The Nomi Song

The Nomi Song (2004)
Palm Pictures
Cast: Klaus Nomi
Extras: Commentary Track, Audio Remixes, Interviews, Deleted Scenes, Photo Gallery, Trailer, Performances

To be honest, I never heard about or had the chance to experience the musical performances of Klaus Nomi (born under the name Klaus Sperber in Essen, Germany in 1944) until I had the opportunity to see the documentary ’The Nomi Song: The Klaus Nomi Odyssey’ and what an imaginative exploration it was!

This is the story of the late Klaus Nomi, the classically trained musician that took the new wave music scene by storm in New York during the seventies. Described as a ’car crash’ of sorts, the shockingly flamboyant, truly bizarre performer, that mixed new wave rock with opera notes to produce a most unique and original musical presentation that you won’t soon forget. From performing in small, obscure East Village theaters to appearing with David Bowie on Saturday Night Live, Klaus Nomi had altered the experimental music scene-of that time-forever. Told through interviews with former managers, friends, fellow performers and journalists that knew Klaus, this is a great, touching tribute to a performer that was never really given the chance to reach a wider audience due to his life being taken from AIDS in 1983.

Palm Pictures presents ’The Nomi Song: The Klaus Nomi Odyssey’ in an anamorphic widescreen transfer that is documentary quality at best. Taking into account that this is a presentation displaying various film elements and archival footage, mixed with interview footage and presented in the best possible quality as the various sources will allow, the overall transfer will still provide a solid visual experience.

The soundtrack is available in Dolby Digital 2.0. Given the date and quality of the original source material, the sound presented is decent and can’t be compared in any way to the blockbuster soundtracks available on most DVDs today, but is still able to maintain a good audio soundstage.

There is a wealth of extras included on this DVD to delight any fan of Klaus Nomi and music fans alike, including; a commentary from director Andrew Horn, deleted scenes, behind the scenes interviews, three full musical numbers, a mini tour of New York’s East Village, interviews with various songwriters and artists, the Saturday Night Live performance with David Bowie from 1979 and many more additional features.

I’m glad that I had the opportunity to experience this story of Klaus Nomi, a sincerely fantastic, avant-garde musical performer that deserved to have his strange odyssey showcased for all music fans from the past, as well as the present to experience on this nicely packaged DVD.