It’s the end of the world as we know it and we’re really not fine. In the video for “Calamity Song,” The Decemberists wear their influences on their sweatered sleeves.
The clip, directed by “Parks & Recreation” co-creator Michael Schur and shot in Portland, Ore., was inspired by the late David Foster Wallace’s 1996 novel “Infinite Jest.” I haven’t read the epic tome, so some of the references skated right past me like the tennis balls in the video, but I could definitely get the gist.
[More after the jump...]
Parents gather to watch their teen-aged kids play tennis (on what we’re presuming is the Enfield Tennis Academy from the book), but this is no mere tennis match, my friends. Their games are literally leading to our nuclear destruction as the yellow tennis balls, which stand in for 5 mega ton missiles, land on various sites. Rain begins to fall and the linesman hopes for a cease fire, but being the warmongering people that we are, peace talks fail. All it takes is one bad apple to bring about global wrath, apparently.
Let’s talk about the tune, which the Decemberists' Colin Meloy (who looks rather sporty in his yachtsman cap here) wrote after reading "Infinite Jest," for a minute: the guitar line is a direct descendant from R.E.M.’s “Talk About The Passion,” which is no surprise it is the R.E.M.’s Peter Buck playing on the track. It's the third single from "The King Is Dead," which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 early this year.
What we really want to know is where is Ron Swanson while all this chaos is going down?