Nicole Blackman was born, raised in and is currently a resident of New York City. If my memory of meeting her outside CBGB's in NYC after a performance on September 6, 2001 is clear, she's about 5'4", 115lbs, has long black hair, brown eyes, and pale, clear skin (or so she was when I last saw her). She wouldn't look out-of-place at a goth club, due to her penchant for leather minidresses and high-heeled leather boots. She is of indeterminate age; old enough to be rightly jaded but young enough to still see wonder in some things. I've read, but can't confirm, that she was born November 30, 1971. I exchanged emails with her a few times in 2000 and 2001, both before and after meeting her. In late 2008, she contacted me to thank me for writing this and reviewing Dead Inside.
She writes the most amazing, visceral poetry and lyrics imaginable. She has published four books of poetry: Nice, Pretty, Sweet, and Blood Sugar (of which all but Blood Sugar are long out of print). She's toured with Ministry, and also with KMFDM. She has recorded several spoken word pieces (which she calls broken word) as well, which can be found on mp3lit.com (or at least, you could find it there before that site became another faceless advertising portal) or your favourite P2P file-sharing system.
Her poem "Victim" was made into a short film directed by Corrie Jones, and it premiered at the Brooklyn International Film Festival in 2004. You can watch it on Vimeo.
Surprisingly, her acid tongue also provides voiceover narration for commercials and various television shows, including Saturday Night Live.
Here's a rough list of her collaborative recording work, spanning the 1990s and 2000s:
- The Golden Palominos: Dead Inside. Vocals on all tracks.
- Recoil: Liquid. Vocals on the tracks "Want," "Breath Control," and "Chrome."
- KMFDM: XTORT. Vocals on the track "Dogma."
- Bill Laswell: Hashisheen (The End of Law). Voices on the tracks "Freya Stark at Alamut," "Hashish Poem," and "Assassinations."
- Space Needle: One-off collaborations on the spoken word pieces "You Will" and "Caroline."
- Scanner: Remixing and reworking of the spoken word pieces "Victim," "Christian's Calling," "Ride," "What I Want For Christmas" (a rework of the Recoil track "Want") and a few others that I couldn't find but I distinctly remember hearing.
- John Van Eaton: Provided the voices for a twisted, alternate-reality version of the song "West End Girls" by the Pet Shop Boys, for a tribute album.
- I'm sure there are more than this, but generally the works to which Nicole contributes are fairly obscure, go out of print very quickly, and are subsequently very difficult to find. Even the discography on Nicole's website is incomplete.
The following is a sample of her poem/song The Ambitions Are, published as a poem in the book Sweet, and as a song on the Golden Palominos' Dead Inside album.
wish you had someone to speak code with
wish you had someone to steal things for
wish you had someone to fuck you so you could finally go to sleep
you just want to die... a little bit
ink and paint is making you faint
in your pale pale shirts, stolen from uptown stores
watch the girls in the twin sweater sets
smoke, cough, throw up
teeth-scraped knuckles are a telltale sign
get in the car get in the car get in the car
and what you hear is the sound of impact
turn around slowly and check your body for bruises
there is no one here to take care of you
open-mouthed, waiting for a candy kiss
and all you get is rain communion
between lap-dances and laptops
you seek girls who fuck like they're boneless
you're 38, and your job is telling 14 year old boys
what to think is cool
are you laughing? they are
and this one is a fire and that one is a flame
and this one is a spark and that one is a match
you put out in your mouth when no one was looking
and in your dreams your grandparents live forever
and you throw your love into the air like glitter
swallowing stars, spitting up stardust
There are a number of nodeshells and filled nodes that take their titles from Nicole Blackman poems or songs. They include:
Number of times I've seen this artist live: 1 (CBGB in NYC on September 6, 2001)
Follow Nicole Blackman on Twitter!