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upload the sound from the telephone line
it's down periscope better cover your eyes
they burned down the station so long ago
that a rotting corpse qualifies as a show

we'll play that one later
they've launched their antenna claws
called in a favor while you're choking on their tentacles
you're falling asleep
don't look behind the curtain
you're falling asleep
look in the spinning line

oh my goodness! oh my goodness!
rumbly in my tumbly and it's bad for business
psycopathetic stereo hum
synchopathic audio drone
when you can't put your finger on what's gone wrong
but you can fall asleep without the television on
there's a sound in my head that won't go off
buzzing in my head and it won't turn off

well play that one later
they've launched their antenna claws
called in a favor while you're choking on their tentacles
you're falling asleep
don't look behind the curtain
you're falling asleep
look in the spinning line

play that around
play that around
play that around

mommas tell your babies
not to rest inside your will
kids in refrigerators won't scratch their way out and never will
it's in their way
it's in the choice you make forced or mistake.
it's in the way your will
not break
whether you're right or wrong
not break

we'll play that one later
they've launched their antenna claws
called in a favor while you're choking on their tentacles
you're falling asleep
don't worry about the curtain
you're falling asleep
look in the spinning line

you're falling asleep
don't worry about the curtain
you're falling asleep
look in the spinning line


Lyrics submitted by Mopnugget

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11 Comments

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  • +2
    My InterpretationWhile this song could be about online gaming (like Offline PK + AFK), because Rob and Zack are big nerds (esp. Rob), I actually think this one is about the music business. With lines like these:
    "they burned down the station so long ago
    that a rotting corpse qualifies as a show"

    "well play that one later
    they've launched their antenna claws
    called in a favor while you're choking on their tentacles"

    There's the death of independent radio, the over-emphasis on singles. Most of the other lyrics are more abstract and metaphoric, but that's what I get from it.
    MountedTigerHeadon November 25, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentfucking awesome song, makes "offcell" worth spending the 13.99 for the record with only 5 songs on it
    28064212on September 30, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song kicks ass, i love it
    andrea_ruybal_7on January 31, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA lot of Pinback’s songs seem to be about wasting time. There’s Offline PK, which indicates the futility of MMORPGS; there’s Concrete Sounds, which references the play “Waiting for Godot”, in which the characters spend the entirety of their time doing meaningless tasks; and AFK, which seems to also be about online gaming.

    The song opens with two characters, both doing meaningless tasks. Someone posting to message boards which are offline, and a person aimlessly staring at the ceiling. Their actions are identified as sparing them – perhaps suggesting that they’re both acts of avoidance. The speaker says that he’s like these people, as opposed to the person the song is directed to who is “alive dammit”. This person is shown as “gnawing on prey”, and the speaker seems confused about how exactly to classify them.
    The image of the backed up data is a little unclear, but it brings back in the digital element that Pinback is so fond of – and also seems to relate to the references to the internet at the start of the song. This “backed up data” is shown as being insulatory, and confining, which relates to the avoidance and negativity associated with the actions at the start of the play.

    The next three lines are sort of unclear – I’m not entirely sure what to make of them.

    But the next four lines come back to our original two characters. It shows what their avoidance does to them – it numbs them, it makes them hateful. But these negative effects are given paradoxical value – they’re how these people relax, oddly enough.

    The song sort of switches tone here, changing melodies a little bit. It gives three more images, the “crayon past line,” “stay after school” and “crosswords filled in non-photo blue”. I can see these as being more time wasting activities. Staying after school, listlessly filling out a crossword, or drawing aimlessly in crayon. And these are followed by the line “So they’ll never find you,” harkening again to avoidance.

    The last two lines give a vague hint to the intent of the song. This is a warning, or a piece of advice. Is it to the singer himself? To someone he knows? Just in general? It’s unclear.

    But the final chorus gives what could be interpreted as either a nihilistic or a sarcastic conclusion; regardless of whether you choose to avoid your life, or whether you choose to attack it (“gnawing on the prey”, as the song seems to put it) there’s the same conclusion.

    I really relate to this song, as someone who’s addicted to meaningless shit on the internet, and a constant procrastinator. I like how Pinback can take on modern issues without coming off as trite. I really like Summer in Abaddon, and hope that Pinback stays together for at least a few more albums.
    wasteofwebspaceon April 17, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHaha - word.
    passionfrenzyon September 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment(sorry, this turned out to be way too long.)
    Agreed. Kind of rediculous. You need to refer to what part of the song you're talking about more. Instead of saying "the 3rd and 4th line" you should just repeat what lyrics you're talking about. You could be referring to the 3rd or 4th song in the entire song, or in any of the stanzas.

    I see this entire song as talking about one person. Sitting on his computer, rotting away. "that a rotting corpse qualifies as a show" In other words, you're rotting there while putting on a constant show for yourself on your computer. I personally know how that is, since I do it in all of my free time (such as now).

    The idea is that you know you're wasting your time, but don't have the ability/energy/motivation to do otherwise. Entertaining yourself here and now is more important to you then worrying about the future.

    "We'll play that one later
    They've launched their antenna claws
    Called in a favor while you're choking on their tentacles"
    That part shows me that this person playing these games on his computer feels the need to do something away from his comptuer, but is pulled back to his computer for other reasons, such as to help someone out ("Called in a favor") in a game.

    When you are asked to do something online for a buddy in a game, you usually do it to be a good friend. But you are being a bad friend by wasting yours and their time playing that game. But somehow waste of time isn't in your mind anymore because you have been given a task. As long as you have a task to do, you're suddenly not wasting time.

    Then later on it talks about going to sleep and the "buzzing" in your head, like thinking about what your next task will be then imaging it as you go to sleep.

    Later on it seems to be talking about kids who will live off their parents(or others) further then they should. Going to the refrigerator for food, then going abck to the game to complete more "tasks."

    Then the song says "it's in the way, your ~will~ - not break" I see this as the parent's ~will~ to have their kid outside playing or doing something productive. Maybe the song writer telling the kid's parents not to give up on him.

    Then it ends off repeating-
    "you're falling asleep
    don't worry about the curtain
    you're falling asleep
    look in the spinning line"

    Now I'm gunna analyze the hell out of this part.
    "Don't worry about the cuntain." In that, I see a kid in his room looking outside while sitting on his computer.
    "Look in the spinning line." Usually hypnotizing is done by a shiny object swinging like a pendulum. But I see this spinning line as one of those black spirals on a white background that is known to hypnotize people as well. That is your monitor.
    "You're falling asleep." The command that your computer is giving you. "I will now count backwards from 10." That kind of thing.

    So in the end, your computer not only has a tentacle choke hold on you, forcing you to look at the spinning line. But it is also hypnotizing you into a perpetual cycle of going onto your computer, then realizing you're wasting your time, then going back to it once again.
    FireEatingNinjaon June 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment^^^there's my life^^^
    FireEatingNinjaon June 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat tune. "Don't worry about the curtain" sounds to me like a reference to the wizard of oz and the famous quote "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain", just goes hand in hand with the idea of manipulation and brainwashing that pervades the entire song.
    kezdumpon July 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne of my favorites!!!
    Weaslemulberryon February 26, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"mommas tell your babies
    not to rest inside your will
    kids in refrigerators won't scratch their way out and never will"

    there used to be a thing about kids being caught in refrigerators, while playing in them, and dying. i think it mostly a hysteria, but it might have been a bit real? idk. and i dont know how it related to music. :D
    dullsoundofon August 11, 2015   Link

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