Klaus Nomi, the influential New Wave opera singer, semi-alien, and early ‘80s Lower East Side performance icon, was one of the first gay artists to succumb to AIDS when he died in 1983, as documented in Andrew Horn’s tear-inducing, yet hilariously quirky, 2004 film The Nomi Song. Though Nomi’s career was short-lived, and his synth-infused opera music — for lack of a better word — bizarre, the eccentric, German-born singer’s influence was considerable, touching pop stars (Morrissey) and contemporary composers (Austria’s Olga Neuwirth) alike. Now, on the eve of what would have been Mr. Nomi’s (nee Klaus Sperber) 64th birthday on January 24, a portion of his unfinished opera, Za Bakdaz, or “Nomi Homeland,” has for the first time been made available on CD. The Village Voice reports:
In his brief career, Nomi carried the flag for freaks of many stripes, with retro-futurist performances that featured his androgynous, Sturm und Drang vocals backed by a New Wave ensemble that artfully mangled ’60s Brill Building standards, classical arias, and quirky originals…
Za Bakdaz, according to the album’s official Web site, is available for purchase at several locations in Mr. Nomi’s old stomping ground: Kim’s (St. Mark’s Place), Cakeshop (Ludlow Street), Other Music (4th Street) and Rebel Rebel (West Bleeker Street).
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