We were still a few years away from the iPhone, but cell phones were commonplace in 2003 - you might even have an old Motorola Razr or BlackBerry Pearl stowed in your basement. In this song, Rufus Wainwright has his cell on vibrate, anxiously awaiting a call that doesn't come, thus "I never ever feel from you."
In a Songfacts interview with Wainwright
, he told the story behind the song. "'Vibrate' was about a guy that I saw very briefly, although it was very intense for a couple of weeks," he said. "I was really in the clutches of addiction - it was probably my highest moment in that realm where time is losing any meaning whatsoever and my consciousness was completely altered at all times.
Anyway, I fell in love with this stripper boy who was very gorgeous and very unavailable, and I think was also somewhat taking advantage of my 'vulnerable state.' [Laughs] Thankfully, I got a good song out of it."