The Nomi Song

Last night me & Milky watched The Nomi Song, a documentary on avant-garde performance artist and opera new wave singer Klaus Nomi. He’s probably most recently famous for being one of Sovereign David Bowie’s henchman for the season 2 finale of Venture Bros. That’s because he sang “The Man Who Sold the World” on Saturday Night Live with Bowie back in ’79, when SNL was still cool:

He was a unique performer in a time when we were still experimenting with radical revision of nostalgia, and really was part of the ’80s zeitgeist of uber kitsch, wacky ’50s sci-fi adoration, and plastic fetishism. Just look at that tuxedo. Musically he was one of the best things out of Germany at the time- up there with Falco, Neu!, Kraftwerk. Sadly his time was short; as you can imagine a skinny angular man of radical fashion sense with a falsetto- he was gay and one of the first casualties of AIDS, when no one even knew what it was.

Klaus sings Marlene Dietrich’s “Falling in Love Again”

It’s a shame we lost him early, as he had just signed on to the inevitable heinous music contract with RCA, and was getting exposure. Unfortunately they backed him with a new sterile band that lost much of the raw energy and spontaneity of his old group, so we never got to see him claw his way out of record company hell and make good again. If his music intrigues you, you should check out The Nomi Song. The doc does get a VH1 feel at times, but it is loaded with archive footage not only of Nomi and pals, but of a lost New York from the late ’70s and early ’80s, when experimental art and music were thriving in the ungentrified crumbling neighborhoods. One of the most memorable moments, when Klaus & co. opened for Twisted Sister in New Jersey, and they all thought the audience was going to kill them.

Iggy Pop, David Bowie & Klaus on the Venture Bros.

It is available on DVD and Netflix (including instant streaming) so there’s no excuse. Any aficionado of the ’80s owes it to themselves to give Klaus Nomi a try. So no one can say you don’t Nomi.

Klaus Nomi – Simple Man

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NYC Comicon – Venture Bros. panel

I haven’t been to a Comic con before, but there was a Venture Bros. panel, so I decided to go with Milky and Darth Dross this weekend. While I am still recovering from geek overload, I do not regret it. We began Tick Tock Diner, home of the English Breakfast Burger, Eggs Arepas, and other fine fare. We knew we were close, because a fat Jedi waddled past the window. At the Javits Center, the line to the dealer floor was enormous, but they kept it moving quickly. Soon enough we were in the dealer’s room, with all their wonderful toys.

Things got off to the wrong foot when I saw my old high school pal C.C. Banana while I was on the escalator. I’d seen his website, but I was not prepared for my old friend to be dressed as a giant fruit. We didn’t have a chance to talk, or for me to see his act. Then again, with the amount of grown men dressed as Inuyasha, I shouldn’t single him out. There were plenty of good costumers there, from the 501st Legion- Star Wars costumers- to a guy on stilts as an actual-size Hulk. And of course, plenty of Venture Bros. fans.

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I only fanboyed over a few people. Lou Ferrigno was there signing photos, and the Hulk was my childhood idol, as those who know me when I’m angry can attest. It was $30 for a photo with him, so I opted for an autographed one of the Hulk instead. I snagged a photo of him anyway. He was friendly enough, but it’s got to suck making money this way, so I don’t hold it against him.
While I’m more of a fan of the Conan movies and books than the comics, when I saw Will Conrad was there selling sketches, I got one of the Cimmerian. Milky got a headshot of Leonardo the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle from the artists there, too. I also met animator Bill Plympton, one of my favorite animators. His sick sense of humor still cracks me up. He was showing off his newest, Idiots and Angels.
Of course Watchmen was a big thing- Dave Gibbons the artist from the original comic was there- but I was surprised there wasn’t more. No actors promoting it, or anything like that. I guess NYC ain’t as big as the San Diego one yet. Thankfully there weren’t any Dr. Manhattans going around in blue body paint, either. Here’s Milky’s Rorschach costume and a guy dressed as the Comedian.
The panel was very crowded- I had no idea Venture Bros. was this popular! Doc Hammer was there in his multicolor-haired and scrawny-limbed glory (hey, he spent like 5 minutes talking about how a men’s size small fits him like a circus tent, so don’t blame me for commenting on his gangliness). They showed some clips from the upcoming Season 3 DVD and Blu-Ray, the first HD release. The Blu-Ray will come with the soundtrack CD included; DVD set buyers will have to get it separately. The deleted scenes were pretty funny, and I’m sure I’ll be getting the set soon. I wonder how many will convert to Hi-Def to see Dr. Girlfriend in her Mrs. The Monarch outfit.
The panel was good fun- Doc, Jackson Publick, and Michael Sinterniklaas (voice of Dean, among others) answered many questions from fans who are a hell of a lot more obsessive than I’ll ever be. We didn’t learn much about Season 4, as expected. They repeated that #24 was dead so many times that I have an inkling he’ll be returning somehow. You can’t break up a good team like that. One of the more amusing questions was about how they’d cast a live-action movie of the show, and it seems they are big fans of Lost, since Hurley would be #21. And all the fans who lust after Dr. Girlfriend, the voluptuous villainess voiced by Doc Hammer with a throatful of gravel, got taken to task when a guy asked Doc if “he’d do her,” because of her voice. Doc replied, “would you have sex with me if I had a sexy girl voice?”
They did autographs afterward but I didn’t bring anything, and the line was limited to 1 hour- and moved glacially slow. So we went to see Fanboys instead. I’ll post a full review tomorrow, but I loved it. It was hilarious, somewhere between Detroit Rock City and Role Models. Certainly funnier for Star Wars nerds, but even Firecracker liked it. If you’re nerdy at all, you ought to go see it so it’ll get a wider release.
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Christmas with the Venture Brothers


Each year, the Venture Brothers team- Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer- do a goofy holiday song in the voices of their characters for Quickstop. This year, it’s #21 and 24 singing my least favorite Christmas song- Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime” … and if the nerdy henchman duo cracks you up, this song will have you in stitches.

Previous years include:
The Monarch and Dr. Girlfriend singing The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl’s “A Fairytale of New York
(That’s my favorite, with the high-pitched Monarch doing Kirsty’s part, and gravelly Dr. G doing Shane MacGowan; plus hearing the Monarch call Dr. Girlfriend a “cheap lousy faggot” vindicates Brock’s assessment of her as post-op)
The Monarch and Dr. Girlfriend singing the David Bowie & Bing Crosby duet of “Little Drummer Boy
Henchmen 21 & 24 singing Dolly Parton’s “Hard Candy Christmas

Best of all may be the epic “Venture Aid 2006” which has so many voice cameos every nerd will be sated.

If the direct mp3 links stop working, they are available via a player on Quickstop’s Holiday Havoc page.

Also, according to Jacks in Public’s LJ, Patton Oswalt, John Hodgman, and Seth Green all did voice work for the upcoming season, which is awesome.