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  • The Decemberists Reveal Video For "Calamity Song"

    Tue, 23 Aug 2011 11:32:41

    The Decemberists Reveal Video For "Calamity Song" - It's the third single from "The King is Dead"

    The Decemberists Photos

    • The Decemberists - BOSTON, MA - MAY 24: Colin Meloy of the indie band The Decemberists performs to a sold out audience of 22,000 fans during a torrential downpour at the 2014 Boston Calling Music Festival at Boston City Hall Plaza on May 24, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.
    • The Decemberists - BOSTON, MA - MAY 24: Colin Meloy of the indie band The Decemberists performs to a sold out audience of 22,000 fans during a torrential downpour at the 2014 Boston Calling Music Festival at Boston City Hall Plaza on May 24, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.
    • The Decemberists - PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 24: Colin Meloy frontman of the indie band the Decemberists performs at the recording of radio show Q With Jian Ghomeshi live at Aladdin Theater on April 24, 2014 in Portland, Oregon.

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    The Decemberists Videos

    • The Decemberists - Cavalry Captain
    • The Decemberists - Why Would I Now? (Audio)

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    The Decemberists have unveiled their latest video for "Calamity Song," a collaboration with director Michael Schur in his music video maiden voyage. Schur is the co-creator of NBC's acclaimed comedy series Parks and Recreation, and has also been a writer for Saturday Night Live and a producer of The Office. Boy do we love his resume, kids!

    The video, which you can view here, was inspired by David Foster Wallace's gargantuan, mind-altering novel Infinite Jest. It was filmed on location in Grant Park in Portland, Oregon on the rainiest July 17 in the city's history.

    The Decemberists' frontman Colin Meloy commented: "I wrote 'Calamity Song' shortly after I'd finished reading David Foster Wallace's epic Infinite Jest. The book didn't so much inspire the song itself, but Wallace's irreverent and brilliant humor definitely wound its way into the thing. And I had this funny idea that a good video for the song would be a recreation of the Enfield Tennis Academy's round of Eschaton—basically, a global thermonuclear crisis recreated on a tennis court—that's played about a third of the way into the book. Thankfully, after having a good many people balk at the idea, I found a kindred spirit in Michael Schur, a man with an even greater enthusiasm for Wallace's work than my own. With much adoration and respect to this seminal, genius book, this is what we've come up with. I can only hope DFW would be proud."

    Director Michael Schur said, "The band's manager contacted me and asked me to direct a video they were planning that referenced a section of the book Infinite Jest. The Decemberists are my favorite band, and Infinite Jest is my favorite book. This was tantamount to telling me I had just won two simultaneous Powerball Lottery jackpots, on my birthday, which was also Christmas. Thus, my response to him was that although I was pretty sure this was an elaborate dream I was having, if it were in fact real, then yes, I would be interested. The production team on Parks and Recreation, many of whom are also big fans, volunteered their time and energy, and we shot the whole thing in one day in Portland. Infinite Jest geeks will hopefully enjoy all of the specific references and small details, but we tried to design it so that those with no knowledge of the book at all would be able to understand and enjoy it as well.

    What did you think of The Decemberists' video for "Calamity Song?"

    —Amy Sciarretto
    08.23.11



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