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Music / The Spine

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I've been dragging my feet across my back
And I've been rubbing my head against my neck

The color of infinity
Inside an empty glass
I'm squinting my eye and turning off
And on and on and off the light
Experimental Film

'The Spine is the ninth studio album by They Might Be Giants, released in July of 2004 alongside a companion EP, The Spine Surfs Alone. It was their first adult album following their foray into children's music with No!, and featured a number of songs that had previously been released on Dial-A-Song or as online demos, or which had exclusively been played live. Most famously, They Might Be Giants collaborated with The Brothers Chaps to do a music video for the opening song "Experimental Film" featuring characters from Homestar Runner.



  1. Experimental Film (2:56)
  2. Spine (0:33)
  3. Memo to Human Resources (2:02)
  4. Wearing a Raincoat (3:10)
  5. Prevenge (2:44)
  6. Thunderbird (2:38)
  7. Bastard Wants to Hit Me (2:14)
  8. The World Before Later On (1:52)
  9. Museum of Idiots (3:02)
  10. It's Kickin' In (2:01)
  11. Spines (0:30)
  12. Au Contraire (2:26)
  13. Damn Good Times (2:38)
  14. Broke In Two (2:59)
  15. Stalk of Wheat (1:27)
  16. I Can't Hide From My Mind (2:47)

Gonna Make You Fall In Love With Tropes

  • Alcoholic Parent: "Thunderbird" is about a struggling alcoholic whose daughter tries to get him to kick the habit.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: In the second verse of "It's Kickin' In", the narrator recalls going to a fancy restaurant and hearing "the disaffected waitress / in some fake foreign accent" speaking vaguely-French gibberish.
  • Break Up Song: "Broke In Two" is about a guy who admits his girlfriend wants to leave him because he's a terrible listener.
    You said something before you left
    Something I was not to forget

    Then is when I maybe should have wrote it down
    But when I looked around to find a pen
    And then I tried to think of what you said
    We broke in two
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  • Celebrity Song: "Au Contraire" references David Bowie, Franklin Roosevelt, Jodie Foster, Johann Sebastian Bach, and Mohandas Gandhi.
  • I Want My Jetpack: "The World Before Later On" is about a man lamenting the absence of such spectacular sci-fi items as personal jetpacks and a "tel-ray" in the actual twenty-first century.
  • Le Film Artistique: "Experimental Film" is about a guy excitedly telling his friends about an experimental film he's making.
  • Love Martyr: "Museum of Idiots" is about a man stuck in his dilapidated home town, still holding a torch for his childhood sweetheart.
    Chop me up into pieces
    If it pleases, if it pleases
    And when the chopping is through
    Every piece will say "I love you"
  • Shout-Out:
    • "Damn Good Times" is a reference to "Damn Good" by David Lee Roth, who also gets name-dropped in the song.
    • "Thunderbird" quotes "Fun, Fun, Fun" by The Beach Boys, changing the phrase "Daddy takes your T-Bird away" to "T-Bird takes her Dad away".

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