Just like twins share a kind of psychic connection (according to Sister, Sister), so to did Parks And Rec co-creator Michael Shur and The Decemberists’ front man Colin Meloy experience a mind meld over the concept for the band’s new “Calamity Song” video. Independently both men imagined a cast of tweenlers reenacting a game of Eschaton, the tennis-based reenactment of global nuclear warfare featured in David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest.
“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,” explains Meloy. Says Shur, “The band’s manager, Jason, contacted me through his brother Michael (with whom I went to college) 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,” while finding out he had a secret twin sister after running into her at the mall.