Andrew Bird explained to Drowned In Sound: "This song is dedicated to the guy at the end of the bar who makes inappropriate, unsolicited comments that make everyone uneasy. He has spent so much time alone reading sci-fi novels and having internal conversations he has forgotten how to engage. He needs human contact and that's why he is there, but spends his time making somewhat X-rated medieval fantasy-art sketches of the bartenders. I think he makes us so uneasy because he shows us what we could become. The part of the song about burning effigies is a bit harder to explain. I suppose I'm saying it may appear to be a useless exercise. That such public display may only be effective as an insect repellant. Or to inspire us to remark sarcastically 'Wow, that guy is smoking two cigarettes instead of one.'"
Until December 5, 1998, a song had to be issued as a single to make the Hot 100. Aaliyah's "Try Again" was the first tune to top the chart based on airplay alone, without any sales figures being included.