Tell Us if You've Seen This Guy Before
Released January 31, 2011
Recorded August 4, 2009 - December 28, 2010
Genre Psychedelia, Folk Rock, Black Comedy
"Hark the Harold"
"There for Me"

"Tell Us if You've Seen This Guy Before" is a song written by Austin Scholl and recorded under his alias ThornBrain. It was released on his debut album, BlackholeWhitespace. It is the oldest original song on the record and the first song Thorn ever wrote, being written on August 4, 2009.


The song was originally titled "They Call Me Person Man" and was inspired by listening to "Blackhole" by Beck. It was an acoustic song about "the ultimate sad sack", a random person to whom unfortunate things keep happening (having his house burn down from a cigarette, getting beat up by a street gang, getting his already-blind eyes pecked out by doves); the "Person Man" in the title refers to the character from They Might Be Giants' "Particle Man", who is an unfortunate sad sack. The melody and chords were all improvised. This early version was included in the BlackspaceWorkinprogress EP.

Madcapoperator also did a reading of the lyrics in a loose, Ian Curtis-inspired style for Thorn to use at his leisure. Thorn used this recording for "The Flint Robot has a Perfect Day".

After MrVorhias noted how paranoid the song sounded, Thorn rewrote some of the lyrics to follow this, replacing the They Might Be Giants reference with the idea of a neighborhood creep that everybody avoids because he disturbs them ("You've heard of me before"). The new version is even looser than the original, due to increased use of effects to create a psychedelic atmosphere, and because of the song closing with a wall of guitars and feedback squalls. The song's long title is a reference to Morrissey's long song titles, specifically The Smiths' "Stop Me if You Think You've Heard This One Before".


Lit a cigarette
Put it out again
Burned down the house

Watch TV
With no AC
Mowed the yard
Worked hard to make it clean and
It's a marshland

You've heard of me before

Sun shines bright
Lose my sight
Contacts are gone

Something's wrong
I think I'm at the gang place
Where my bones break

You've heard of me before

I'll find what I asked you to
I'm sorry, I just hadn't thought it
Completely through

Burning love
Sunburned dove
I sympathize
It's taken my eyes

Taken my eyes
Taken my eyes
Taken my eyes...

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