KID SHIRT

Saturday, September 29, 2007

GERMAN QUIRK #2: NINA HAGEN

Nina throws some convincing Quirk shapes here on "New York New York":



The Post-Punk/NU Rom blue 'do and overworked make-up puts this performance firmly w/in the Quirk Canon, not to mention her bizarrely elastic mouth-shapes, the yodelling, the overwraught vocals and the spontaneous 'mad bunny' dance she tries out at one point. Note the musical nod to Bowie's "Fashion."

What's pretty exciting (for me) is the way that this variety of limp, sludgy, 80s machine-beat session-musician 'funk' so readily integrates itself with standard Quirk tropes. Time to start thinking about Quirk Funk, I think.

Hagen was always too Punky to be truly Quirk, but she was also too Stage School to be truly Punk. She was probably the German Toyah Wilcox. (Yep, Toyah = Quirk!) Love what she does with her eyeballs on this:



And some nice Lene Lovich style yelps and atonal yodels.

Here she is with her (pre-Punk) band Automobil: the piano, bass and the ompah-ompah Eurovision brass puts this in Quirk territory, but sadly she's yet to raid her mum's make-up box. Probably more Kooky than Quirky:



(Yeah, expect some posts on Kook soon.)

And here Nina makes the Glam connection explicit when she gamely has a (hysterically brittle and bratty) crack at "Ziggy Stardust":



Interestingly, Hagen's background is in ballet and amateur operatics. She was raised in East Germany - her step-dad was Wolf Bierman, the well-known dissident anti-Soviet musician - and Hagen followed him when he was expelled to West germany in '76. Interestingly, one of the first things she did musically was a cover of "White Punks on Dope" by The Tubes (btw - I totally agree with Simon R: The Tubes were just drab FM Schlock Rock, not Quirk). She also appeared in the film "Cha Cha" with Herman Brood and Lene Lovich (who she has also recorded with (this I gotta hear!)). Pleased to report she's still going strong in her 50s, touring, acting, recording covers of Rammstein songs and generally growing old disgracefully.

2 Comments:

At 2:18 pm, Blogger dalston shopper said...

nice one. Glad to see you share the love.

 
At 4:16 pm, Blogger St. Anthony said...

The Kraut Toyah ...too punky for Quirk, too stage school for Punk ... ha, ha ... too true. (Ms Wilcox always seemed caught in a credibility trap ... which, for someone who acted in Jarman movies and married Bob Fripp seemed a bit odd).
She put herself about a bit - seem to remember her hanging out with Ari Up at one point. Two nutty old bags together.

 

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