Coo coo it’s cold outside. Coo coo it’s cold
outside. Ooo coo coo. Don’t forget your mittens.
Hey Pal! How do I get to town from here? And he
said: Well just take a right where they’re going
to build that new shopping mall, go straight past
where they’re going to put in the freeway, take a
left at what’s going to be the new sports center,
and keep going until you hit the place where
they’re thinking of building that drive-in bank.
You can’t miss it. And I said: This must be the
place. Ooo coo coo.
“Big Science” is the title cut from the first album by Laurie Anderson, the New Yorker who seemed to single-handedly bring “performance art” into the mainstream in the 1980s. But it’s not about science at all. It’s about urban sprawl and self-imposed isolation and phony individualism and the other forces that have killed the sense of community in much of America.
The piece is as funny as it is scary. Anderson uses her electronic instruments to create a landscape as big and empty as a prairie, and her voice is beautifully sardonic. She makes numbness sound sexy.