Klaus Nomi was a prominent figure in the New Wave scene of the '80s in New York City, not only for his gorgeous counter tenor that made pop and punk songs into opera but also for his iconic look and stage presence. Watching the documentary The Nomi Song, I can only wish I was around when he was performing, perhaps in the same clubs I went to many years after his death. With campy futuristic stage performances and an iconic look that was a mix between a space alien, a Kabuki performer, and the robot from Metropolis, he was the one shocking the seemingly unshockable downtown punk crowds.

This doc about his short career and early death from a mysterious disease we now know is AIDs has fantastic footage of him performing live, shots of the East Village as it was then and now, and, of course, tales from his friends (including the fabulous Ann Magnuson), and a giant Klaus Nomi robot. It weirdly, touchingly, fittingly illustrates the life and lonely death of an outsider among outsiders, a purposely enigmatic man whose music and performances touched many, and still does to this today. It's also a fascinating time capsule of the underground music and performance art world of New York, back when, you know, artists could actually scrape together a living making art.

You can watch this unique documentary over at SnagFilms for free. The beautiful tribute to Klaus Nomi by Meredith Yayanos over at Coilhouse (which you should bookmark immediately, and also go buy their gorgeous, keep-them-forever magazines) is absolutely worth a read. I've embedded the video for "Lightning Strikes" after the jump.

Have you seen The Nomi Song? Let me know what you think of it in the comments.
categories Cinematical