Posts Tagged ‘The Decemberists’

The Early Work of Max Records

Published October 20, 2009 by Graham

Max Records cut his acting teeth on a pair of alt-rock music videos. After dipping his toes in the water with the warm and fuzzy sing along of Cake’s “Guitar Man,” (directed by the lovely Cat Solen), Max’s second role, in a Death Cab for Cutie video, strongly foreshadowed the young thespian’s capability to take on meditative, emotionally challenging roles with a natural grace. Shot in a tin shed on a shoestring budget, Max manages to convey a sense of loneliness and loss in this wordless performance that echoes throughout the atmosphere of the entire video.

Director Aaron Stewart-Anh contributes to Giant Robot and has helmed videos for bands like The Decemberists, The Album Leaf, and Asobi Seksu. He shot the somber, Silent Running-esque “Stable Song” for Directions, an ambitious project in which the filmmaker enlisted 11 directors to create long-form videos based around each track on Death Cab for Cutie’s 2005 album, Plans. Contradicting the conventions of the music video medium, Stewart-Anh’s project permitted the directors an unusual amount of creative freedom—the songs became scores for a series of short stories and visual experiments, rather than products being marketed by throw-away visuals. Originally released in weekly installments through the band’s website, Directions was almost a prelude to the plethora of indie rock experiments in video that would soon be fostered by the explosion of YouTube.

Lance Bangs, who contributed to Directions in the form of a bizarre and hilarious first-person live concert video, asked Stewart-Anh if he knew any kids capable of playing Max, and the rest is history.

Carson Ellis x Her 3 Year Old

Published September 15, 2009 by Graham

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Doleful romance, antiquated daydreams and rococo beasts characterize the lovely work of illustrator Carson Ellis, The Decemberists’ resident artist and wife of frontman Colin Meloy. A flair for the fantastic must run in the family: the above sketches are awesome collaborations with her three-year-old son Hank, drawn while they traveled on tour with the band this summer. “Hank dictates and I illustrate,” writes Ellis on her blog, noting that their shared travel journal seems to focus on everything but travelling.