You Can’t Un-Watch Klaus Nomi

Lady Gaga has nothing on Klaus Nomi, the surreal German countertenor whose short career spanned 1977-1983.

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Sadly, Nomi died of AIDS in 1983 before he had the chance to render 80’s pop culture even more bizarre than it eventually became. As he was dying, Nomi gave this especially poignant performance of the “Cold Song” (lyrics follow):

What Power art thou,
Who from below,
Hast made me rise,
Unwillingly and slow,
From beds of everlasting snow!

See’st thou not how stiff,
And wondrous old,
Far unfit to bear the bitter cold.

I can scarcely move,
Or draw my breath,
I can scarcely move,
Or draw my breath.

Let me, let me,
Let me, let me,
Freeze again…
Let me, let me,
Freeze again to death!

[More Klaus Nomi on YouTube]

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  • http://twitter.com/theremina Meredith Yayanos

    I’m always so grateful to see coverage on Klaus Nomi, and it’s especially nice to see him getting some props on Disinfo. :)
    I wrote him a big ol’ effusive open intergalactic letter of appreciation over on Coilhouse several years ago, if anyone’s interested.

  • http://twitter.com/Theremina Meredith Yayanos

    I’m always so grateful to see coverage on Klaus Nomi, and it’s especially nice to see him getting some props on Disinfo. :)

    I wrote him a big ol’ effusive open intergalactic letter of appreciation over on Coilhouse some years ago, if anyone’s interested:

    http://coilhouse.net/2008/01/he-came-from-outer-space-to-save-the-human-race

  • Rex Vestri

    Yikes! What the hell were we thinking back in the 80’s!? I’m surprised this guy had a music career at all, much less six years.

  • Rex Vestri

    Yikes! What the hell were we thinking back in the 80’s!? I’m surprised this guy had a music career at all, much less six years.

    • http://www.victoriangothic.org Haystack

      But it made an impression on you, didn’t it? The stuff that is really mediocre and uninteresting is simply forgotten.

      • Rex Vestri

        I guess you could say it made an impression on me. After watching just enough of it to see what it was, it impressed upon me an urgent need need to click the pause button, post a comment, then navigate quickly away from the page and try to forget what I’d just seen.

        • http://www.victoriangothic.org Haystack

          Case in point.

          • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

            I see what you’re trying to say, but some people are younger, and haven’t yet stopped to look back to see value in things that happened before they existed. I like to think some eventually learn how to turn around. Of course there are many who can’t or won’t… (I guess they wouldn’t be younger at that point though)

          • http://www.victoriangothic.org Haystack

            It may be generational to some extent, but I suspect that a large part of it is just that there are certain personalities who immediately click away when they see something campy and strange, and others who enthusiastically proclaim it as genius for those very reasons. I’m one of the latter.

          • Rex Vestri

            Oops! I accidentally clicked “Like” when I meant to click “Reply”.

            I lived through the 80’s. Those were my teenage years, so I don’t have to “look back to see value in things that happened before they existed”. I just know what I like, and what I don’t like. And this guy falls into the latter category.

          • No now w/o the past

            Wow! The 80’s. That was, like, so long ago. Were there people then?

            Klaus, on the other hand, was ahead of his time. Unique when fitting in was considered cool. He was different and had the balls to show it.

            I’ll collect my “fuck you” now please. And by all means… call me an asshole. At least I’m not the one who insists on telling people what I don’t like. What I don’t like I don’t bother with. Or bother the people who do like it.

            When you have your own parade you don’t have time to rain on anyone else’s.

            Too bad you were too young to vote. I’m sure Reagan would have loved you.
            http://www.examiner.com/city-buzz-in-san-francisco/ronald-reagan-aids-a-legacy-of-silence

            You may now put your head back in the sand.

          • Rex Vestri

            My, what a hypocritical prick you’ve just shown yourself to be.

          • No now w/o the past

            Hypocritical prick! That’s even better than being called an asshole!!! I guess I hit a nerve.

            Go back to your Justin Beaver MP3s. You’ve no reason to be in a conversation about Klaus Nomi other than to make negative comments. And show your ignorance.

            Your head? Meet the sand.

          • Rex Vestri

            Case in point

          • No now w/o the past

            You’re funny.

          • Rex Vestri

            Thank you!

          • No now w/o the past

            Are sitting on the keyboard? I make a comment and the next thing I know you respond. Go out and play.

            Kids these days.

          • Rex Vestri

            LMFAO

            Yeah….Kids these days!

          • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

            If you keep replying does the indentation keep going until theres 1 word per line? what is beyond there? does the internet implode? Now I’m curious

          • No now w/o the past

            Indentation. Indentation. Testing. Testing. 123…

          • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

            From my count it will take about 4 or 5 more comments after this one to implode the internet

          • http://www.victoriangothic.org Haystack

            I’m curious, too.

          • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

            I am also curious as well, and this is a constructive comment and not wasting space at all, and this comment is definitely not redundant

          • http://www.victoriangothic.org Haystack

            We’ve gone too far. We really must find out.

          • http://www.victoriangothic.org Haystack

            It will be funny if this now ends up on Disinfo’s “most discussed” sidebar. *g*

          • http://thefirstchurchofmutterhals.blogspot.com/ mutterhals

            Oh fuck, this is the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.

          • Reverb

            Will there be prizes?

          • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

            sadface; when it gets this far the reply button disappears i’m trying to find a way to find and pus the button

          • http://www.victoriangothic.org Haystack

            Now at last we’ve unlocked the mystery.

            Now I’m going to go back to searching for hidden symbolism in Leonardo DaVinci’s paintings.

  • http://www.victoriangothic.org Haystack

    But it made an impression on you, didn’t it? The stuff that is really mediocre and uninteresting is simply forgotten.

  • Rex Vestri

    I guess you could say it made an impression on me. After watching just enough of it to see what it was, it impressed upon me an urgent need need to click on the pause button, post a comment about how it wasn’t worth a damn, then navigate quickly away from the page and try to forget what I’d just seen.

  • Anonymous

    Well, I think Nomi is cool. Laugh at him all you like but the guy was clearly a mad artist in the best way.

  • dumbsaint

    Well, I think Nomi is cool. Laugh at him all you like but the guy was clearly a mad artist in the best way.

  • http://www.victoriangothic.org Haystack

    Case in point.

  • Cloudnearly9

    Klaus Nomi was a genius. Even David Bowie knew this guy was an underground talent. game recognizes game. :P

  • Cloudnearly9

    Klaus Nomi was a genius. Even David Bowie knew this guy was an underground talent. game recognizes game. :P

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    I see what you’re trying to say, but some people are younger, and haven’t yet stopped to look back to see things of value in things that happened before they existed. I like to think some eventually learn how to turn around. Of course there are many who can’t or won’t… (I guess they wouldn’t be younger at that point though)

  • Word Eater

    For some reason, it made me think of ‘Fisheads.”

  • Word Eater

    For some reason, it made me think of ‘Fisheads.”

  • http://www.victoriangothic.org Haystack

    It may be generational to some extent, but I suspect that a large part of it is just that there are certain personalities who immediately click away when they see something campy and strange, and others who enthusiastically proclaim it as genius for those very reasons. I’m one of the latter.

  • WhiteRose

    He’s got that certain something….

  • WhiteRose

    He’s got that certain something….

  • Rex Vestri

    Oops! I accidentally clicked “Like” when I meant to click “Reply”.

    I lived through the 80’s. Those were my teenage years, so I don’t have to “look back to see value in things that happened before they existed”. I just know what I like, and what I don’t like. And this guy falls into the latter category.

  • Za Bakdaz

    For anyone interested in learning more about Klaus and his unique musical legacy, check out the fantastic documentary, The Nomi Song. It is SO sad to think of all the things he could have done…personally, I am convinced that he and Nina Hagen would have teamed up at some point for an operatic performance. Suppose there is an alternate reality where I own the album/recording and am listening to it right now…sigh!

    Also, check out Za Bakdaz…an unfinished opera which he was working on that friends of his tried piecing together. Probably very different from what it would have been, but still interesting, nevertheless…

  • Za Bakdaz

    For anyone interested in learning more about Klaus and his unique musical legacy, check out the fantastic documentary, The Nomi Song. It is SO sad to think of all the things he could have done…personally, I am convinced that he and Nina Hagen would have teamed up at some point for an operatic performance. Suppose there is an alternate reality where I own the album/recording and am listening to it right now…sigh!

    Also, check out Za Bakdaz…an unfinished opera which he was working on that friends of his tried piecing together. Probably very different from what it would have been, but still interesting, nevertheless…

  • Quadzilla

    I liked Nomi’s appearance on SNL doing “Man Who Sold the World” with David Bowie..

    He’s also in the concert film ‘Urggh! A Music War’ singing “Total Eclipse”…my favorite Nomi song.

    He was also featured in the cartoon ‘The Venture Bros.’ as one of supervillain David Bowies bodyguards (you kinda have to watch it to unwrap that statement)..

  • Quadzilla

    I liked Nomi’s appearance on SNL doing “Man Who Sold the World” with David Bowie..

    He’s also in the concert film ‘Urggh! A Music War’ singing “Total Eclipse”…my favorite Nomi song.

    He was also featured in the cartoon ‘The Venture Bros.’ as one of supervillain David Bowies bodyguards (you kinda have to watch it to unwrap that statement)..

  • No now w/o the past

    Wow! The 80’s. That was, like, so long ago. Were there people then?

    Klaus, on the other hand, was ahead of his time. Unique when fitting in was considered cool. He was different and had the balls to show it.

    I’ll collect my “fuck you” now please. And by all means… call me an asshole. At least I’m not the one who insists on telling people what I don’t like. What I don’t like I don’t bother with. Or bother the people who do like it.

    When you have your own parade you don’t have time to rain on anyone else’s.

    Too bad you were too young to vote. I’m sure Reagan would have loved you.
    http://www.examiner.com/city-buzz-in-san-francisco/ronald-reagan-aids-a-legacy-of-silence

    You may now put your head back in the sand.

  • Rex Vestri

    My, what a hypocritical prick you’ve just shown yourself to be.

  • No now w/o the past

    Hypocritical prick! That’s even better than being called an asshole!!! I guess I hit a nerve.

    Go back to your Justin Beaver MP3s. You’ve no reason to be in a conversation about Klaus Nomi other than to make negative comments. And show your ignorance.

    Your head? Meet the sand.

  • Rex Vestri

    Case in point

  • No now w/o the past

    You’re funny.

  • Rex Vestri

    Thank you!

  • No now w/o the past

    Are sitting on the keyboard? I make a comment and the next thing I know you respond. Go out and play.

    Kids these days.

  • Rex Vestri

    LMFAO

    Yeah….Kids these days!

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    If you keep replying does the indentation keep going until theres 1 word per line? what is beyond there? does the internet implode? Now I’m curious

  • No now w/o the past

    Indentation. Indentation. Testing. Testing. 123…

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    From my count it will take about 4 or 5 more comments after this one to implode the internet

  • http://www.victoriangothic.org Haystack

    I’m curious, too.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    I am also curious as well, and this is a constructive comment and not wasting space at all, and this comment is definitely not redundant

  • http://www.victoriangothic.org Haystack

    We’ve gone too far. We really must find out.

  • http://www.victoriangothic.org Haystack

    It will be funny if this now ends up on Disinfo’s “most discussed” sidebar. *g*

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    sadface; when it gets this far the reply button disappears i’m trying to find a way to find and pus the button

  • http://www.victoriangothic.org Haystack

    Now at last we’ve unlocked the mystery.

    Now I’m going to go back to searching for hidden symbolism in Leonardo DaVinci’s paintings.

  • http://thefirstchurchofmutterhals.blogspot.com/ mutterhals

    Oh fuck, this is the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.

  • Reverb

    Will there be prizes?

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