Brad Hamers

Art as a paradigm shifting tactic.

Through Flames

Through Flames
Label: Shrine13
Format: Digital LP
Country: USA
Released: April 2020
Genre: Experimental Sorrow Pop

Album Written and Performed by Brad Hamers & jdaugh
Lyrics and Vocals by Brad Hamers & jdaugh
Recorded and Produced by Brad Hamers
Mixed by Brad Hamers
with additional mixing by Adam Johnson on tracks: 5 & 9
Mastered by Frederic Stader at MusicMattersMastering
Cover Photography by Adam Johnson
Album Design by Brad Hamers & jdaugh
Recorded at Shrine13 Studio, Portland, OR

Through Flames is an experimental sound collaboration borne from exquisite corpses, radical participatory theatre, spoken word, and love. Theirs is art for all those who have burned and all those rising.

A new project created by Brad Hamers, the prolific spoken wordsmxn, poet, musician, performance artist, collage artist and mental gymnast (Dust on Snow, Phlegm, Two Ton Sloth...) and the filmmaker, poet, musician and performance artist, jdaugh.

Each track on the new self-titled LP is the result of a unique writing and vocal experiment resulting in non traditional song structures and unexpected is advisable to read along with the lyrics.



Queen City Sounds and Art .COM (2020):

“Through Flames Deconstructs the Dystopian Late Capitalist Conditioning in the Call and Response Dialectic of “No Clothes on the Warden”

“Brad Hamers and jdaugh bring their respective backgrounds in music, poetry, performance art, visual art and filmmaking to bear for their new project Through Flames. The duo released its debut self-titled LP on Apri 24, 2020 and the single “No Clothes on the Warden” cleverly makes use of the concept of “the emperor has no clothes” to deconstruct the economic and political realities we internalize and take for granted that if we’re able to break our conditioning and see things for how they are the whole thing could crumble in a matter of days or months and maybe we would be forced to simply live in a better world where there’s no techno-plutocratic agenda necessitating a police and surveillance state to smooth the funneling of most public goods to the upper one percent of one percent. In a fascinating use of call and response delivering couplets of observations on society in a way that challenges rote and familiar constructions of thought and language to almost force you to think about what’s being vocalized and in turn examine your ow thinking on the subject of our ascribed roles in the dystopian late capitalist international system that we find ourselves in now and which threatens the existence of us all and the safety of the planet. But rather than torching the edifice of such verbally and musically, Through Flames with this song dismantles the cognitive framework that keeps it in place in your brain in a playful and charming way. The accompanying rhythms, drones and spare melodies make what is a fairly radical set of propositions vis what is now for us the norm much easier to accept and that is what makes for a work of art that might help change things.”


Tome To The Waether Machine .COM (2020) :

“Word of the Day” by Through Flames – a recording project between musician and poet Brad Hamers and filmmaker and performance artist jdaugh – was “borne from exquisite corpses, radical participatory theatre, spoken word, and love in Portland, Oregon.” A multi-part and divergent slice of “Sorrow-Pop”, spoken word poetry, choral arrangements, sound collage and slow-burning dirge-like synthesizer and guitar explorations, “Word of the Day” strains at the corners trying to contain all of this content and all of these ideas flying through the air. The loose narrative thread forms around ideas of vulnerability and safety confronted with the inherent instability of a system at it’s breaking point. Brilliant work.”


Last Day Deaf .COM (2020):

Beyond Boundries Playlist (aiming to feature 10 “out-of-the-box”, outstanding gems!  Not exactly unclassified, but certainly unique and uncommon)
featured Through Flames’ Bombs Remind US of Freedom as track 1 on Playlist #29.

“Welcome to the new dystopia!“


Trip-Hop .NET (2020):

“Through Flames est le nouveau projet musical collaboratif de Brad Hamers, artiste aux talents multiples, poète et musicien de Portland connu aussi sous les noms de ses autres nombreux projets tels que Phlegm, Two Ton Sloth, The New Police, Child of No Nation, et notamment Dust On Snow, dont nous avions découvert l'album You Were Murdered As A Kid.
(paru en 2011 et dont une version re-masteurisée a été publiée sept ans plus tard en 2018).
Il s'est associé sur ce nouveau projet avec Jessica Dhaugherty, alias Jdaugh, écrivaine, poète, créatrice de musique expérimentale et de performances multimédia, aussi productrice et réalisatrice, basée à Portland.

Fruit de cette collaboration, Through Flame, l'album éponyme paraît le 24 avril 2020 :
Ecrit et interprété par Brad Hamers & jdaugh
Paroles et voix de Brad Hamers & jdaugh

"Chaque morceau du nouvel album est le résultat d'une écriture unique et d'une expérience vocale qui donne lieu à des structures de chansons non conventionnelles et à des tournures inhabituelles... il est conseillé de lire les paroles en même temps."



Tool Belt Down

she brings her tool belt down from the highest coma
the pointiest cloud
drags it down like a parachute from a tree
like all day rain
like wet shoes
she brings the Named ladder down last
wiping crosses from her eyes
blowing knows into the flag
the pointiest dreams
wild slugs on a team
nation: gun
made of money
(pooh and turned honey)
(made of) glut and fuck me
he brings his wet pussy down from ivory towers
like storm rain in a house gutter
cums crashed planes like deployed troops
money shot on afghan land
she brings her ideology by a leash
drags it around like fog
like the lightest mountain                             (those only at the ‘top’ can climb)
jog harder
lift those sopping wet socks
with holes
you’re all day rain
you’re (shackle-grade) lead shoes
he brings the iron
she brings the toast
they break the hour glass and eat it
like all day lunch
the pointless-est cloud
drags ya down like a fireman from a tree
like all morning shakes
he gets up gun first
works backwards, draws straight lines with two right feet
she dances in crosses and squares
they weave pipe dreams (and bombs) in and out of her
he steps on her feet
he makes them smaller and sells them to tourists
they dance for each other
the stage half collapsed
eaten and full of itself
tool belt down
aisle pointless
six black sites with mops Now
get your shoes wet
bring the ladder down
wipe your fee(a)t of muddied dreams
they bring their tool belt and horse down last
the dullest of butter knives
the barely a drizzle   (annoying rain(reign) in your face)  
the pointiest cloud
you drag it around like someone else’s balloon you found stuck in ‘your’ tree
she congratulates you and hands you summer
he charges you for it and calls it ‘vacation/holiday’
pay with your broken
pocket guitar punching down nails
pick something to climb and eat fruit from
before they both kill themselves
and we realize they never existed
it was just a downpour in a dream
it was just time
blowing kisses into a rag
it was only life
dragged down like wet toilet paper from a front yard tree

“tool belt down”


Why Can’t I Dream.

My woke trances still my eyes
make dumb my fluid thoughts
arrested in liquid

a floating orb in black water
a flicker of azul
  and numbing like cold
that is warm and blanketless
but all around me

might I peel them open?
but the weight is light and pressing
                                                    and there’s mud
it’s sediment that mushes high-in-bio-nutrient-muddy-in-my-toes
all legs and heads floating

water is air
so I breathe in deep gulps and become my fish

I am afraid of the black, still open-shut open-shut of the abyss
I don’t have to turn for bedsores
but I understand nothing

nothing chases me
and I can’t recall the faces

I am standing in jelly-muck child-hood-river-bed-made-of-fish-shit-and-dead-leaves
in still water
it slides around my ankles sucking through my toes oozes the richness
my feet clap out to walk

Is there a rock at the bottom of the ocean
is there sky
is there an answer there?

does the behemoth swim the deep and make a sound if there’s no human there to hear it?
eardrums on vacation

still yourselves with science
still yourselves.
still yourselves with science
        the ocean thinks it’s sleeping
still yourselves.
still yourselves with science

the immediacy is in the people who are the earth and planets


The Cycle Of

The cycle of
people counting on you
expecting you at nine am
disappointing them by ten
stabbings on the train
or pushings on the tracks
how has it avoided me thus far?
why are we doing here?
how am I possible?

pick the mug out of a line of sinks
miles of hidden bosses   
what cost costs us   
can’t dig up missing
try and find lost   

The cycle of
finding someone for you
to make your life a lucid dream
to keep you from seeing
that you were being raped
and you weren’t supposed to know
how have we avoided it thus far?
why are we doing here?
how am I possible?

the landlord lawyers
hands up
trope first
money slow where i can see ‘em

the loft swings
strange fruit
high suit
trickling down the gutter

like discount blood

The cycle of
loosing pieces of you
they’re bought they’re sold they’re shared they’re spent
until you’re nothing at the end
drownings in the lake
or jumpings on the tracks
how has it avoided me thus far?
why are we doing here?
how am I possible?

you stand out in traffic
(clean) orange cone jammed in your arm

learn the language
don’t speak it
burn(/bomb) the billboard
don’t keep it


Tulip Water

the countryside in me was lonely and idealistic
abandoned rollercoasters stretching out for miles
empty barns and high horses
hearses towing (broke-down) hearses  and smart hurt(s)
verses vs verses  in gun font
numb blunted off dull stunted sullen presumptions

J: (in tandem w/B):
The things i’m told to fear:

Having no job
Bleaching my hair
not birthing before my body is dry
cars on the road
toxic overdosing
holes in my head
violent acts
alternative religion
identity theft
loss of my parents
low income housing
loss of things of value
nursing homes
cesarian section
walking around with a diamond on
self serving behavior
talking too loud
being in a big crowd
getting abducted
getting arrested
getting caught outside too late
sudden loss of faith
speaking against the state
not making enough
hurting my reputation
growing too old
burning the house down

tectonic subduction
ingestion of poison
carbon monoxide poison
polyvinyl chloride poison
liver failure
becoming a burden
forgetting your family
forgetting the stove’s on
burning the house down

B: (in tandem w/ J):
assume was uniform,  rehearsal was for real, 
prop sawed off applause gun, phantom sadness, i feel it even when it’s not there,   
the mess we’ve made, and the broom to sweep us off our feet,
sterile get-up, hygienic slap, bash-ful futility belt, saggy breathe,   
i attempt to let my hog-tied tongue catch the buffet of words always running out of an open field
and into a thicket of open arms and upturned spoons like a tight forest is dark before dusk,
like a meal in a covered plate, i wait, for the woods that sit along the edge of our game like
coaches and players, to call me in     or throw me out

sick get-up

i folded this letter into a paper airplane, a brick from a building, (thru) a window made of bottle glass),
a spitball on fire, a siren to slow down head traffic and echo on through the streets       
the blood was red tape   shit shovel and formal workboot
the sewer in me was ball room    and lonely

we feel these things and are born by them
these stories we tell ourselves
are all the same
floating above body
grasping the edge of reason
reaching for the shadow
we know we fear this moment


Bombs Remind US of Freedom

abbreviate outerspace
operating system
bombs remind us of freedom
these scrolls
at battle with language
the highest roof is the only one talking
what language do they speak
on your behalf
industrial thing

abbreviate outerspace
operating system
bombs remind us of freedom
puking knives
stabbing stars in the back (before they ever burned)
choking planets out,  jacking their rings
putting them in holding cells, black Op-erating theatre
hyper-meta-solipcistic,  deep space none
bombs remind us of freedom
what’s fleeting bursting in air

the bombs bursting in air
making yourself
language gag
violence coming out your mouth,  sing your allegiance
genocide of ourselves
this abandon

abbreviate outerspace
operating system
bombs remind us of freedom

mascots melee in the coloseau
language attends the masquerade
language covers its tracks
trend-genocide & death-sports Sytlin’ on you
upper-management blockades to the bank
(throwing your party-favors at the genocide)
square-box toxic theatre
bombs remind us of freedom
bombs remind us of freedom

making money off of death
each firework bought and sold
(creating borders purchases violence
violence buys borders)
lump culture
it’s not a tumor
we are the cancer
where did you come from

language is sexuality
polarity as weapon
competition between poles
kick in the goal
taught to rape and pillage on the 20 yard line

poor kid on a stormy beach

(intercom gloating)  


No Clothes on the Warden


romanticizing itself

no pretty dresses on kings
no butterscotch on burnt toast
no hot tub of paint
no more imagine
no splashing in revolution minutia  
permit for feeling
permit for staying put

From dirt to dollar   Energy bound
Degradation through trickle down
Nutrition trees exchange everything but nutrient
Eating The Butcher
The Bank Teller
The Sign-Spinner
We need tickets to get in the door
We need tickets to get out of the parking lot

no parking tickets on pretty kings
no olive branch hanging from a bride
big swinging clock
ordering around shadows
no shade in the alone
carsick on preludes  and promised hilltops
no funeral for the overkill
all road kill in the inner State

We are all climbing on broken skin.
Going down the drain
where went to see up rails
to the down who were left
tiny spots on a manufactured map
Inventors invented time.
but it spun before that

no magic carpet over inherited dirt
no swimmable mud
no more beach chair at an idea’s grave
no glowing dead rock or star

romanticize sadness
no more warm campfires around united in struggle
we hurt the same  song
sing it from your pillow feathers and road-tar lungs
no romantic glue
no ceiling-tile nostalgic
horse for sitting still
sing it from outside your own prison walls
no clothes on the warden

Congratulations on your paper juggling skills
They are really coming along
while The Carrier carries for you
The Cleaner cleans
The Driver drives
They eat The Cooker’s cook and have to ask for a spoon.
Human god power
lost in commerce

romanticizing itself
sponge of many smells
grass of plenty greener
gangrene camo on the always-solider
bootlicker of every moon
every song is an attempt
sing it from outside your own prison walls
no clothes on the warden

no more equal



foraging in the banal
scorched earth  hunting
in the pay now
and later
as has it’s come to be
and culture makes and kills me, while
porridging through the next aisle
i’ll detourn, take form and hot tail
i’ll pile high miles upon trial of false scale
broken fish off leash and the chain  and chic kitsch
just out on bail
off the chopping block
still chasing its tail
Auction dreams up to idols,(up to Up), fresh-paint gods, sold retail
crampin in the fatale
ensnared in the right now
caring about about
pillaging in the banal
one love bunting
in the tri-angle
too-hot-a-tubbin’ in a freak out
everything come down to breath out
everything come down to breath out

live is live here or there now
all crickets in the cr-cr-crowd
copyrighted and self endowed
make proud hog and white tree house
dogged tongue over rung climbing mound
drown-ed  doused in do-zy dose and then et out
hot clap proud from the still without
drink quiet and letting it out
the only chair in a very big crowd
dragged out by its legs
screaming in vowels
brushed from the mouth up
ducted in defunct guts and cut loud
downed in how, how the fuck, what now
speak from your guts up and then out
out out out,   out  out  out           , out     out       out

sunbathing on the edge of the drought
big baggy fad on the banal
no sign of rage in the talk of the town
ankles deep in the bequeath in paid sneakers ad sheets to sleep and pass out
all i see is cracks within the cracks, systematic traps within class, our face to the glass,
blurred out,      worked up, waiting for someone else to react,  turn their shirt out
church thrown on laps   
redact life
begin ing,  be  fore  begun,
been gun
main trunk
to Wholesale
every part
let us tear through the veil
worth more before we realize we’re for sale
digi- life raft, floating PC, and self-tale
words as arrow   ,    cursor
have it out
here and now
Sacred cow
way past making a sound
informal-ity , commit to busy, drizzled
down a shitty refrain ,  
Old pain, metastasized game, retain trained,  new day, evolved same,
all blame,  Not here,  not here , (not here)  Not now
Still towing the same noun ,
frown plowing each morning down
swallowed enough to sort it out
Piles upon piles upon
(stacks up (against)
You can count on the banks to always rebound
the butter on the bread is not spread out
Paper Shank, sharp tongue, blood in, teeth out
filing the blade down to breath out
filing a blade down to (just) breath out

repeat easy, speak easel, bob in the sauce and out to luncheonette, we’re all grilled cheese, investigated and dipping in each
other’s loss, spice black out, early dish caught the swarm, stain it all, up in the mourn, always up, even in the mourn,
loss of people is lost form and speak, easy and knowing one’s norm, always only what one’s when’s around,
always only the speak of one’s so-to-speak ‘town’  , where you get your words from is your what’s around,
same goes for coming to  in chains and dogma,   and refrain
you know the side of the bed
(piles of un-dial-ed-in free-styles) and when
then  comes to now
the nightmare you can’t forget about
Reach out , reach out  ,  (reach out) retreat frown

deflect greed, un-plant flip-flops, plastic trunks, plastic tusks
elephant us, dial readjust, tough spastic, hit hard on the 1’s and the throughs
shoes for grave-dancing, should’ve been born a shovel, or a rubber tire on fire, we all wear as shirt,  always getting,  always for  getting,
next window, how hard  , what can (find) us find to throw through it
through flames
through ridiculous rules
and fake sides
take culture
take 5
the prepared supper for hit deck  in swam suit n always drown mute  if one shuns or just bunts instead of home-run, stuck shunned by
sports wand n corporate wants, Fran- size me up, give me a dad, had from the piss pot to not, golden arch, super wise n crappy meal,
how’s the tether? give gas mask n umbrella, fuck shelter, need shelter, fuck seller, need seller , how to stay in this- here shell sir,  all belt,
no pants sir , no sir
it’s all must and stern  on a quicksandwich of who’s turn
fall light
burn slow
show it all
show know
hold no
hold nothing
and all
at once

speakhun-t -er


Woe Rodeo

combing back the farmland with a foster family’s bulldozer pen, with a heart shaped spoon, cutting a bald head with cage bird’s teeth,
up early skimming an inside-out pool for lining, styling the sadness, a plow dressed down, pharmacological blush, on cheek

clinical cowlick, woe rodeo, not your first farm bought

J: B:
(j) the fissures grow
until you cannot leap them anymore
(b) back to the salt mines
(j) when the only way is forward
(b) the wound of the earth
(j) and left behind
(b) hopeless make-up songs bump shadow I
(j) but you fix your hat
(b) finest bulldozer blade to taste
(j) make sure your shirt’s on straight before dying
(b) cutting nothing off a sterile field,
infected pepper
mop mornings into lists

open your throat and let the oil pour in
it’s in your brain
it’s in your brain, it’s in your brain, it’s in your brain, it’s in your brain
it’s in your veins
it’s in your veins, it’s in your veins, it’s in your veins, it’s in your veins
open your throat and let the oil pour in

paralyzed bull-pit, pen bicep, shy podium,      cry hot light and sink head in cold and dead sand,
old time, unrealized eventual,        flashmob morning,
trench oaths, selling old watches, color-in-the-lines time
combing back the armpit, attempting to climb back up my spine, convention’s bedpost,
the hacksaw and handcuff’s dream

J: B:
(j) alligator scales weigh your worth
(b) in the king’s bed
(j) and you dive in after it
(b) clinical dump
(j) did you find it?
(b) prescribed gutters,  down,  bloated scapegoat, fed em nothing but can
(j) it was stolen from you
(b) half in the mass grave
(j) and you give the flag your first born too
(b) thumb-war children of remote-control parents,  and now  parents themselves

combing back the sheets with a mouldboard pen, out of oxen,
with a liver shaped fork, cutting out scars like county road,  
we died in the same place every time
almost written down
halfway couch
bereft of life
white smock and pillow mint
pharmacological kiss, in cheek

J: B:
(j) my oil will get mixed in with yours 
(b) full-blown maids to their own enclaves and when-trails
(j) when the days have buried us all
(b) cameo, not your first taste of whiteout
(j) i won’t have memory then
(b) hopeless high-traffic head
(j) but i live with your memory now
(b) in the morning
combing back the armpit
this is all me talking over myself

open your throat and let the oil pour in
it’s in your brain
it’s in your brain, it’s in your brain, it’s in your brain, it’s in your brain
it’s in your veins
it’s in your veins, it’s in your veins, it’s in your veins, it’s in your veins
open your throat and let the oil pour in


Bad Math (BoozeOnIce)

8 hours to work
3 hours to yourself

we make it ourselves
we make it ourselves

8 hours to work
3 hours to yourself

we make it ourselves
we make it ourselves

and wonder
and wonder why
and wonder why we
and wonder why we are
and wonder why we are all sick

bad math
fake happy
dead eyes


Word of the Day

safe space

she got away by the rubber of her soul
by the hint of something wrong
by the narrow miss of time
they got away by walking deep, not lonely
after losing friends
who only could be themselves at night
he got away by swimming in the sea
by leaving to be free
still swimming

safe space

crowded fire
everyone trying to put themselves out
use by mouth
the doctored order
eyes like crossed borders
turned away raft in my tears
we’re the no light left in the ash
warm snow floating down a tube tv
sitting on the giant’s eggs
fighting for a seat
force rescue
no one here asked for the ropes
lipsyncing freedom        and back to commercial

safe space