Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sixteen Military Wives

For you fans of the Decemberists out there, here's one of their videos I came across:



Stephen Colbert described the Decemberists as "hyper-literate prog rock." I once mentioned that in a loud bar and someone thought I had said "hyper-lyric." It could be true; you would be hard pressed to find another musical act with music so full of rich vocabulary, esoteric allusions, dramatic twists and buckets of pathos. (I think pretty much any of their albums could safely be titled "Love and Death.") One of the fun things about their videos is that they do not content themselves with a few shots of the band playing, interspersed with fairly vague and generic scenes which probably have to do with the lyrical content of the song. No, they usually proceed to tell another story, similar to - but often different from - that told in the song. It is almost as though the song is simply the soundtrack for a film short, rather than the film simply being the image side of a music video. In any case, the result is a highly complex assemblage of instruments and vocals, words and images. Like their music generally, the Decemberists' music videos are probably considerably denser than our usual fare, but I think they are quite worth the added digestion.
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