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]

66 Comments on "You Can’t Un-Watch Klaus Nomi"

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Rex Vestri | Feb 21, 2011 at 12:51 am |

    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.

  4. Rex Vestri | Feb 20, 2011 at 8:51 pm |

    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.

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

      • Rex Vestri | Feb 20, 2011 at 10:13 pm |

        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.

        • Case in point.

          • 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)

          • 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 | Feb 21, 2011 at 11:25 am |

            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 | Feb 21, 2011 at 10:57 pm |

            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 | Feb 21, 2011 at 11:15 pm |

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

          • No now w/o the past | Feb 22, 2011 at 7:51 am |

            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 | Feb 22, 2011 at 9:15 am |

            Case in point

          • No now w/o the past | Feb 22, 2011 at 2:26 pm |

            You’re funny.

          • Rex Vestri | Feb 22, 2011 at 2:30 pm |

            Thank you!

          • No now w/o the past | Feb 22, 2011 at 2:39 pm |

            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 | Feb 22, 2011 at 2:49 pm |

            LMFAO

            Yeah….Kids these days!

          • 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 | Feb 23, 2011 at 1:55 pm |

            Indentation. Indentation. Testing. Testing. 123…

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

          • I’m curious, too.

          • 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

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

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

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

          • Will there be prizes?

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

          • 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.

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

  6. Rex Vestri | Feb 21, 2011 at 2:13 am |

    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.

  7. Anonymous | Feb 21, 2011 at 2:43 am |

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

  8. dumbsaint | Feb 20, 2011 at 10:43 pm |

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

  9. Case in point.

  10. Cloudnearly9 | Feb 21, 2011 at 4:30 am |

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

  11. Cloudnearly9 | Feb 21, 2011 at 12:30 am |

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

  12. 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)

  13. Word Eater | Feb 21, 2011 at 6:52 am |

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

  14. Word Eater | Feb 21, 2011 at 2:52 am |

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

  15. 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.

  16. WhiteRose | Feb 21, 2011 at 9:48 am |

    He’s got that certain something….

  17. WhiteRose | Feb 21, 2011 at 5:48 am |

    He’s got that certain something….

  18. Rex Vestri | Feb 21, 2011 at 3:25 pm |

    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.

  19. Za Bakdaz | Feb 21, 2011 at 5:30 pm |

    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…

  20. Za Bakdaz | Feb 21, 2011 at 1:30 pm |

    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…

  21. Quadzilla | Feb 21, 2011 at 7:23 pm |

    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)..

  22. Quadzilla | Feb 21, 2011 at 3:23 pm |

    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)..

  23. No now w/o the past | Feb 22, 2011 at 2:57 am |

    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.

  24. Rex Vestri | Feb 22, 2011 at 3:15 am |

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

  25. No now w/o the past | Feb 22, 2011 at 11:51 am |

    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.

  26. Rex Vestri | Feb 22, 2011 at 1:15 pm |

    Case in point

  27. No now w/o the past | Feb 22, 2011 at 6:26 pm |

    You’re funny.

  28. Rex Vestri | Feb 22, 2011 at 6:30 pm |

    Thank you!

  29. No now w/o the past | Feb 22, 2011 at 6:39 pm |

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

    Kids these days.

  30. Rex Vestri | Feb 22, 2011 at 6:49 pm |

    LMFAO

    Yeah….Kids these days!

  31. 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

  32. No now w/o the past | Feb 23, 2011 at 5:55 pm |

    Indentation. Indentation. Testing. Testing. 123…

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

  34. I’m curious, too.

  35. 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

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

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

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

  39. 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.

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

  41. Will there be prizes?

Comments are closed.