Who Can Sleep – “The Debris of American Dreams” is available @ Bandcamp.
by Walter Price
As I update this review, a news outlet is sharing videos of Trump’s war-machine inspired 4th of July parade preparations. Are these images what are parents dreamed of when they were raising us, wanting a better world than they knew? People living in the streets, ever increasing gun violence, the continued war on the rights of women, immigrants, religions, sexual identities, and the quagmire that is healthcare. Is this our American Dream?
Socially conscious, Los Angeles based Who Can Sleep has just released an awe-inspiring new video for their track “The Debris of American Dreams”. Directed by the duo’s Lex Helgerson, the film is reminiscent of those optimistically-propagandized films shown in school in eras past. Picture perfect obtainable bliss. Yet, reality often paints an opposing view.
In an email conversation, Helgerson explains, “The song and video were inspired by the film The Deer Hunter, a lot of Bruce Springsteen music, and the writing of Ta-Nehisi Coates. Coates writes of the American Dream, saying, “The Dream is the enemy of all art, courageous thinking, and honest writing.”
“Living as transplants in Los Angeles, Dean [Vivirito] and I grapple with the notion of The American Dream, birthplace and personal identity. We live near the LA river and we struggle to understand how we are failing the tens of thousands of unhoused people in our city and beyond.
“The song is a meditation on our collective values, materialism, waste, and decay. The myth is that exceptionalism is our birthright. As artists, we have a responsibility to challenge our myths.”
As I watch the Lincoln Memorial slowly transform into thoughts of Red Square, I have a feeling we can all challenge ourselves to do better…and perhaps, redefine our mythos.
WHO CAN SLEEP
Dir. Lex Helgerson
Cinematography: Angelia Sciuli
Camera Assistant: Kelly Thompson
Editing: Dean Vivirito and Lex Helgerson
“I’m still amazed by the aero-plane. Living in Virginia I listen for that train. Trees so bare, Marino’s beneath, songs overflow while we drink Yuengling. Waterbeds, motel rooms, collecting quarters and liquid screams, dirty rivers, kids who can’t read, my bluejeans, drive-in movie screens. I’m patching up the debris of American dreams. I’m patching up the debris of American dreams.”