Popcanon

Labyrinths
Information

"Labyrinths" sounds like what you might hear a band playing in the lounge of an airport that serves a few planes from different dimensions. Built around a traditional jazz structure, the song has all the elements of a "Nighthawks at the Diner" style excursion: stuttering upright bass, whispering drums and ticking cymbals, a pulsing piano, and lazy horns that propel the rhythm along in big slippery surges. But there seems to be a slightly seedy flavor to it, as if the band is staving off dissolution; and the vocals are delivered with a certain sneaky glee, as if the musicians -- perhaps genuinely from Tlön -- are revealing their weird addiction to Borges on the sly. The lyrics are amusing and deliberately awkward, constructed around highly improbable rhyme schemes which Ned Davis pulls off by virtue of odd pauses, oblique hesitations, and the occasional bending of sounds; all of which add to the already skewed nature of the song. It ends after an undulating loud-then-soft jazz vamp with some deliciously warbling trombone, fading into obscurity over a mumbled bit of verse: "The world, unfortunately, is real; I, unfortunately, am Borges."

Lyrics

"Labyrinths"

You can find him in translation --
If you're like me it could change the way you read.
Like "The Secret Miracle" or "Funes the Memorius" or
the line "When we die we must find God, our friends
and Shakespeare will collaborate with us."

Pierre Menard rewrote the Quixote -- he did not look
at Cervantes' book.
And "The Lottery in Babylon"
and "Encyclopedia of Tlön,"
The Library goes on and on and on and
we fear and revere the Tetragrammaton.

(Chorus)
(In) Argentina, (In) Buenos Aires,
Jorge Luis Borges guards the doorways.
'stos secretos, tienen razon, en labyrintos--
These hints make sense in the labyrinths.

Of Orbus Tertius: its history unfolds for us.
"Fire and smoke: an association of ideas."
And the terror of its mythologies,
its emperors and its seas,
minerals, algebra and architecture
and its theological,
metaphysical
controversies.

(Chorus)
(In) Argentina, (In) Buenos Aires,
Jorge Luis Borges guards the doorways.
'stos secretos, tienen razon, en labyrintos--
These hints make sense in the labyrinths.


CD Information

You can purchase The Kingdom of Idiot Rock directly online from CD.Baby.com:

The Kingdom of Idiot Rock
$10.00. Pop Canon / Audio CD / Released 1997

 


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21 May 2000