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Here’s the Klaus Nomi karaoke you’ll be needing for your Eclipse Party
08.18.2017
09:05 am
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I was an eleven-year-old kid attending Catholic school in Kentucky and my parents had just gotten cable TV. It was 1982. I had gotten up inexplicably early one morning. Maybe 4:00 or 5:00 AM. I turned on the television and had my brain cracked open by an unbelievably amazing concert film called Urgh! A Music War. I was bombarded with music and bizarre performances the likes of which was unimaginable to me in my sheltered youth. I wasn’t prepared for it.

Some of it absolutely terrified me, in particular, The Dead Kennedys, The Cramps, and Skafish (who were downright blasphemous to me—I didn’t understand camp at that time). But the one act that stood out to me the most—the most bizarre thing I had ever seen up to that point—was Klaus Nomi.

I didn’t LOVE Klaus Nomi at first, nor really any of the acts in Urgh!, save for the big names I already knew like The Police, Go Go’s, and Joan Jett.  I was intrigued and confused by these performances, but in time I came to love them. I love every band and every song in Urgh! It’s a perfect concert film.

Klaus Nomi ended up becoming a bit of an obsession over time. By the time I got to college, I was already fully immersed in punk rock. I had a copy of Urgh! on VHS that I watched over and over with friends in the dorm room. And Klaus was always the highlight. The general comment whenever anyone first saw Klaus’ performance in Urgh! was “what the hell is this supposed to be?” Exactly. That’s the greatness of Klaus Nomi. Klaus’ backing band, looking like super-square rejects from an E.L.O. tribute was also a constant source of hilarious commentary in the dorm. The clash between the highly stylized other-worldliness of Klaus and his backup dancers and the backing band which just looked like “some dudes” actually seemed like calculated genius. The song Klaus and his band performs in Urgh!, “Total Eclipse,” is by now one of my favorite songs of all time.

Moving forward in time, one of the weird side-jobs I ended up doing years later was hosting karaoke. I was a karaoke DJ (or KJ, as we like to be called) for eight years. It was a fun gig and I was really good at it. I made a point to scour the planet for karaoke tracks that no one else had. It wasn’t easy to find punk rock on karaoke, but if it existed, I had it. I was even part of a cabal of “cool” karaoke hosts nationwide (there were like 6 of us) that hired studio bands to record the tracks we wanted for karaoke use, but that were unavailable on the market. As a result, the members of this cabal had dozens of tracks that no other KJs in the world had access to.

The one track I always wanted though, that we never produced ourselves or were able to find ANYWHERE was “Total Eclipse.”

Fast forward to a couple of days ago when I began making plans for an eclipse party. I happen to live in one of the few municipal areas in the U.S. that will be able to observe the full total eclipse on August 21. So, I’m thinking “man, wouldn’t it be awesome to have ‘Total Eclipse’ by Klaus Nomi on karaoke?”

So I did a search… something I had done plenty of times to no avail back when I was working in the karaoke business. But this time I hit paydirt. Some kind soul on YouTube has taken the time to create a backing track with on-screen lyrics for “Total Eclipse.”

This is seriously the best thing to ever happen in the world of karaoke.

Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Christopher Bickel
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08.18.2017
09:05 am
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Jumping jack dancing ‘puppets’ of Klaus Nomi, David Byrne, Kathleen Hanna & many more
01.30.2017
01:04 pm
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Klaus Nomi

I’ve blogged about Sean Bright‘s fun pop-up cards featuring Roxy Music, Delia Derbyshire, Grandmaster Flash, De La Soul, and many other pop culture notable in the past here on Dangerous Minds. This time it’s his jumping jack puppets and felted dolls that have me swooning. They’re damned adorable. I’m especially smitten with his Moondog felted doll. Incredible!

The jumping jack puppets include Klaus Nomi, David Byrne, Adam Ant, David Bowie and Morrissey.

Prices for the jumping jack puppets are around $18.00. The Moondog felted doll is priced at $45.00.


 

David Byrne
 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Tara McGinley
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01.30.2017
01:04 pm
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Christmas ornaments featuring Morrissey, Bowie, Adam Ant, Nick Cave, Siouxsie and more


 
This charming set of Christmas ornaments does a wonderful job of letting everyone in your circle know that you love St. Nick—and that the “Nick” in question is Nick Cave. Matthew Lineham designed them, and he’s done a wonderful job of working in “obscure Christmas memories and puns,” as he put it.

Many of his “obscure” references involve network Christmas programming from many decades ago. Siouxsie Sioux is transformed into Cindy Lou Who, the little girl from Whoville in Dr. Seuss’ classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Morrissey plays the part of “Snow Mozzer” and “Heat Mozzer,” the memorable characters from the 1974 stop-motion animated Christmas TV special from Rankin/Bass, The Year Without a Santa Claus. Former Oingo Boingo frontman and soundtrack maestro Danny Elfman appears as “Elfman on the Shelfman,” a reference to the 2004 children’s book The Elf on the Shelf. Robert Smith is perched atop Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and DEVO‘s familiar energy dome is cleverly done up as a Christmas tree.

Lineham calls the set “A Very New Wave Christmas” but he has sensibly gone where the name-puns and name recognition will take him rather than obey strict genre definitions. Bowie and Cave might not be your idea of “new wave” icons but they were active in the early 1980s, at least.

You can buy the rubber die cut bendable ornaments for $10 a pop (“Mozzer” pair $15), or $50 for the entire set, a significant discount. However, due to the unexpectedly high demand, Lineham wants purchasers to be aware that any ornaments ordered today will be shipped “sometime between Dec 21st & 31st,” so don’t bank on them being available for this year’s tree—however, there’s always 2017, 2018, 2019, and beyond to think of. These seem unlikely to go out of style anytime soon.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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11.30.2016
09:56 am
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Klaus Nomi’s lime tart recipe
11.29.2016
03:49 pm
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Certainly one thing that can be said of Klaus Nomi—as a little gay German dude born during World War II who had a passion for opera and a voice to match—is that he marched to the beat of his own drum. On paper, he doesn’t particularly sound like anyone who would become the object of admiration by a huge cult following—long after his death—but it happened. He landed in New York City in the 1970s, and that was the perfect place for his experimental new wave opera and eccentric form of exhibitionism to flourish.

In addition to palling around with David Bowie and wowing downtown audiences with his epicene good nature, his incredible singing performances, and his peculiar, almost plastic persona, Nomi was a first-rate pastry chef—that was his day job. In an appearance on Glenn O’Brien and Chris Stein’s legendary TV Party cable access show, he once demonstrated how to make his “sour-sweet lemon tarts.”

The Fashion Beyond Fashion blog reproduced Nomi’s recipe for a lime tart, which you can surely put to use as a way of delighting your holiday guests:
 

Step 1. The crust. It needs a 9-inch pie pan to make the tart in. It needs 1 1/4 cups fine graham cracker crumbs, 1/3rd cup brown sugar, and 1/4 melted butter to make crust. Mix the ingredients together and shape the crust into the pie pan. (Klaus Nomi mentions that it may not seem like the crust will hold together, but if it packs it tightly enough and when it sits overnight, it should hold).The artist also cautions about making the crust too sweet, you may not need to use as much brown sugar.

Step 2. The filling. it needs 4 eggs, 1 can sweetened condensed milk (Klaus used Borden’s condensed milk), and 1/2 cup lime juice. First it has to be separated the eggs; placing yolks in one bowl and whites in the other one. Klaus uses the egg shell to actually separate the whites from the yolk by putting the yolk on one side of the cracked shell and letting the whites drip into a separate bowl. Take the bowl with the egg yolks and add the sweetened condensed milk and lime juice. Mix together. Then, in the bowl with the egg whites, it has to whip them until the whites are very, very stiff. Once the whites are stiff it dramatically increases in volume, it slowly folds the whites into the other bowl. Once mixed together, place the filling into the crust.

Step 3. It takes lime peel and cut it into thin strips. It place the lime peel on top of the pie. This has two purposes; a beautiful presentation but also the flavor. The zest really adds a punch to the taste and is meant to be eaten. Then it places the tart into the refrigerator for at least several hours, but overnight is recommended in order to firm the tart, make easier the cut and better consistency.

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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11.29.2016
03:49 pm
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Klaus Nomi salt & pepper shakers
05.05.2016
10:26 am
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Just when you think you’ve seen everything—like the Steve Buscemi bikini—you come across an item like Klaus Nomi salt & pepper shakers. Now I would have never thought this up in a million years, but yet here we are. Looking at them.

The set sells for $35 by Etsy shop Yokai John. It looks like there’s two different sets in the listing for the Nomi shakers. If you do wish to order these, I’d be specific with the seller about which set you want. The listing’s a bit confusing.


 

Posted by Tara McGinley
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05.05.2016
10:26 am
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This felted Klaus Nomi is the most adorable thing you’ll see today
01.27.2016
12:22 pm
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Here’s an adorable needle-felted Klaus Nomi doll by Colorado-based artist Marin (AntiM).

The artist writes:

“If I were a better photographer, you could see the prominent cheekbones and the sharp, slightly upturned nose.”

I have no clue if Marin is making more of these felted Nomis or if they’re for sale, but you can contact the artist here.

I dig it.

Below, Klaus Nomi, who was then making his living as a pastry chef, sings on Glenn O’Brien’s legendary NYC cable access show, ‘TV Party’:
 

Posted by Tara McGinley
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01.27.2016
12:22 pm
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Nomi Noël: get your holiday jollies with ’Santa Klaus Nomi’
12.02.2015
08:49 am
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As ridiculous single-serving Twitter accounts go, “Santa Klaus Nomi” is worth a look. A holiday-themed send-up of the great and utterly singular operatic New Wave singer Klaus Nomi, it’s not the most original joke—I dimly recall a Chicago record store running a Santa Klaus Nomi ad in Lumpen 20 years ago, and there must be examples from the ‘80s as well. It’s just too obvious.

Though it was established in 2009, the oldest tweet seems to be from 2012 (posting ramps up around the holidays, surprise surprise), and it was joined in 2013 by a Facebook account, but the latter seems to exist solely for the sake of retweets. The account reactivated yesterday after a months-long spell of infrequent posting, with the following:
 

 
That’s pretty much the gist: pseudo-philisophical Christmasy ruminations so densely, elliptically faux-Teutonic as to put Mike Myers’ “Sprockets” sketches to shame. And its parody of that acutely angular and grimly serious post-WWII German expressionist trip is every bit as affectionate and funny as those old SNL bits.
 

 

 
Much more after the jump…

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Posted by Ron Kretsch
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12.02.2015
08:49 am
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Cool T-shirts featuring Ken Russell, Klaus Nomi, John Waters, Sylvia Plath & more

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It’s getting near that time for buying presents and shit. The one present I’ll certainly be adding to my holiday wish list of hoped-for Christmas goodies is a Ken Russell T-shirt from Hirsute History.

The l’enfant terrible genius of British cinema, Unkle Ken—the man responsible for such classic movies as Women in Love, The Music Lovers, The Devils, Tommy and Altered States—is just one of the many hirsute heroes to be found on a range of colorful clothing available from Hirsute History at Amphorphia Apparel. Here he joins Sylvia Plath, John Waters, Susan Sontag, Jerry Garcia, Ada Lovelace and a whole bunch of other artists, scientists, ideas and stars that’ll look good on your body.

So, if you fancy wearing a Ken Russell or an Ada Lovelace, then hop over to the site or get a retina burn from the selection below.
 
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Ken Russell.
 
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Sylvia Plath.
 
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Groucho Marx.
 
More fab T-shirts, after the jump….
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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11.24.2015
12:26 pm
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Remembering my friend, Klaus Nomi
01.01.2014
02:34 pm
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This post comes from the Dangerous Minds archives and was originally published on August 8th, 2010, the 27th anniversary of Klaus Nomi’s death.

I met Klaus in the fall of 1977 in the lobby of the Cinema Village after a midnight screening of Eraserhead. We struck up a conversation about the movie and immediately hit it off. Wearing a black leather jacket, black jeans, black lipstick, black eye shadow and jet black, slicked back, widow-peaked hair, Klaus looked like an elegant punk vampire. But despite his dramatic appearance, Klaus was low-key and somewhat shy. I don’t know why we hit it off, but we did. He invited my girlfriend and me over to his apartment for the following night. He told us he was a pastry chef and wanted us to taste his creations. We readily accepted.

The next night when we arrived at Klaus’s apartment on St. Mark’s Place, he greeted us at the door wearing a chef’s apron. The smell of fresh baked pastry filled his small but impeccably neat home. We ate his delicacies and swooned. They were delicious. And while I felt comfortable in his presence, I also felt as if Klaus was not of this planet. There was something strange and alien about him, but benignly so. Klaus was an unusual being…which he would soon confirm.

While my girlfriend and I sipped wine, Klaus excused himself and disappeared into his bedroom. After about 15 minutes or so, he reappeared with a theatrical flourish in semi- drag, looking like a diminutive Diva: face made-up and wearing a red satin robe. He walked over to his stereo equipment, put a record on the turntable and started singing to an instrumental backing track, some kind of opera. He was stunning. His voice was sublime. I was witnessing something very special. His performance also explained why there were so many photos and paintings of Maria Callas in his apartment.

Later that night I told Klaus that I wanted to help him develop as a performer. I encouraged him to take the next step. The first thing I suggested was that he get a guitar and learn some basic chords. Singing to backing tracks was fine, but he needed to write original material and try to bridge the gap between high culture and rock and roll. I really believed he had the potential to be a star. I invited him to come to some of my band’s rehearsals and try his hand at singing with a rock group. It wasn’t a good fit, but it did loosen him up and point him in a direction that he would later follow.

One day Klaus called me and asked me to help pick out an electric guitar. I was thrilled. He was going for it.  We went to Manhattan’s music district and after several hours of shopping around, Klaus settled on a dark blue Fender Jaguar. He bought it and we went back to his pad and I showed him some basic chords. It didn’t take Klaus long to get the hang of E, A and D. When I left, he was already humming the beginnings of a song.

I never heard from Klaus again. No phone calls, nothing. I made a few attempts to contact him, but with no success. The next and last time I saw him was on Saturday Night Live singing back-up with Joey Arias behind David Bowie. Klaus was on his way to brief stardom. I felt sad to have lost my connection to him, but happy that I had managed to contribute in some way to his development as an artist.

Klaus died of AIDs five years after I met him. He was the first person that I knew to die of the disease. Tragically, the first of many.

A few months ago I asked Joey Arias about the blue Fender Jaguar. Was it still around?  Joey told me it had been sold after Klaus’s death. I was disappointed. I would have liked to have bought it myself as an Earthly memento of a friend who seemed to be visiting from another world, a world that perhaps he’s returned to.

Cold Song is a powerful live performance shot after Klaus was well into his illness. The second video is Klaus and Joey at work and play at Fiorucci in 1979.
 

 

Posted by Marc Campbell
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01.01.2014
02:34 pm
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Klaus Nomi advertising Jägermeister
04.05.2013
01:13 pm
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In addition to being an accomplished pastry chef, German New Wave opera singer from outer space, Klaus Nomi, was also a spokesperson for Jägermeister, the German cough medicine and working class aperitif.

Nomi’s face appeared on one side of a cardboard “table tent” distributed to bars that read:

“I’m drinking German Jägermeister because that’s my kind of girl over there.”

Here’s the other side of the table tent:
 
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Below, Nomi, in a plastic raincoat stolen from Howie Pyro’s mother, unveils himself for the first time onstage at The New Wave Vaudeville Show in 1978 performing the aria from Saint-Saëns’ Samson and Delilah.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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04.05.2013
01:13 pm
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Klaus Nomi on NYC’s 10 O’Clock News, 1981
03.26.2013
01:15 pm
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How’s about a little experimental New Wave opera from outer space to get you through your Tuesday? Try this clip of a super friendly Klaus Nomi on a 1981 New York TV newscast.

You can tell that the reporter did her research and made such an unlikely subject for the times into nice little digestible local news story. Nomi’s completely adorable here—his pastry metaphor is downright endearing!
 

Posted by Amber Frost
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03.26.2013
01:15 pm
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Life-size Klaus Nomi doll (and sarcophagus)
01.17.2013
01:25 pm
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Artist Pat Keck is a massive Klaus Nomi fan. So much so that she built a life-size wooden Klaus Nomi doll which rests on top of a sarcophagus with lyrics from “The Cold Song” written around the edge.

Apparently Klaus comes equipped with hydraulics, for when you step on the attached pedal, he rises up and his head comes forward with arms moving.
 
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Below, an absolutely stunning performance of “Cold Song”:

 

 

Posted by Tara McGinley
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01.17.2013
01:25 pm
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Klaus Nomi on ‘Real People,’ 1979
03.07.2012
03:14 pm
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Whimsical segment from the seventies prime time TV program Real People featuring Klaus Nomi, Joey Arias and others (I also spotted a young John Sex and Kenny Scharf frugging away) dancing in the window of the Fiorucci boutique, which used to be across the street from Bloomingdales.

I used to buy blue jeans there, of all things…
 

 
Previously on Dangeorus Minds
The East Village Preservation Society: Club 57’s Ann Magnuson & Kenny Scharf

Posted by Richard Metzger
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03.07.2012
03:14 pm
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Documentary on Klaus Nomi: Watch it here
02.15.2012
04:36 pm
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Richard Metzger shared The Nomi Song with DM readers back in 2010 but the original source for the video is gone. Here’s a new link to the film.

Andrew Horn’s excellent 2004 documentary about New Wave opera diva from outer-space, Klaus Nomi, follows the rise of Nomi’s unlikely career until his death in 1983 from AIDS complications. With Kristian Hoffman, Kenny Scharf, Ann Magnuson, Tony Frere, Page Wood, David McDermott and in a great performance clip, David Bowie and Joey Arias.

High quality video and audio.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell
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02.15.2012
04:36 pm
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‘The Tube’ 1983 NY clubbing special ft New Order, Klaus Nomi, Paradise Garage & more


 
The Tube was an early-to-mid 80s British “yoof” TV program covering music and fashion, hosted by Jools Holland and Paula Yates. This special report comes from sometime around 1983 (the date is unspecified but we know that Klaus Nomi has already died) when Holland and guest presenter Leslie Ash take a trip around New York’s most happening night spots. That includes the Paradise Garage, Danceteria, The Roxy and even a brief, passing glimpse of CBGBs.

If you can ignore the cheesy presenting style (“Wow! Clubs in New York stay open until FOUR o’clock!”, “I hear this club has a “happening” sound system.” etc) there are some great interviews here, as well as some priceless footage inside the clubs mentioned. So we get the likes of Arthur Baker talking about producing New Order, Nona Hendryx and Quando Quango performing live, Afrika Bambaataa on the turntables at The Roxy,  The Peech Boys backstage at the Paradise Garage, and Ruth Polsky and Rudolph of Danceteria talking about their good friend, the recently deceased Klaus Nomi: 
 

 
Thanks to Andrew Pirie.

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile
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11.02.2011
03:19 pm
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