Watch: The Decemberists’ new video, a tribute to David Foster Wallace

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The Decemberists have always been an easy band to poke fun at. Their overly wordy, hyper-literate anachro-rock has been circulating through white-people circles for several years, and their earnest embrace of all things nerd has been one of their biggest selling points.

That said, making a music video ("Calamity Song") that illustrates a game of Eschaton, the tennis-as-mass-global-destruction game detailed in David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest, might be approaching critical nerd mass. It's so faithfully represented and enacted and so specific that it threatens to collapse under the weight of its own nerdiness. Smaller works of nerd art are in orbit around it.

Anyway, it's actually really great. Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy:

"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. 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."

So, to recap: super-nerdy, super-awesome.