Watch a Decemberists Video Inspired by ‘Infinite Jest’


The Decemberists have made their reputation on being indie rock’s most literary band, so we’re hardly surprised that they’ve made a music video inspired by David Foster Wallace. In an interview with NPR, Colin Meloy explained that he wrote The King Is Dead‘s “Calamity Song” after finishing Infinite Jest and realized that Wallace’s singular style of humor had impacted his own writing. With that in mind, Meloy said, “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.” That is exactly what happens in the excellent video below, directed by Parks and Recreation co-creator Michael Schur, who was delighted to participate in the project, telling NPR, “The Decemberists are my favorite band, and Infinite Jest is my favorite book.”