with out enough ink(to write) or postage(to
send), cents in my clattering tongue hung from my mouth like a shirt pocket  busted wallet on my heart  consignment dreams
on lay away  day sleeps through the awake fake sleeping giant in the schedule booked solid (hard) indefinite sentence never
ending stalk bow down and cursor through the dollar bill beak down in the mud of what it’s trying to say  i’m saying i’m broke
yolk (panned head) still trying to run from its center (like blood) cooked flightless kneed down buffalo wing roamed to church
sweating bbqsauce pawned my castle ,my goat’s favorite dreams -ahead acres worth of popped pills and medical fields green
as money picked with white gloves (churned to margarine) (i can’t believe its not money) broken dove down into a pigeon to
pick from the bread crust falling out of the bags around some-one’s torn open eyes -a self storage garage - looted  wiped the
kneed down scabbing dream from my flowery eyes then traded them both in for (their) rings to spin like the rest of the debris
in orbit around someone else’s hawked up(in)ward eyes  stolen planet  i’m the pawned moon  only half 14carrot tonight the rest
is fool’s gold and ice-belt cap-guns ,embalmed money and passed on coin like language like eye-holster ,like perspective -the
currency lost in any given exchange ,our body language was a mistranslated poem  he stood there holding his eye lids like
where to stand in the bus-stop line i rode free flying kneed down pigeon-colored-dove praying on scraps of bread  my money
has preservatives  my stomach has the morning  hawked it for lunch money (my alcohol has its yeast) (hawked its risen up
nickled and dime problems up (like still bouncing checks) pawned my overdraft head for my next- space on the board -i stayed
as darkmatter -the one who said less ,we all never stopped looking at the last square but avoided endings but avoiding ending
like page torn books and life-sentences  avoided endings like tracked birds like missing hyperlinks like lazarus taxa- dollar for
being spent cross eyed and been been pennied 5 cent worth of times  worth of eyes, ears, knows, touching my tongue,  pen to
the plowed out backwoods -avoiding end in paper and bookshelves avoiding end like broke past not working  like gliders -
flying tow on the closest dove down into the foot of debt -avoiding end like parachute umbrella too big to fall giant on the
camera stalk  bottom line’s the sky -avoiding end like caught in the wind risky bird wings on a payment plan without end like
nothing  without end like nothing really is or can be too big to fall too big to end
kneed down bread

Fog Belt        (empty lot songs) (new field songs)

we saw brick on top of brick
never realized the building we were building
we took turns working the door
the revolving hackbut
the musical saw
someone had to keep their foot in
i felt like the pepper-box in a stick up
wearing my own stock and bonds (as mask)
they all took too long to reload
holding up their own tropes
it was owed money first
and obvious questions last
never a full stop
we stood handing out street signs to each other
no one had a dead end
everyone folded with boats
and started holding up banks
we were all drought
or drowning river cards
ordered onto rocks
we each wore a war president's mask
the right amount of sun or overcast over our face
slandering our bricks
i don't gamble nor breath
only gasp and gulp in this overdrawn gulf
i buy gloves and someone to kill without looking
she held me up
(with) her eyes half closed
i felt like an emptied register
setting precedence
every president's a war president
(every mask an extension of (or outlet out of (and back into) ourselves)
we hold up banks each time we deposit a paycheck
stilts on the house over owned land
well known to flood over
we floated like anchors
only for second
in what we were able to see
brick on top of brick
(we curse the high-card)
(please) blow a hole through my next breath
put plumbing in my waste
build me a door i can lock
the walls we build around nothing
the walls we build around nothing
my fort was myself
all elaborate parapet
the West Bank's very first wall
he wore pilaster crown molding
trying not to turn blue in the antique chair
i snort my dust
hand a bump to the (right) lane next to me
everything was worth slowing down for
but instead we chose to crash
i took the floor
let him hold down the couch
it was gravity this culture
weighing us down
some wore it as gold around their necks
others ninetheenth century slave iron or steel
stolen from our outer space
(can one hit dark matter)
stolen from our float
stolen from our floats
drowning in the winning river card
drowning in the bridge over a river now dry enough to walk
i was every flame
every missile bringing us down
and did it
ducked under and down comforter
i hold all of you
in my heaviest arms
loaded into my A-134 gatling gun
every breath too heavy to hold
(every hand too broadway to ever fold)
i don't bluff or gamble
only breath and know one day i won't
(don't buy in or play)  (only check or call)
(don't drink or hunt me down without a chaser)
(i drown first thing each morning)
(buy (steal) your swimfins) (your conga line or slave chain for anchor)
(crippling ourselves crippling the deck)
i know nothing of the game (can you tell)
the parts of me lose even if they don't know they're playing
breaking down the door card
no hand to knock
blown off arms
they knew i only had a candy bar
(or capgun)
i still hold all of you
way down in my throat
(down as far as my heart)
weighing down my throat
every next brick added weight
we sawed till there was nothing to see
(down to the last ring around our ever dotted eye)
(down to the last chip in our (ever shrinking) head)
(and down to the last seen dust of ourselves)
i asked for the vaccuum as my way out 
(had saved seats on a closed line)  (how to kill sticker bushes in your yard)
all the bricks try to breath
can't all at once
the building never knows it touches the sky
even though it was and has always been from the very first brick

(the empty space was garden dirt)
(we dug down into the time in a straight line)

Tuck In My Own Throat

never meant to have regrets

never meant to
never meant to
never meant to
never meant to
never meant to have regrets
never meant to draw on the drawing
never meant to hurt in my battery
never meant to die on the road
never meant to take this exit
never meant to hurt in my glue
never meant to aim with this sun
or shoot with this lemon
never meant to eat it with you
never meant to let it eat me
never meant to have regrets
never meant to smoke the flowers
never meant to bring these clouds
never meant put them on you
never meant to have regrets
never meant to hurt in my glue
never meant to aim with this lemon
never meant to squeeze into this box
never meant to draw the lines
never meant it to be a black box
never meant to go down this sky
never meant to go down in this sky
never meant to have this weather
never meant to paint on the drawing
never meant to hurt in my battery
never meant to die on this road
never meant to blame the car
never meant to take this exit
never meant to drink the paint
never meant to have regrets
never meant to smoke the flowers
never meant to brake the yard
never meant to cloud it with walls
never meant to measure tape my mouth
never meant to hurt in my ceiling
never meant to destroy anything
never meant to hurt you
never meant to

tuck in my own throat

bring me down in a fixed-wing aeroplane
put me back in the water
where they found otis redding

bring me down in a mechanical pigeon
drop me like 3rd world groceries
where i found my missing teeth, hand to take and contact lens

bring me down light like slow-film
(clipped whites and underexposed)
bring me up in a hot air market bubble
no parachute or kite string - just drag
marks around my insight
like tax on what i buy into
flew into the tower i jumped from
like the apple stuck up the loudest tree
(fall with a bow - just what i learned)
bring me up in a bare-soil based orchard
eating my way thru its corn maze
put me back in the cereal
half milk  half tap water
(spoon in each eye)
soggy vision cut thru the yellow number five (to sleep) like (just washed) butter knives
no marks on the throat i held hostage each time i spoke
(the cameras wouldn't allow it) (only indian burns could show) (magic carpet burns on my throat)
bring me down in a crane in midtown
(ontop the court-house they through me underneath) (for an oil change and a pap-smear)
drag me in in induced labor and tongue cuffs like politically correct language working its way up to god
bring me down slow in an about to crash air bus
yanking on my umbilical cord like the cigarette machine’s release lever
(last stop on pass it down)
bring me down in a slow fade out on time like my head buried in the sand and glass
full head of bees buzzing around the honey
stuck in my head like top hit and battered frozen (flour) pancake to the plate -
(factory abused and demographically exploited)
just-married meat in the freezer   ice on our eyes   better for the future 
(hold on our fishing rods  iou on the water (and lake)
bring me down like rain  like bouncing checks in the flood of 1st stage dream
on loans and misdiagnosed voices
moaning in the milking-machines
bring me down like full gulp of say cheese in all color
stuck in my own throat like mad-cow tongue and speech 
tuck in my throat think-impediment joy-stick driven and on a slow decline like cigarette machines

brought down in a dead-asleep-wing pegasus or sphinx
put me back in my own riddle
where if i found anything it was a therapeutic circle

Negative Plus (-/+)

for him
silence was a power tool
turned on
and making its way through
a piece of measured wood
a loud saw
(carrots for the eye)

for him
the wood was another silent house
another quiet car
a way to make the trees make breath for you
a less loud saw
(more going blind in a room full of sunlight
(and diamonds)

for him
constructiveness was
a priest’s telescope
picking out dead stars
like chicken bones from soup

for us
the invisible (and gone off) bombs
were like the morning sun
just another day
for her
it was known the bombs were in silos
and also were like the morning sun
just another day

for her
the silence was a cut-down forest
a missing tree
to scratch her horns or blown out back on
the overweight carry-on
(she felt like)
(the paid-by-the-hour-on-the-meter-(passenger)-bird)
in a sound-proof room

for them
the recommended photo was now the loud saw
up to their ear
like an ocean
talking with a mouth full of plastic

a way to mount a scope on a evolver

a way to mount a scope on a evolver

for him
thinking was a check-point
pulled over
painting on the pallet
patting down every last color
blue wore an extra layer
(is imagined blue the same as actual blue)

for her
blue was yellow and green
mixed up symbols
never just depression 
(anger and introversion)
(or only real fear and false bomb threats)
always another saw to sing

they sang it for us
on high quality photo paper
like pre-finished wood
(using) the used and muffled saw

the last thing we saw
was like silence
about to take place
everything that happened knew before it did
like a coffin farm
washington – an outdated dream
gray wig never aged
(still with its finger up its nose)

for him
inspiration was a corner drug
a cheap photograph
the quiet saw
frozen meat for the
eyes sold like (cheap) diamonds
like his own blood

for him
frenzy was a manual tool
it’s all about the saw
lunch for the eyes
maybe they’ll see it
more than their camera does

100th floor
gloss vision
poly tree
plastic coffin
shallow field
overpopulated dream
where will they bury
our bodies
like water
full of plastic
no plot left
on fiction town
fake dream
(fake dream)
i slept through
the fake dream
i slept through
the fake dream

for me
silence was the water in a sponge
the next flood
like what’s already coming
and came
silence was the alarm clock going
and what we chose to do next

Arriving @ Destination UnLeft

there’s more buffalo on nickel than grass
there’s more plain on today’s fancy than fancy
more buttons on our emotions than shirt
(more headdress on our private(s) thoughts) than scalp
(scalped in a hat for the cameras)
more feathers in our hat than in bird (left to take them from)
more make up than late 
more cover up on our eyes than uncomfortable
trying to fit into this shirt
the city was short sleeves and ring around the collar
was one button and a hundred hands
there’s more fingerprint (of mine) on money than my own thumb (and money that’s not mine)
there’s more identification with value in pictures than having yours taken
more tender than there’s actual arm to give it   there’s more good in doing it without giving
there’s more gold in the teeth of those without money what our gold used to be (literally they used it as receipt for gold)
i change in my teeth for a way to say the next moment  to stay in the next moment
i was always in my place like a drink on tab on the bar reaching my way for another rung for my way around the next moment
there’s more shirt on me than skin  more cover up on my eyes than sleeping with them open  more eyes on my back than the
heads that use them  there’s more wallpapering on my tongue than i can lick  there’s more lick in this pop than i can take
(washington’s last thought is this) capitalism licks itself down like an alley cat that just got out the garbage
we all take from each other equally  throwing the same amount of interest and junk mail on each other’s lawns
lied down like a hair piece in our throats (i cough my neighbor’s best combed hair - my coworker’s most politically correct hair day)
had my sentences braided  words in corn rows  head amaized  needle in the hayride (tire)  the driver in the truck
i crash face first into what i have to say  my eyes were crash test dummies  bored and dashing back and forth
were right up against all they could see  there’s more sponsored vision in donation plates than in telescopes  more stars in my
eyes when i’m asleep than when they’re open (or the opposite) (anytime but 9 to 5)  everything comes in looking for a bargain
- a sail to get the most out of their wind  we could hear those with motors coming a mile away  pockets with propellers   can’t
remember my dreams  can’t remember my dreams  i didn’t just say the same thing  think hard from your wallet 
which cab will bring you home  i hopped the closest white picket fence following a sheep to sleep like it was drink
every glass had a crack  we look for shelter in the missing parts of her as she falls asleep  it was somewhat easy because she
was always sleeping  putting paid workers in her place for a(nother) dream  we all outsourced our emotions  chain reactions on boats
paid for the extra packaging  it was soundproofing and headphones  english is Esperanto (ride the bullshit to heaven)
(every stereophonic way to say it) my feelings multitask  with one hand taping its own mouth shut with the other working the
paper mill (shaking every bills’ hand) (saluting each duck as it goes down) we hid under the closest machine under our own
hatched eggs we still hang from too many yokes in one too many pans  cut the nervous break down for money 
the nearest gold tree down for its rings every planet was a finger  everything pointing at the sun  the myth of profit
she lays eggs without mating  we pull each other from the bone (i started at her grace note)  how many instruments inside one human
how many insights into one view  the closest we come to interaction is change back on gum (sugar pills and) bullets back on
what it is i have to speak) blowing up whatever’s stuck in our head (the explosives sounded like drums) 
let our tallest structures be the measuring stick for beating each other with  be the flash to the camera we remember each
other with (smiles as big as the deficit) is this a complicated joke we laugh at more than think about   which chicken crossed the street 
which walk sign do i fall over to  which store do i buy the prescription  she can’t hear her own desperation  it’s in the
wood that was cut to be rebuilt around her 
none of us hear our ancestors 
hear the (dinosaur computer) eggs we were cracked from

my ear was to the pan
listening for fire
and meat to cook it to
(Speed Levitch riding a bison on ground zero)
i die before i fall off
my saddle in my mouth 
head in holster 
our emotions were equipped with a thousand security cameras and barking dogs
with a workcrew of others to handle our own thoughts 
they carry my food chain as i walk into the cafeteria
competition in the market was like feeling up a stuffed bra 
hand in the meat cutter
eyes on the milk udder 
tissue stuffed int my(pre-cut)eyes 
i used my looking muscle 
well built scarecrow standing head first into the crop  (our flag - a scalp on a stick)
(they cropped out my frown
(put a moon under my factory harvested cow (had over how to pay for dinner)
(crouched over
over my desk)

there is work in silence
we all thought best alone
so we left
out all the details when we would speak
gave back only saw dust no rings
(except on the desk wood holding our drinks)
no buttonwood with its arms out holding money
they cut off my imagination and started counting my rings
we purchased miss liberty
from a cemetery (sold grave rubbings as art)
hawked our eagles for pigeons and crow bars
broke our selves out of broke by buying in
george washington on wall street with his hand on the wall
the only thing to hold
i hold her throat
way down where she once said it
like a chair under me
with a rope around my neck

there’s more get off in going
than there is in coming

unless going is going(coming) back

eyes breathing like olypmic swimmers
(heart racing)
head of would
drowning in my strings

i put on puppets like socks to fall asleep in the lights coming thru the blinds
put on myself in the lights coming up for the next act
eyes like intermission
like holes
like opportunity for new real-estate
i died in chapter eleven
bunny ears and
eyes hanging out
buffalo dead on fresh grass
(every fence - a new dream to think over and out)
(to realize before you hit the back cover)

sleeping on the maps we never used
the highways became markers
for the amount of space we each had
to sleep

i laid there - eyes puddled
hoping to catch fire
hoping there was some oil left in me
a well counting its pennies
trying to cover its eyes

we hit the back cover

(buffalo committing suicide over niagra falls)

(more funerals for the paragraph ending)
the next sorrow starts the same
i made ink for the tears she wanted to cry
but didn’t
for the sake of the flood
we all knew was a mirage
but made summer boats and inner tubes for
the alarm clock on the bed was a gun
was a three legged sand bag race
we wanted to be a mirage but wasn’t
like the flood
of time and where the water must go
like the space i store my sorrow
(like a storm sewer or gut icicle)

we feast on free soup and beds
sharing each other’s measuring spoons
comparing each other’s volume
i speak so hollow i hold mountains on every side
i mumble so low i hold suburban sprawl in my emaciated gut (as if a valley)
all my emotions were inverted fat
every organ made fun of the next
my brain sucked itself in
feet thrown up

sleeping on the maps we never used
the highways became markers
for the amount of space we each had
to sleep in

i make of the day a pile of bones and skin
only sleeping in the fat
my dreams peel off like tired fruit full of flies
rotting from the branch
like money in a bank
burning my rubber eyes right in the middle of the street -
a beaten piano kicks down the door waving a grace-note
i curled up in a knot
a ball of cello string
and had someone kick me down
into the morning

alive his grandmother wants to die
no one knows how to say it
lacks the language
ate it all for snack
his eyes were crumbs at the bottom of a bag
blind rope in the sky against the (window) screen
doesn’t know where to put the apostrophe
the invasion wasn’t a sacrifice
we liked it up our eyes
they knew it
and sold us more
i hope to reincarnate as a misunderstood sentence

as the house fire as it reaches the top of my head
i jump out my intestines
never stop rolling
through the day

(dropped off at the morning like (a still-playing) stolen tv on a doorstep)

(the morning will wake me, newspaper and old logs
barely lit afire
burning down the day)

Long Ride Home

i drive myself away to confront myself
my coffin in the passenger seat
a mansion’s worth of hallways in my thought out
a mirror’s worth of glass in my tire-d eyes
clunking as they roll out of the reflection
back to me like change
cut in half nickel and dime sense of self
went to the wrong bank
to watch myself keep my head above water
headed out lost like point blank
tossed coin language  beats the well out of me
tongue hanging out like a bucket on a rope
the rain was small talk (the window let every word bounce off it)
the season coming had its chest out like tools 
hacksaw for the sun
thumbtack and staple for the four months of coming overcast
(my feelings jet-lagged still stuck somewhere in the psycho-tropics)
(fell asleep with) my head on the space heater )
pillows tied to each ankle
i skip sleep over the ocean i build between us
gasping in the see-n it with my own(ed) two I’s
they were like let loose doves or homing pigeon over bread crumbs
each with a (different) letter in its mouth
one with a camera to its chest (like dynamite)
like paperweights to its memory
bricks for each foot-print
a jet tied to our leg
eye like runny egg
the hold on me like yoke
like anchors
being dropped into the expression on my face -
no wake zone (only buried bodies)
lengthy books and rope around my throat buried my cough
i never held my breath (under anyone)
there’s a wa(i)ste for every gun
we all fed from  like birdfeeders
the utter we’re stuck with in our mouth
the last saddle on my hoarse voice
the boot(up) stood foot down
tapping to the beat
chewing the straw on my back
last(sucked down)drink’s on me
comes out of my empty pocket
like copper-greened ghosts
like haunted bank owned homes
like(digging in your pocket for) china lint
balled up in the dust on a downward spiral
a (talking)stuffed human that just sits in place -
like a cold war bomb
like an off topic -
i take the road on ice
away from my self
to confront my self
my coughed up eyes in the passenger seat
(can’t see the mirrors right)
i choke without sound (or (cl)kick-backs)
the plane out was the lion of the sky
we couldn’t hear each other changing the subject over it roaring
day was the caterpillar still waiting to moth
a year from now was the censor light we couldn’t even get through
of the private property we claim
like future
like claims
night was the slug of the dull(ing)
hope was the hidden mine
the button that had to be pressed to keep the bomb from going off
of the going off
the going off was the meat
the dinner we chased off a cliff
we couldn’t then climb down
blot in my breeding pen
a coup in my (already overthrown) mouth
i threw it around
like flowers and dough
like food money
like blood from a cut up wallet
(down to its drizzle and drowning splash)

(we drove in different directions)
every idea was extra light pollution
another exhausted foot
stomping out the fire in my eyes
for every spark plug
a flat tire
another swing
on someone’s tree
another yard to mow
another photo to crop
i drive myself down my throat
to speak from the top of my head
long ride home

(my blame blames itself ) (everything sorry puts its weapon down) (i dropped my tools on my foot) (my anchor in my mouth)
(they watched me wash up on the beach) (jumping in place in its place like a hammer on the bent nail i attempt to push into
place - on line at the dhs  pen on line in a mission with its empty sugar bowl and pointed spoon  pull through in line at a throw
me a line  hook in line at a life raft give-away - i went there looking for water or for air to fill my float (s) ) (-we ended up using
its rocks for skipping over shots of whiskey whisking me away (in the ritual) (never skipping a shot of whiskey) (whisking me
away with the barley  the feed crop cooking itself room temperature for swallow in a pot it’s all in) (eyes in my face like poker
chips  tongue in my mouth like fireplace- poker  words like cut logs -the bones of what i wanted to say(stay stored ina museum
in my head) wired shut (together) out of place - my right foot forward backward in my mouth -my tongue on my hand -
supposed to lick every shake like a blender dancing to the refrain  fruit in the wind fruit in the wind  hopefully there’s fruit on you
my words fell out of the wide blue wind in my eyes  my head jumped out in front of me  slipped in the fruit that fell from you
(drove myself into the stationary tree -my drive -the high-beams blanking out each shooting star) every idea was extra light pollution
another exhausted foot stomping out the fire in my eyes  they start rubbing themselves together the way money mates
a bomb broke out on the (oily) face of my next occupied day  black me out  bills in the red  let them bleed for me  the blood is
driven out of me like highways (a mansion’s worth of polluted heir looms hacks up through my liquid filled lungs with wind ,in it
,moth and dead unsaid hawk coming up out of its coffin) i drive myself down my throat to speak from the top of my head (a
railroad map) (tracking out the sequence of words) (laid out) (on their backing) (ranting toward the source) (drinking from my
blurry glasses) (seeing from my drinking glass glass in my mountain blasted eye) (most of me hides in the fog at the bottom)
(of the (heavily breathed in) glass)

happiness had a gone off gun
time had a fat waste it got burnt into
all the anxiety kept smoking tucked away
loneliness was an antique cannon (that had to be dragged)  (with)no order(s)
the fleeting was a shot to the chest
every next private beat in order
with its’ hyper-perfect scars
marching toward the fire
missing you has a weapon that has yet to be made
(every second a new science lab creating the next)
time (also no orders) has a bomb with a trick candle wick and a debt to every next sky (also no orders)
(we’re always with each other) (somewhere in time)

now that comfort was the debris
falling everywhere around us
loneliness was a used ammo bag
for empty shells (and ash dropping out of wind)
certainty was the sand and what’s buried beneath it
(the thought of tomorrow was the gold-detector) (or unloaded shotgun)
(stomach full as an hourglass)
(tomorrow was just the battery pack)
(or only the saw)
(or only the glass)
(to see it through)
(to see it through) (to see it through)


Interview w/ Brad by Alice Tragedy from TheFourOhFive .COM & Art Star blog (2010):


Brad Hamers is a visionary man; he creates beautiful and nostalgic atmospheres out of nowhere, sometimes inspired by literature, harsh words and images of a daily life interlaced with surreal images. His debut solo album was one of the first hip-hop works I got hooked to, listening to it from beginning to end in loops. I managed to catch him in-between sessions  (a short interview which turned into a long, long conversation) to ask him about his influences, art, society and of course his new album, due for release on Token Recluse Recordings this spring.

What music / scene did you grow up with?

My first true love was hip hop, beginning circa 1991, although we are now divorced – but of course her name is still tattooed all over me. I left her around 2001 although I started to move my things out a bit earlier. I also left some part of me there with her – sometimes she follows me around claiming I took her shit, but for the most part we are pretty disconnected now and rarely see each other. I guess I seriously began writing “poetry” around 1996 and became involved with the slam scene in NYC around 1999, through the Nuyorican Poet’s Café. There I met good folk like Celena Glenn, Greg Purnell, and Ainsley Burrows, who published my first book through his small press BurrowsInk in 2000. I pretty much stopped slamming around 2002, maybe even late 2001 and shortly after I started recording music with Slomoshun as Phlegm. (I did record a couple of pretty terrible raps songs when I was still in high school, around 1998, but Phlegm is pretty much where the music-making began.)

It’s been almost five years since „The Cut-Ups of a Paper Woman“, which came out 2005 if I’m not mistaken. What have you been doing since?

Yes, the Cut-Ups album came out early 2005. As far as what I’ve been doing since… Well…

A whole lot of writing… always writing… a bunch of collaging… a lot of leaving… a lot of arriving… Much music making, interacting… Not interacting enough… Mythologizing… Falling into debt, loving, criticizing, dreaming, and forgetting…

I’ve moved back and forth between New York and Portland, Oregon three times in the last three years (2006-2009) …there’s been a lot of flailing, a lot of figuring out, a lot of fingers on buttons and open flames. PZ (Big Pauper) and I started molding the Sloth around 2005, attaching its eyes and nose and head around 2006. He moved to Portland some months before I did; when I arrived we continued Slothing it… I also then put together and released my spoken word album Ligature. Around that time, Big Pauper and I released a 7-inch single for School Play from a Cloud’s Left Lung and also a free online LP: Two Ton Sloth Loves Broadcast. We toured a bit of Europe in 2007, made some tour CDs and one of a kind art/poetry books called Only Children for the tour and the shows following. In 2007, we also shot a video on 16mm, which has yet to be released in full. Then upon arriving home from tour in January 2008 we finally released our debut full-length LP Two Ton Sloth.

During the course of that entire time period (since 2006, just before moving to Portland) I began working on my new solo album Post No Dreams. It started as a handful of keyboard (and drum) sketches when I first started playing the keys and I’ve been slowly working on it since… A lot of time was focused on the Sloth and freaking out upon arriving in Portland… So really, much of the solo album has been assembled in 2008/2009 and I am very near completion and feel very good about this project, it is definitely the most coherent thing I’ve done, musically at least, and lyrically for me as well. I also finished another book a couple of years ago called Brand Name Yachay but haven’t yet shopped it around for publishing. I’ve been recording songs for Communiqués here and there for the last couple of years, that will most likely come out for free sometime around the release of Post No Dreams on Token Recluse Recordings. I’ve recently started a couple of blogs as well, Heck Horse Zero for my own writing, art and audio, and much of my time over these last few years, the last decade really, has been spent with and working with The New Police – a collective of artists and friends (family).

Yeah, I’ve seen some of your collages at the blog. I like them a lot, I think they reflect your lyrics and writing very much. Can you tell me a bit more about the new album? Where was it recorded, and it what way do you feel it evolved from Cut-Ups..?

Yeah, collaging has become another healthy activity for me. It is definitely a good outlet for expressing myself and I find it very similar to writing, it’s all about assembling images and establishing meaning. The keyboard/piano also became a powerful tool for me to express myself with, that first happened in the Spring of 2006 and that’s really when my new solo project began. I was living in New York at the time (same apartment the Cut-Ups album was created in and much of the self titled Sloth album) – I wrote the keyboard parts for 5 out of the 13 songs for Post No Dreams in the months before moving across the country to Portland. some of the lyrics were written during that time as well. The first year in Portland was pretty much all time spent on Two Ton Sloth, while working on some of the solo songs here and there, so I’d say in the beginning of 2008 I really started putting in work on my album; then of course there was another hiatus when I moved back to NYC. I didn’t have a permanent residence, so no place to set up my studio and mess with music; instead I was working on a lot of art and writing for the album and other projects, and then when I returned to Portland about 6 months later I set up shop and really, really got down.

Most songs were conceived out of an unshaven and woolly keyboard with its heavy heart caught in an amplifier, rotted and humming, and recorded onto a computer from the last ice age with buboes, layered with shit-drums and cassette fuzz… Almost all of the album’s 13 tracks evolved out of keyboard parts that have been getting thrown around over the last 3 years and then grew new body parts and extra clothes from there… It is sooty and astral… It is lo-fi and fizzes… It is for the pensive and headsick, for the sleepless and the sleeping, for the mythless and the mixed up…

For me the album occupies an entirely different space than Cut-Ups – and so do I. The entire creation process and inspiration for it was much different. The Cut-Ups of a Paper Woman was almost entirely made on an MPC2000xl and then dumped onto a Roland 16track. The new album is much less sample-based (I don’t think there are really any loops) and other than all the drums and percussive noises, the MPC wasn’t used much; whereas cut-ups was mostly all samples and was entirely sequenced on the MPC. Post No Dreams utilizes more live instrumentation and everything was recorded into AcidPro on a shitty computer (much of it through shitty tape first) – I guess I could say this album is also much less hip-hop to me (a friend of mine calls it ‘ghost-hop’). [laughs]
The writing is also very different – thematically – for sure.

You’re a bit more ‘active’ on the internet these days, but a few years ago it was close to impossible finding out much about you. In what ways do you feel the internet is important (or not) for your music, in terms of promotion, distribution, but also social networking?

The internet has become as important as having a nervous system it seems… I’d be out of touch, even with myself,  without it. These days that same importance applies to attempting to get one’s music out and into the world, but its trajectory stretches much further than – although returning directly back to – music. In my opinion, the internet/computer, the point to which technology in general has evolved, is as important a step or “discovery” as fire or the alphabet for humans. The implications it has on our ability to transmit… receive… store, photocopy, and process information, and the way in which we apprehend and value that information itself and what it means to us is huge… Extremely profound. All the implications  that has on our value system, our culture, our art and mythology (by mythology, I mean the narratives we tell ourselves in order to relate to/and find meaning in the world around us and that we are a part of, and of course the effects it has on the persons themselves trying to speak those narratives)… As a result, communication is shifting, language is shifting, hence symbol and meaning are shifting… The human (psychologically at least) is not what he/she once was, even just 50 years ago… And declaring it as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is besides the point I think.
..but back to music; technology has and still is completely changing the face of the music industry…maybe even removing (or replacing) some of its body parts all together. And this becomes hard to pin down as being absolutely good or absolutely bad, it has its positive and negative results. When I first began releasing music it was around the time Napster started. The internet has helped me network and book tours, get my music out there, but then again almost no one is paying for that music anymore. Most of me says, “fuck money and the way it plays music”… Money has nothing to do with the impulse or the reason I create any art, although this badge, this precept or battle cry may eventually kill me… but what won’t? (rightfully and handsomely so)

I’m very, very curious to hear in what way the new album is shifting – I always referred to your music as ‘melancholic hip-hop’ because that’s what it felt like to me. And if you say the word “ghost” I immediately had to think of the samples in “Cut-Ups”.. It’s Bukowski, right? Does literature play a big part as inspiration for your music?

yes, I did use an excerpt of Bukowski for a track on Cut-Ups. There’s also some lines sampled from an audio book of “White Noise” by Don Delillo in one of those songs as well. I would say ‘melancholic’ is still an accurate word to associate with the new album, and like all of my music I feel Post No Dreams is meant to be listened to while alone.. in headphones.. and most importantly while reading along..
Literature does play a part in my music in the sense that it revolves heavily around the lyrics.. I was writing before I was making music; I was first drawn to music when I was young because of the lyrics and I would say all of my art is inspired by writers and writing (language in general) just as much as it is by music and other musicians.

As you said, “fuck money”. I think a lot of artists who truly believe in and love what they do feel the same way these days. To what extent do you think it’s possible today for an artist or a musician to make a living with music and art while still sticking to his/her ideals?

Artists are and have always been the ones who write the new myths, who inspire and offer new or different perspectives and ways to see, relate to, and experience the world. “God is dead”, myth is dead, the American dream is really a coma. This system smothers creativity (which is inherent in all of us). Capitalism inevitably turns everything into a commodity – even life/death itself. When expression, art and even the artist himself, become a commodity, myth becomes commodity. And than must eat itself, for sustenance, until of course there’s nothing left. Which is exactly the way our money functions; literally created out of thin air, out of the void of itself: money is debt. When our dollar literally equates to nothing  by design, what then becomes of our values? Our culture can no longer reciprocate anything meaningful back to us so we chew on our Barbie’s legs pouring placebo sugar pills in our coffees, wearing our outsourced shirts like slightly too big smiles, shedding our imagination in the name of natural selection. I will allow this culture to kill me before I allow it to completely destroy and remove my ‘animal’, my wonderment and creativity. Every fiber of my spirit refuses to do more of someone else’s work than my own in order to survive, slaving myself out for money (shelter and food).

I heard someone once quote Harriet Tubman: “when she was asked how she managed to save hundreds of slaves during the Civil War, she replied bitterly, ‘I could have saved thousands – if only I’d been able to convince them they were slaves.’ ” in the grand sense, we work for the system ‘making’ – packaging and selling the products we need to survive and then buy those products straight back from them with the money earned working for them, helping them get more money in the process. Buying products to express our emotions, to find and use our own voices in the world, in the new global community, where myth struggles to be effective in such a large population and dominated by the “free market” capitalist system. If every single debt was to be paid off in this country, there would be no money left at all. So the idea of charging interest on debt is kind of outrageous, being that it’s money that literally doesn’t exist within the available currency; and that doesn’t mean you or I can’t get that money but it means that if we do we are always taking it from someone else. The system depends on the imbalance, it also depends on more and more useless products to be manufactured, bought and sold, and our ever-growing interest in them. There isn’t enough American Dream to go around, not everyone can achieve their true aspirations today but everyone must work to survive, to perpetuate the system, or else it will collapse. Without the 10th strip mall on the same block, most of us wouldn’t have jobs, meaning food and housing at the minimum and of course money to buy the next Madonna’s-fallen-out-pubic-hair, or a high quality picture of it at least. The current system discourages creativity from an early age and provides no outlet for the energy most people carry and have building up inside. Its only outlet is in distraction, delusion, or a pill bottle…

So can an artist (or anyone for that matter) maintain his or her ideals while living  within the current system? Some think they can. Some claim they do. Some may actually do it… But I believe most of us are lost, at least with regards to that… What are ideals in a culture whose ideology functions like sugarless sugar? …Or like Žižek says: a chocolate laxative. We endlessly consume emptiness. “freedom is slavery”, war is big business, suicide bombing is peace, Obama is hope, sacrifice is justice, reality is hacked. Dreams are only taxing, dreams are only tax on citizenship. Sticking to our ideals while attempting to survive within this system is almost an oxymoron, unless you truly believe you can change it from the inside out. As for myself, I have faith in the protracted suicide which is already taking place – naturally. It will eat itself and my palette will enjoy every last second and every last taste of it – without any bitterness. I think it is important to say that although this system, this culture characteristically and artlessly destroys creativity and the artist’s ability to function as such within it, reduced to making ads for the companies selling back that very same culture which is destroying it in the first place or tap dancing in a mask of their own face for their white bread, it is the artistic spirit, the artists themselves who will create and provide the revelation for the New. So I celebrate artists who desecrate and reject the contemporary conventions and the value system it runs on; it needs to be broken down…

This said… In one of my favorite movies (Ghost World) one of the main characters says, „I can’t relate to 99% of humanity“. Looking at the youth of today, do you feel a similar way?

I’m not sure… I think it is possible to relate to more than 1%… I think we are all capable of communicating with each other, but breaking through the compounded layers of tint and posture, of political stripe and ignorance, is what’s hard. Becoming untrained to see past your own eyes…
However, there are many different ways and mediums by which to communicate an idea or feeling, and I believe relating to others is what living is all about. So I don’t want to (potentially) hinder myself by saying cut and dry that I can’t relate to 99% of humanity, although I can completely understand the place the statement comes from, and I do still consider the question worth looking at. It may be all of humanity that feels this way… Maybe because what it means to be human today is changing and has already changed; humanity can’t relate to itself. I think that’s what we are really talking about, most of us don’t even know we are living and rarely feel that we are actually alive… I think it’s best summed up with a quote from Joseph Campbell: “With the end, that is to say, of the mythological age, the mythological age did not actually end. It retired behind the screen of time and space. And there are those who can penetrate that screen and break into that timeless zone.”

I guess the only way to live is to actually relate yourself to others, even when you can’t seem to find any common ground. That works for me. And speaking of others, who are the most important people in your life?

All those who consider themselves New Police…

I’ve been wondering about this for a while. What does the tattoo on the inside of your right arm mean?

That’s my first tattoo, it’s over ten years old. It is a question mark with a single jig-saw puzzle piece substituted for the dot. I saw it as the most suitable symbol to brandish myself with at the time, and still do, I guess. It represents wonderment. Critical thinking. Questioning, science, myth, creativity. The question mark is definitely my favorite symbol and piece of punctuation. The question mark is a mark which replaces the ‘full stop’. It makes every sentence (every attempt at summing up the present tense) go on forever…

All Photos courtesy of Big Pauper, collage by Brad Hamers