Back in May, indie record label 4AD teamed up with the Red Hot Organization to release Day of the Dead, a 59-track Grateful Dead tribute album to benefit those struggling with AIDS and related health issues. Curated by the National’s Aaron and Bryce Dessner, the collection included contributions from Mumford & Sons, the Walkmen, Lucinda Williams, and more. Now, the first music video for a Day of the Dead song has arrived.
For the album, psych-rockers Unknown Mortal Orchestra covered “Shakedown Street,” off the Dead’s 1978 album of the same name, and the visual they created to go along with it is as bizarrely memorable as their synth-heavy version of the song. In the clip, actors dressed in medieval garb stand around a well in a surreal, colorful scene, before emerging onto the streets of London.
This weekend, Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival — the two-day concert event curated by Aaron Dessner and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon — will return to Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The festival will feature a one-off, all-star jam session devoted to bringing Day of the Dead to life; Unknown Mortal Orchestra, as well as other Eaux Claires performers who appeared on the compilation like Jenny Lewis and Phosphorescent, are expected to participate. (Bon Iver are also expected to premiere music from their upcoming album in their Eaux Claires set.)
While the Day of the Dead compilation put a modern spin on classic Dead tunes, the band’s original members haven’t thrown in the towel just yet. This summer, former members Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, and Mickey Hart toured with John Mayer as Dead & Company. And just last week, Weir announced his first studio release in more than a decade, Blue Mountain, which was recorded in part with the Dessners.
See Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s “Shakedown Street” video below.