The Decemberists Premiere 'Infinite Jest'-Inspired Video: Watch
If you haven't managed to make it through all 1,079 pages of David Foster Wallace's 1996 opus "Infinite Jest," The Decemberists' new video may serve a kernel of inspiration for your readings. In the Oregon folk-rockers' new video for "Calamity Song" (off "The King is Dead"), they teamed with "Parks and Recreation" co-creator Michael Schur to recreate a crucial moment of "Infinite Jest." Watch below.
Colin Meloy and co. took their R.E.M.-leaning track to an unexpected place in the subtly humorous clip, portraying a thermonuclear crisis via a teenager tennis match, in which the band serves as passionate spectators. Wait, what?
Meloy explains to the NPR: "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 re-creation of the Enfield Tennis Academy's round of Eschaton -- basically, a global thermonuclear crisis re-created on a tennis court -- that's played about a third of the way into the book."
The Decemberists frontman also tells the New York Times that, not surprisingly, some label folks at Capitol and prospective directors "were like, 'I have no idea how you could possibly turn this into a music video.'"
Colin Meloy: Dare to doubt him... and dare to be wrong.