Indie-rock Decemberists take a hint from Colbert

Music video filmed with green screen; fans encouraged to fill it in.

The Decemberists

When Stephen Colbert launched his "Green Screen Challenge" a few months ago--encouraging fans to fill in the background of a video of himself running around with a "Star Wars" lightsaber--it was kind of a dorky novelty, much like Colbert himself. Now, brainy indie-rock act The Decemberists are jumping on the bandwagon. The five-piece Portland, Oregon-based group, best known for accordion-filled sea-shanty rock and lyrics full of words that you haven't seen since the SAT, has teamed up with MTVU for its own green-screen challenge.

Here's the lowdown, thanks to music blog Stereogum: The Decemberists filmed the video for their latest single, "O Valencia!"--the first off their recent release "The Crane Wife"--against a green screen. In the contest, fans are encouraged to fill in the background with original animation. The deadline is December 15th, and a lucky winner will receive an iMac desktop computer as well as have his or her animation used in the "real" video for the song. Considering that "O Valencia!" is a perky, catchy little tune about gang warfare and tragic romance, I'm sure the contest entries will be a colorful bunch.

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