You'll not feel the drowning.


In 2005, when Danger Mouse and MF Doom made that record with backups from the Adult Swim crowd, it was a nice little bump in the pop culture continuum, like when you’re in the woods and the root systems from trees all around you tie themselves into knots and bust through the soil. Of course these guys were collaborating with each other — they’re undoubtedly fans of each another. It’s not like Doom called up Disney and asked to work with the cast of Suite Life with Zack & Cody.

It’s the same with Stephen Colbert and the Decemberists, who will meet Dec. 20 on “The Colbert Report” for a duel inspired by Colbert’s “Look Who’s Riding My Coattails Now” challenge. With his usual hawkish hilarity, Colbert had accused the intellectually well-heeled indie pop band of stealing his green screen challenge concept for an mtvU contest they were involved in. (Get your own link to that; I don't care enough about it.) Now the band has counter-challenged, and the whole thing will play out on Colbert’s show, and every white college graduate in America will laugh his ass off while looking forward to wasting the first four hours of the next work day rewatching and reading all about it on the Internet.

Ratings estimates met and records sold; if Colbert and Colin Meloy et al. could convert their faux-war into a book by Christmas, they certainly would.

That’s okay. Like Danger Doom, this sort of cultural intersection makes perfect sense, and it’s likely to start happening with regularity.

Trace the challenge timeline here.

Read Decemberist Christ Funk's challenge here.


PS: Evidently the Decemberists’ Crane Wife has been named by NPR listeners as their favorite album of 2006, which was so predictable it hurts the brain. (Bumps! Pop culture continuum!) I’m surprised Robert Siegel and Melissa Block don’t do guest shots on the record.