Hitting the Links: Chris Bell, Sci-Fi Buildings, Viva La Spicy Food
In short, and as part of our unpredictably recurring feature, here are five online articles I’ve enjoyed recently:
Gradually fading out towards the end of “I Am The Cosmos,” Bell eerily repeats: “I’d really like to see you again.” He died just a few months after the single’s limited release on indie label Car Records in 1978, driving into a pole on the way home from a late night studio session.
These are not your parents’ dour architecture monographs, complete with such entries as “On the problems of developing the center of Kishinev” or “Approaches to using the vernacular in Tashkent and Navoi” (real items from a 70s-era release) but are lavish, glossy, and handsome. One of these volumes was released in 2007, the rest date from within the last two years. What does this all mean?
It’s a fearful sight in a way, the Port of Long Beach, this endless, crushing vista of metal and dust, with not so much as a blade of grass to relieve the impression of an infinite, silent or clanking perpetual machine, of a global engine, of “global industry”; compare this to say, a view of Central Park, and you’ll feel you’ve landed in a nightmare scene out of Mordor (or Isengard, I guess).
The Soviet agent’s tender taste buds invited Mao’s mockery. “The food of the true revolutionary is the red pepper,” declared Mao. “And he who cannot endure red peppers is also unable to fight.’”
This astonishing record sank more or less without trace. There are reasons for this – and some of them, with the benefit of hindsight, are teeth-looseningly obvious. Yet Bazerk, Bazerk, Bazerk is a record that still, 25 years on, sounds like it’s crash-landed on your stereo from some indeterminate and unknowable point a long way in the future.