It's about a character (an actor) who is disappointed when he discovers he's not the protagonist of the story he's in. He's just been used (cast) as the bad girl's cover story. He loved the girl (the trade) and dreamt of a future together, but she (show business) stole that future away from him. All he can do now is leave desperate voice-mails (expository voice-overs). —Rafe
A highpoint for Flans on Join Us. Emotionally it reminds one of Lucky Ball and Chain, but it's more complicated and postmodern than that. Our narrator being a character that gets cut from (what sounds) a pretty bad film. Maybe a subconcious reference of the bands experience of getting (most of) their songs cut from the brilliant Coraline. Great late period Flans, inventive use of vocals (especially his detached backing vocals) this could be a song from a musical and echoes his work on the off broadway show People are Wrong. (Mr Tuck)
An everyday life dramatised
A clever conceit, but fairly straightforward: it's just a guy (maybe a guy who writes screenplays for a living) whose wife has left him for another man. He tells his story in the only way he knows how: script format, with metaphorical allusions to both B-movie tropes and screenplay jargon. "The iris closes down" is a particularly cute line.
- I think this is spot-on. It's particularly clever how the metaphor within the script is encapsulated by a further metaphor of "the diff between a script and a spec": the narrator's "spec script" vision of his life with this woman has been superseded by the real script, which changes around all the plot points he had planned out, so he's no longer the protagonist. --Afterward 21:43, 1 August 2011 (EDT)
I'm just on speaker phone
Not an interpretation, exactly, but I wanted to point out what was for me the funniest moment on the whole album, but it's so subtle many might miss it. When John sings the lines, "My scenes are cut out / I'm just on speaker phone", at that moment the stage direction vocals switch to horns. Get it? Now that the actor no longer has an on-stage part, there are no more stage directions. And when you hear the comical-sounding horns as a parody of a human voice, perhaps distorted through an answering machine, it adds a whole new dimension of hilarity. It's as if the sound of the horns represent what his character has been reduced to -- little more than a quacking duck. Genius.