"Particle Man" is about different views of the universe.
Think about it. Particle Man is a scientific view of the universe, Triangle Man is strict trinitarian theism (the triangle refers to the Holy Trinity), Universe Man is a less strict, vaguely theistic view of the universe, where the entire universe is personified, and Person Man is a view where only humans matter and no form of higher power exists. Triangle Man is able to defeat Particle Man and Person Man because that form of seeing the universe has managed to fight against all others for most of history. However, Triangle Man doesn't even try to fight Universe Man, because Triangle Man is just a more specific version of Universe Man, and without the idea of Universe Man, Triangle Man wouldn't exist.
"Experimental Film" and "Dr. Worm" are both from the point of view of the same person
Drumming and film-making were both Fleeting Passionate Hobbies.
Kendra McCormick no longer lives in this dorm because TMBG killed herOh my god, they killed Kendra! You bastards!
Let's see... The song features Particle Man, Triangle Man, Universe Man, and Person Man, all of whom fit the naming scheme for Robot Masters, and their varied and bizarre descriptions suggest that they're just the kind of weirdoes that a mad scientist would assemble. What Particle Man himself is like is, the song says, "not important", which suggests he doesn't have much characterization beyond how he moves across the screen, "doing the things a particle can", i.e. the standard theme-based move-and-attach patterns of a Mega Man
boss. Even less is said about Triangle Man, but "they have a fight, Triangle Wins", in the case of both Particle Man and Person Man. Not Triangle Man
, necessarily, just Triangle
, and most bosses in the Mega Man series give you a weapon that's named after them: Metal Man gives you Metal Blades, Top Man gives you Top Spin, etc. Universe Man is the largest of the level bosses, but "usually kind to smaller man", so as intimidating as he seems, his weapon isn't likely to be very strong.
- Or Smaller Man is another level boss, friends with Universe Man, and got his name because they hang out together and Universe Man is so huge. Although that does make me wonder what Smaller Man's weapon would be.
Particle Man is the second Nite-Owl, a man of science with a submersible flying machine and an inferiority complex, Person Man is Rorschach, a seemingly disturbed individual with a very mysterious identity he no longer sees as being his true self ("What's he like? It's not important."), Universe Man is the godlike Dr. Manhattan, and the pyramid-themed supergenius Ozymandias is the victorious Triangle Man.
- But "What's he like? It's not important," refers to Particle Man, not Person Man.
- Still fits, as Person Man 'lives his life in a garbage can', alluding to Rorschach's poor sense of hygiene.
- Alternately, Particle Man might be the Comedian. "When he's underwater, does he get wet? Or does the water get him instead?" I.e., did a callous, degraded society make him into a ruthless killer, or have his activities caused society to be more callous and degraded than it otherwise would have been? Besides, what's the very first thing that happens in Watchmen? They have a fight. Triangle wins.
Inspired by this
video, but while Particle Man is Ed, and Triangle Man is Envy, Hoenheim
is Universe Man, as evidenced by his mastery over Alchemy and immortality (second hand is his life and family amongst the mortals, millenium hand is his immortality, and eon hand is the Truth), and Alphonse is Person Man, comparatively the normal observer, no special powers and not a very outstanding personality for most of the time, with his most noticeable feature is living his life as a garbage can.
- Debunked. The song was written before FMA.
It warrants mention. Death is Particle Man, "doing the things a particle can" like being in two places at once, being two things at once, moving through walls. The Auditors, who hate Person-ness and Death after he gains a personality, as well as existing in threes, are Triangle Man. Azrael is Universe man (he's got a clock with a second hand, millenium hand, and an aeon hand) and is the only one not to be even temporarily defeated by, or even challenged by Triangle Man (the Auditors). And Person Man is people.
- Particle Man is older than Reaper Man - Terry Pratchett has gone on record saying that he is a big fan of They Might Be Giants. He even took Foul Ole Ron's catchphrase from the song.
- Shh! Do you want Terry Pratchett to get sued for plagiarism?
She's an angel is an account told from the perspective of a man in the middle of a story about a Manic Pixie Dream Girl
changing his life.
Admittedly this might not count as a Guess, but the songs rely so much of Applicability
I felt like including this anyway.
The name "Angel" seems to obviously be to a quirky, hyperactive girl, (suddenly holding a strangers hand at a dog show, having him run up and down the sidewalk "a thousand million times", as well as the "throw yourself off a building" line.)He desperately wants to just be left alone, but feels compelled to continue frolicking with the titular "angel" both out of the awkwardness of what saying no would be like, as well as the concern he'd become the antagonist in the story. He doesn't know how to escape this situation and has fallen into a state of deep, depression (of note are the lines "Other times I think I'm already [where there's no air]" "Does it mean you have to throw your body off a building?"
- The "Man in Charge" the songs protagonist was speaking to wasn't God, at least not the big G god, but was instead the writer.
The statue kills the singer by atomizing him. Also, the song makes reference to a "monolith."
Talking rocks, sirens, Your Head Asplode
? What do you mean it's not drugs
"The Statue Got Me High" is about the Lost Cosmonauts theory.
All the stuff about burning up, the space stuff in the video, and the statue could refer to the statue of Lenin.
Just listen to the song. It's either about a very confused hummingbird moth, or something far more sinister...
- Add to that "Got a brand new shipment of electrical equipment / It's addressed to the bottom of the sea..."
The singer in the first verse of "Turn Around" is an assassin (or the person who decides who dies), who knows he's about to die.
Explains why he could say he was working in the office, and that he had recently (thought he) killed a man isn't a big deal. The man he talked to on the phone is also an assassin and is pointing a gun at the singer ("...the same obsequious manner which is the reason I had him killed").
The narrator of 'I'm your boyfriend now' killed the object of his affections.
The song gets progressively more sinister, beginning with admiration and progressing to physical stalking and the singer confessing he listens to voices in his head. The particular verse "You don't have to say it, I can see it in your eyes
, I can read it in your heart
and I can hear it in your silence" is what convinces me. After that, the narrator continues to question why his beloved won't act like he's her boyfriend. The answer, whether he's rational enough to know or not, is because she can't; she's dead.
- The original demo said "And I know that the restraining order wasn't meant to be" rather than "I can read it in your heart, I can hear it in your silence"...which actually makes this interp even more plausible. And it's not like they're any strangers to fucked-up pseudo-love songs.
The statue sent a beam into the narrator's eye and then he died. The Angel can imprint an image into your eyes and then an Angel will be in your mind. You die shortly after.
Nyquil Driver is now serving time.
He obviously fell asleep at the wheel and ran someone over.
Nyquil Driver was one of the drivers in "Spoiler Alert"
The truckdriver in Flansburgh's verse is the more obvious choice since he's the one who's taking a nap at the wheel. "Spoiler Alert" is a sequel song to "AKA Driver", which was from the point of view of someone driving behind either Flansburgh or Linnell's characters before they crashed into each other.
"Experimental Film," "Doctor Worm," and "Statue Got Me High" take place in the same universe.
The narrator is in college, trying to decide between a medical career or an artistic one. He mentions that something in the film he's working on makes your face explode. He also mentions he doesn't know what
makes your face explode. Then, he hears word of the eponymous statue of the second song. So, he films the statue. It doesn't work to the full effect, and when he watches it he finds that his head isn't splattered all over the dorm-room walls. It does, however, cause dementia, causing him to believe that he is a worm. What little remains of his old self is the fact he likes to play the drums, signifying his love for the arts.
Cake's song "Comfort Eagle" is the prequel to "Dirtbike" and The bee of the bird of the moth is one of the deities the cult worships, alongside cthulhu,
and an ethnocentric american rocker who likes to smoke. While that doesn't SEEM very godly, remember the lyrics talking about him handling the money AND serving the food, all the while calling you dude. It takes either multiple bodies or psychic powers and teleportation to do that at a a party where people serve the food as apposed to the self-serve most parties employ. not to mention that his cigarette doesn't seem to ash.On the bird/bee/moth side, we have what seems to (as stated above) an eldritch abomination. The submarine was a sacrifice.
Just look at the lyrics. "When I'm with you, the landscape goes all weird
." "Black is white" (referencing Al's TMBG pastiche "Everything You Know Is Wrong"). And a few comments on his appearance: "the rainbow has a beard", referring to his colorful outfit and having grown a beard as of 2007, and harping on correcting bad eyesight, which Al had corrected with laser surgery shortly after the pastiche.
The "Intellectuals meet" that Gloria mentions in the spoken "Track 13"...
Is a Mensa
Gloria is having an affair with the man on the phone.
The background voice near the end of the recording is her real husband.
"Turn around" is one of the English phrases the Predator knows. Moreover, the Predator wears a pale mask and collects human skulls, and it's "a thing there that can't be found" when using its camouflage.
"I'm Your Boyfriend Now" and "Call You Mom" are about the same guy.
Different girls, though. He's had a very troubled past.
"S-E-X-X-Y" is about a transvestite
A common enough interpretation
to this song, given lines like these:
Secret agent spy, come to see why
You gotta understand / She wants to be your man / She's got another plan
Speaks for itself.
The "Fingertips" suite is the story of one man's life from conception to the afterlife
See a track-by-track breakdown here
"Reprehensible" is narrated by the subject of "When Will You Die"
Both songs seem to be about the ultimate villain.
"Cloisonné" is about domestic abuse.
It's not unlike TMBG to write a disturbing song with bright music, but the lyrics to this one are creepy even for them. "Don't go callin' law enforcement"? It definitely sounds like something
illegal is going down. "Mind your business"? "Keep your voice down"? It's not much of a stretch to assume that that illegal act is abusive in some way, likely towards a child or spouse. (And it's about time Flans got his time to shine as the one to write dark lyrics, anyway!)
"Wearing a Raincoat" is about a man starting to Madden Into Misanthropy
because of an extended hospital stay following a nasty injury.
He has trouble recalling anything from before the injury
except childhood memories of wearing a raincoat and pretending he's "flying around in a plane made of a raincoat", but it "hurts [his] mind" for him to think about it, and the "friend to talk you down/that comes at a price" is actually a nurse or orderly. He has to eat "food that comes from a pipe" (which he's sick of by this point) because of internal injuries that weakened his digestive system (or perhaps he's in a full-body cast or had his jaw wired shut), and because of chronic pain he has to "turn to drugs to help you sleep". He regards sleeping as "a gateway drug to being awake again" because whenever he's conscious, he feels like he's "swimming around in a lake of the undead", and he's hounded by well-wishers (whom he doesn't recognize because of his amnesia) and hospital staff trying to help him remain lucid: "a bunch of friends that demand constant attention". The line about "playing the drums to help you sleep" might indicate a future happy ending, as he's recovered enough to attempt physical and art therapy, in this case playing with a drum.
Triangle Man would also beat Universe Man in a fight.
However, since Universe Man is "usually kind to smaller man", Triangle Man doesn't hate Universe Man, so they don't fight.
"Sapphire Bullets of Pure Love" is from Hal Jordan
He's singing about how his neglect of Carol Ferris has come back to bite him in the ass, as she's become Star Sapphire again. Also, the John he's talking to is John Stewart.
After a string of successful murders in the 1920s she faked a new identity and started a new life
. She grew to be a paranoid recluse
, terrified of being sent to the gallows for her crimes
. After several decades she decided to try another killing. Unfortunately (for her) thanks to improved police work and better forensics, not only was that killing tied to her, but the resulting background check by police uncovered both her real background and her previous husbands death, allowing prosecutors to open a case against her for her previous murders.
He's standing at the top of an empire forged from "the blood of the exploited working class", is at the center of a massive cult of personality ("the world screams 'Kiss me, Son of God'"), and claims to "laugh and make a fortune / off the same ones that I tortured", but close examination of the lyrics reveals a melancholy edge to them. While he tries to blow it off, he admits to alienating "the only people left who'd even look me in the eye".
Plus the lyric from the bridge "Now you're the only one here who can tell me if it's true / That you love me, and I love me" could simply be taken as him him being incredibly self-centered, but there's a hint of self-loathing there, a suggestion that he needs others to convince him that not only do they love him, but that he loves himself; one might even go so far as to say he uses the massive respect he gets from others to compensate for the fact that he has no self-respect left after all the awful things he's done.
And no, he's precisely
as self-centered as he seems.
The only aspect which demands a Wild Guess: how were TMBG so prescient regarding his future ascendancy?
"Unpronounceable" was inspired by a certain famous Reddit post.
The lyrics sound very specifically referential to this story
This would fit in with their tradition of giving their songs an Unreliable Narrator - note that, though the narrator claims to have a spy plane and "a special job", pretty much the only spying he does in the song is looking at his love interest through a spy glass. He's come up with this spy fantasy to justify his sneaky behavior and/or cope with the fact that his crush is one-sided (he can claim to himself that he doesn't approach her because a relationship would distract from his important job and possibly put her in danger, not because she wouldn't react well to being followed). The band do call it an "ode to espionage" in the Why Does The Sun Shine EP liner notes, but that could be misdirection.