Oct 25, 2017

RhoDeo 1743 Aetix


Today's artist is a German countertenor noted for his wide vocal range and an unusual, otherworldly stage persona. He was known for his bizarrely visionary theatrical live performances, heavy make-up, unusual costumes, and a highly stylized signature hairdo which flaunted a receding hairline. His songs were equally unusual, ranging from synthesizer-laden interpretations of classical opera to covers of 1960s pop standards..........N'Joy

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Klaus Nomi was born Klaus Sperber in Immenstadt, Bavaria, Germany on January 24, 1944. In the 1960s, he worked as an usher at the Deutsche Oper in West Berlin where he sang for the other ushers and maintenance crew on stage in front of the fire curtain after performances. Around that time he also sang opera arias at the Berlin gay discothèque Kleist Casino. Nomi moved to New York City in 1972. He began his involvement with the art scene based in the East Village. According to a documentary film made by Andrew Horn, Nomi took singing lessons and supported himself working as a pastry chef.

In 1972, Nomi appeared in a satirical camp production of Richard Wagner's Das Rheingold at Charles Ludlam's Ridiculous Theater Company as the Rheinmaidens and the Wood Bird. Nomi came to the attention of New York City's art scene in 1978 with his performance in "New Wave Vaudeville", a four-night event MC'd by artist David McDermott. Dressed in a skin-tight spacesuit with clear plastic cape, Nomi sang the aria Mon cœur s'ouvre à ta voix ("My heart opens to your voice") from Camille Saint-Saëns' 1877 opera Samson et Dalila. The performance ended with a chaotic crash of strobe lights, smoke bombs, and loud electronic sound effects as Nomi backed away into the smoke. Joey Arias recalled: "I still get goose pimples when I think about it... It was like he was from a different planet and his parents were calling him home. When the smoke cleared, he was gone." The reaction was so overwhelmingly positive that he was invited to perform at clubs all over New York City.

At the New Wave Vaudeville show Klaus Nomi met Kristian Hoffman, songwriter for the Mumps. Hoffman was a performer and MC in the second incarnation of New Wave Vaudeville and a close friend of Susan Hannaford and Tom Scully, who produced the show, and Ann Magnuson, who directed it. Anya Phillips, then manager of James Chance and the Contortions, suggested Nomi and Hoffman form a band. Hoffman became Nomi's de facto musical director, assembling a band that included Page Wood from another New Wave vaudeville act, Come On, and Joe Katz, who was concurrently in The Student Teachers, the Accidents, and The Mumps. Hoffman helped Nomi choose his pop covers, including the Lou Christie song "Lightnin' Strikes." Hoffman wrote several pop songs with which Nomi is closely identified: "The Nomi Song", "Total Eclipse", "After The Fall", and "Simple Man", the title song of Nomi's second RCA French LP. This configuration of the Klaus Nomi band performed at Manhattan clubs, including several performances at Max's Kansas City, Danceteria and Hurrah. Disagreements with the management Nomi engaged led to a dissolution of this band, and Nomi continued without them.

In the late 1970s while performing at Club 57, The Mudd Club, The Pyramid Club, and other venues, Nomi assembled a group of up-and-coming models, singers, artists, and musicians to perform live with him, which at times included Joey Arias, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, John Sex and Kenny Scharf.[8] He also appeared on Manhattan Cable's TV Party. David Bowie heard about Nomi's performances in New York and soon met him and Joey Arias at the Mudd Club. Bowie hired them as performers and backup singers for his appearance on Saturday Night Live which aired on December 15, 1979. The band performed "TVC 15", "The Man Who Sold the World", and "Boys Keep Swinging". During the performance of "TVC 15", Nomi and Arias dragged around a large prop pink poodle with a television screen in its mouth. Nomi was so impressed with the plastic quasi-tuxedo suit that Bowie wore during "The Man Who Sold the World" that he commissioned one to be made for himself. Nomi can be seen wearing the suit on the cover of his self-titled album, as well as during a number of his music videos. Nomi wore his variant of the outfit, in monochromatic black-and-white with spandex and makeup to match, until the last few months of his life. Klaus Nomi released his second album, Simple Man, in November 1982.

Nomi also collaborated with producer Man Parrish. He appeared on Parrish's album Hip Hop Bee Bop as a backup vocalist on the track "Six Simple Synthesizers." He played a supporting role as a Nazi official in Anders Grafstrom's 1980 underground film The Long Island Four. The 1981 rock documentary film, Urgh! A Music War, features Nomi's live performance of Total Eclipse.[8] His performance of Mon cœur s'ouvre à ta voix was used as the music for the closing credits. 666 Fifth Avenue was listed as the contact address in the liner notes of Nomi's 1981 self-titled record.

In the last several months of his life, Nomi changed his focus to operatic pieces; to fit, he adopted a Baroque era operatic outfit complete with full collar as his typical on-stage attire in this time frame. The collar helped cover the outbreaks of Kaposi's sarcoma forming on his neck, one of the numerous AIDS-related diseases Nomi developed toward the end of his life. Nomi was reported to be gay; before his illness, there was speculation that he was asexual. Nomi died on August 6, 1983 at the Sloan Kettering Hospital Center in New York City, one of the first celebrities to die of complications from AIDS. His ashes were scattered over New York City.

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It only takes a quick look at the cover to get a reasonably decent idea that this isn't your typical pop album: Decked out in a grossly oversized suit and heavy theatrical makeup, Klaus Nomi is not your typical pop singer, either. Both the cover and the music within lean heavily to the dramatic -- Nomi's delivery is all in a very operatic falsetto, though most of the music itself is more of the early-'80s European dance school (indeed, one of his collaborators here was Man Parrish, probably best-known for his later work with Man 2 Man). Only one of the tracks here was self-penned; rather, Nomi gets down to work here as an interpreter, turning in suitably skewed versions of "Lightning Strikes" and Chubby Checker's "The Twist." The real highlights here are his take on Kristian Hoffman's song "Total Eclipse," and a rather straight (ahem) reading of the aria from Saint-Saens' classical work Samson and Delilah. It's pretty hard to imagine your typical classical music buff embracing this song, let alone the entire album, but fans of off-kilter pop music will certainly find a lot to love about this album.

Klaus Nomi - Klaus Nomi   (flac  177mb)

01 Keys Of Life 2:26
02 Lightning Strikes 2:59
03 The Twist 3:10
04 Nomi Song 2:47
05 You Don't Own Me 3:39
06 The Cold Song 4:03
07 Wasting My Time 4:16
08 Total Eclipse 3:29
09 Nomi Chant 1:53
10 Samson And Delilah (Aria) 3:43

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Coming off such a left-field debut, it was up in the air as to what Klaus Nomi would do for a follow-up. That second album was Simple Man, and if listeners were unsure if the first album was a put-on, this one certainly didn't do much to clear things up. While the album starts out promisingly with an atmospheric fade-in followed by a hard dance number with the occasional Birthday Party-style guitar thrown in, the rest of the album did its damnedest to move the album's overall tone to one of self-parody. Could one really think any differently listening to the hyper-sugary cover of "Just One Look," the faux-country disco number "Rubberband Lazer," or the version of "Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead"? As with the debut album, Nomi's true capabilities are shown off by his versions of classical works -- in this case, "Death" (taken from Henry Purcell's "Dido and Aeneas") and "Return" (which is based on a choral number by John Dowland). The thing is, those pieces are right at the end of the album and the listeners who would enjoy them the most will probably already have been long shaken off by all of the kitsch leading up to it.

Klaus Nomi - Simple Man (flac 227mb)

01 From Beyond 2:51
02 After The Fall 4:43
03 Just One Look 3:19
04 Falling In Love Again 2:39
05 Icurok 4:24
06 Rubberband Lazer 4:20
07 Wayward Sisters 1:43
08 Ding Dong 3:03
09 Three Wishes 3:18
10 Simple Man 4:17
11 Death 4:18
12 Return 2:07

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Klaus Nomi - In Concert (flac 202mb)

01 Intro Keys Of Life 1:32
02 Keys Of Life 3:52
03 Falling In Love Again 2:47
04 Lightning Strikes 1:40
05 Nomi Song 3:12
06 The Twist 3:20
07 Total Eclipse 4:42
08 I Feel Love 5:25
09 Samson And Delilah : Aria 5:46

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The existence of a third Klaus Nomi album must have seemed like an impossible dream for hardcore Nomi freaks for many years, but the brief Za Bakdaz -- a combination archival release, some new (musical) recording and art statement -- proves otherwise. Though the liner notes don't spell it out, the songs come from a series of sessions recorded with the singer by Nomi sidemen and collaborators George Elliott and Page Wood during 1979, while details of the stage presentation called the Nomi Show were still being put together. Described by Wood in an interview as reflective of Nomi's fascination with the "whole grand-opera-meets-Buck-Rogers thing," it's an intentionally polished and presented final product worked on by Elliott and Wood in recent years, and while some songs had surfaced elsewhere -- the mesmerizing title track and a concluding take on "Silent Night," not to mention an early and very different sounding rough version of Simple Man's "Rubberband Laser" -- the whole is an otherwise new and wonderfully loopy listen. The air throughout is of random play, heightened by the bubbly harpsichord-meets-lounge instrumental intro "High Wire," with a very self-consciously artistic edge -- instead of the immediate pop hooks of songs like his cover of "Lightning Strikes," here Nomi mostly explores arias in miniature, with further treatments like the chop-ups on "Cre Spoda" giving his voice an even more distant, unearthly feeling. That Nomi would sound in fine voice is unsurprising -- it was the power of his singing that won over people to start with as much as his image -- and compared to the often too-slick performances on his official studio albums, the accompaniment here explores odd textures, echoed riffs, and other odd sonic murk. Hearing Nomi's famous falsetto first glide in with a wordless cry on "Valentine's Day" is a wonderful moment, while such songs as the remarkable "Enchante," with everything from clattering industrial percussion to a haunting chorus, and the drone-funk of "Perne-A-Gyre" make for fine additions to a too-slim catalog.

Klaus Nomi - Za Bakdaz ( Unfinished Opera) (flac 183mb)

01 High Wire 2:04
02 Valentine's Day 2:49
03 Enchanté 4:31
04 Overture 2:42
05 Cre Spoda 3:03
06 Metronomi 2:44
07 Intermezzzo 1:16
08 Za Bakdaz (Live) 3:09
09 Perne-A-Gyre 2:56
10 Finale 2:34
11 Rubber Band Laser 2:21
12 Silent Night 1:38

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bobbysu said...

thank you so much

Mick said...

Morrisey is a big fan as his choice on desert island discs will attest.

thecatkeaton said...

Thanks for the Nomi.

Nico said...

Hi, I love your blog, very inspiring.
Any chance of getting a Re-Upload of Bim Sherman - Across the Red Sea?


Thank you so much for everything

Anonymous said...

Not sure where to ask for this but I was wondering if you had Modern English - Stop Start?

aurora said...

Re-ups of the above would be most appreciated, please!

aurora said...

Prachtig! Dankjewel :)

aurora said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
aurora said...

Rho, would you check the 'Klaus Nomi - In Concert' link please?
It appears to be unable to connect to the server at cfiles.me...

Mzee Schnauzi said...

Same problem (DNS error) with cfiles.me on the FSOL re-up page.

Mzee Schnauzi said...

cfiles.me is up again but says "file not found". Same on FSOL re-up page.