The Penn Project

by Indoorfins

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A collection of songs commissioned and written for the use of The University of Pennsylvania Reading Program, The Bronx Zoo and Amphibian Ark. Half of the proceeds for full EP downloads and downloads of the song Amphibian Ark will be donated to Amphibian Ark and their efforts to protect amphibious species that are threatened by extinction.


released October 14, 2013

Lyrics and music written by Indoorfins



all rights reserved


Indoorfins Lima, Ohio

Since August of 1991, the Indoorfins have been navigating the waters of pop music in and around Lima, Ohio, weathering the time and tide of change, exploring the frontiers of electronic entertainment, all the while evading the shackles of international superstardom. ... more

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Track Name: Tiktaalik

From the water to the land I
Learn to swim and learn to stand I'm
Found here by the hands of Neil Shubin
Carry me home and find the inner fish unknown
Here on the cusp between fish and tetrapods
Lie the skeletal remains in permafrost
Amphibiously name them tiktaalik

Carry me 3,000 miles in a plaster jacket
All the way from Ellesmere Island in the backseat of a rocket
Fly me 'round the world
To find my inner fish

Coming up to take a breath and
Have to use my rubber neck 'cause
I see some sheilas on the bank and I'm built for looking up
Crawl on all fours and do some pushups on the shore
375,000,000 years or more
An ancient salamander caged inside a cliff
No longer to meander

Carry me 3,000 miles in a jacket of plaster
All the way from Ellesmere Island, cargo on the helicopter
Fly me 'round the world
To find my inner fish

Evolution, revolution
Bulging eyes and fleshy peck
Dotted with some colored specks
One glance, second chance
Came upon you happenstance

Carry me 3,000 miles in a plaster jacket
All the way from Ellesmere Island in the backseat of a rocket
Fly me 'round the world
To find my inner fish


(Check out the video for Tiktaalik on Youtube!)
Track Name: Amphibian Ark
Caudata, gymnophiona
Anura, hey

Keepers of rain sing a synchronized tune
To the moon and stars
Partial aquatic and tempo’d symphonic
They sail aboard an amphibian ark
And their voices are rising as one in the dark
Jeff Corwin can hear it and so can Sir David Attenborough
It’s reached the ears of Jean-Michel Cousteau
They’re keeping threatened amphibian species afloat

We are the spark
‘Cause we’re out to embark an amphibian ark
That's propelled by a chorus of frogs

I breath through my skin and I take moisture in
From the cool and damp
But where will I go? They're destroying my home
And the swamps I swam are not the same


Caudata, gymnophiona
Anura, hey

It's never simple when you add your progress in
Easy to overlook a slight change for you
Might be a major one for me
Agents of fertility and good luck could use some help
And some luck of their own


An Amphibian ark that's propelled by a chorus of frogs

Caudata, gymnophiona
Anura, hey

(Check out the video for Amphibian Ark on Youtube!)
Track Name: Gross Clinic Bounce
Gross Clinic, Gross Clinic,
Gross, Gross, Gross Clinic

Just a little ditty 'bout arts in the city
How an 8 foot canvas took the heart of Philly
To the PMA and the PAFA
And the power of philanthropy
The Gross Clinic tells a unique story so quintessentially
Old school. 19th century
American centennial history
Acrossed the nation, mass urbanization
And radical changes to prevent amputation
There's a doctor at Jefferson College
In Gross Clinic kickin' medical knowledge
A surgical lecture under skylight architecture
Comes a masterpiece you have to acknowledge
The scene is dramatic and intense
The lack asepsis makes no sense
The gauze and chloroform were breakin' from the norm
And keepin' everybody in suspense

Gross Clinic, Gross Clinic
Gross, Gross, Gross Clinic

Sammy G's got a knife in his hand
They're all sittin' watchin' from the grandstand
Some are sleepin', some are note takin' (Doctor West)
Some are sketchin' like my boy Thomas Eakins
Bloody hands talking to the future docs
Standing tall in his long black frock
Hearn, Briggs, Barton and Appel
And a mystery man nobody can tell
In a lateral position on the table
Blue socks are a charity label
Under anesthesia so you know he won't fight us
Tryin' to cure the femur
Of osteomyelitis

Gross, Gross, Gross Clinic

Baby mamma's all dressed in black
She's praying that this guy's not a hack
She needs the fab five to keep the kid alive
Mortified because they showed his ass crack

Gross Clinic, Gross Clinic
Gross, Gross, Gross Clinic

Thomas Eakins made a modern masterpiece
An ominous thing to say the least
A truly epic theme. Makes you want to scream
And awareness of it need to increase
Red is the color of the base
Uncompromising realism in your face
He used the palette knife to bring it all to life
Now it's time to put it in the right place
With the focus on the scalpel and the brow
A civic treasure that's cutting edge now
But it's all about money, ain't a damn thing funny
T-Bone should stand up and take a bow
Sell it to Crystal Bridges Museum
For 4.5 million people to see 'em
It took 'em 60 mill when it came to foot the bill
And a grassroots movement to beat 'em
Now it's time to hang it up in Philly
They won the battle so it's time to get 'illy
America's Night Watch. Ain't that about a beeyotch
To take it from it's home is freakin' silly

Gross Clinic, Gross Clinic
Gross, Gross, Gross Clinic

Keep it in Philly
Keep it in Philly

(Check out the video for Gross Clinic Bounce on Youtube!)
Track Name: The Big Necessity
Well I was told a tale once by a wild Irish rose (George)
About a certain subject that might crinkle up yer nose
But if it tweren't for regimen you'd have some on your toes
For whatever's put in one end, out the other end it goes
Aye, there's 2.6 billion of us who have no privacy
No toilet, bucket, outhouse, box or even a latrine
They do their business by the tracks or hidin' behind the trees
All the ladies rising early on account of modesty

And eventually you're looking for the big necessity
Where things may come in ones or twos but never come in threes
And everywhere you go you'll find they do it differently
I'd gladly shake your hand if you would kindly wash it please

Just think of old Buzz Aldrin in his diaper on the moon
When he had bounced too far away from his lunar loo
Shar'n it's got to go somewhere or else there'd be no room
Within a year he'd make enough to fill a small lagoon
I hope we're leavin' soon

Oh it t'was a long dry summer back in 1858
The weather mixed disastrously with the River Thames
The river reeked so awfully that they had to douse the drapes
With chloride just to mask the stench of London's Greatest Stink

And eventually you're running for the big necessity
Where thing may come in ones or twos but never come in threes
You'll find we do it different here than they do overseas
I'm mighty obliged to meet you sir, but could you pass me favour
I'd be glad to shake your hand if you would take the time
To wash it for me please

They do it in the open air and they do it in the stalls
They do it in the alleyway whenever nature calls
They do it without paper, some where everyone can see
There's no escape
The big necessity

(Check out the video for The Big Necessity on our Youtube page!)
Track Name: Reality Is Broken
There's no excitement in the 9 to 5 grind
Not like the games I use to fill my downtime
500 million others share the same mind
Foreign relationships are forming online

Reality doesn't motivate us as effectively
It isn't designed from the bottom up to make us happy
The absentees have spoken
They say reality is broken

They play in trailer parks and in penthouses
They use controllers, they use wireless mouses
Each opportunity to problem solve helps to evolve
The habits of the heroes
Super empowered hopeful individuals
Elevate each other to their full potential

Reality doesn't motivate us as effectively
It isn't designed from the bottom up to make us happy
Virtually awoken
To find reality is broken

Blissful productivity, the tight social fabrics we weave
The desire for epic meaning and an urgent optimistic feeling

The Lydians were on the edge of starving
A trend that King Atys found most alarming
He stood before his people and decreed he saw the need
For them to alternate
So everybody spend one whole day playing
And then the following we'll eat and then repeat

Reality doesn't motivate us as effectively
It isn't designed from the bottom up to make us happy
With quarters and with tokens
Reality is broken
Reality doesn't motivate us as effectively
It isn't designed from the bottom up to make us happy
The absentees have spoken
They said reality is broken

(Check out the video for Reality Is Broken on Youtube!)