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Blog Redux

Hello again. A few days ago, I realized that my staunch and steadfast old blog, initiated back in 1999 when the term “blog” had not yet been coined, shuffled back and forth between html texts loaded to geocities to blogger, to self-hosted wordpress and now wordpress.com had proved somewhat the worse for wear. Many of the photos would no longer load, facebook had changed its access codes and those photos and embeds would no longer load. It had also suffered from a fairly irritating self-inflicted bout of IFTTT automatic posts from facebook, which resulted in blog posts that were just titles with no other content.

Now, I have pored through the back pages of my life, sifting and reconstructing over 650 entries, hoping some purpose is served, wondering if other bloggers feel like this. What a strange thing, to keep a meticulous record on one’s days on earth and serve it up to an uncertain readership. To what end? I am reminded of Greg Bear’s Jarts.

In Eternity, the character Olmy Ap Sennon comes face to face and mind-to-mind with a captured Jart and comes to learn their motivations. They are in a sense a sort of Borg, though instead of assimilation, their goal is to archive and preserve records of all places and species to present to Descendant Command, a supreme being at the apex of their rigidly hierarchical society. This preservation is in the form of being recorded and frozen into enormous memory banks, with all records essentially unchanging in the ultimate great library. The Jarts consider the very purpose of their existence to capture and record everything possible in order to present it as a sort of offering to Descendant Command at the time of the ultimate end of the universe…

So, I will serve this chunk of experience up to Descendant Command, here you go, Descendants. I am your Jart correspondent. Do with this what you will.

First Reviews of “Commissions 2”

From “The Electric Club”

BLAINE L. REININGER (Tuxedomoon)

(c) Elina Giounanli

Dat Tuxedomoon-kopstuk Blaine L. Reininger wel meer op zijn strijkstok heeft dan de Tuxedomoonnummers, weten we al langer. Zo schrijft hij ook muziek voor theater- en dansproducties. Op zijn nieuwe album Commissions 2 krijgen we dat deeltje van zijn oeuvre te horen, dat hij tussen 2015 en 2019 produceerde. Eerder werk uit dat genre kregen we in 2014 op de eerste Comissions.

“Since 2015,” legt Blaine zelf uit, “I have played a ukulele-weilding Satan in The Master and Margarita, been a one-man band to accompany Caliglua’s evil antics six times a week, and – most recently – played and sung at sunset with a ten-piece choir before the very wall of the Mauthause*-n concentration camp in Austria.”

Het album is digitaal en op dubbel-cd verkrijgbaar bij het label Les Disques du Crépuscule.

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Packing

Now the process has started. Packing to move. Our building has been sold out from under us for hotel conversion and we have to move by the end of November. Here we go.

Luckily, we have somewhere to go, unlike many. But I, moon child in the extreme fear having to move, even to the extent that I hate having to change hotel rooms once I have opened my suitcase and will tolerate a substandard room because of it.

We must vacate this building which has been our home for over 15 years. This building with its Acropolis and mountain view, 5th floor penthouse, housing the best studio facilities I have ever had, helping usher in one of the most productive periods in my creative life. This house which has been home to our love, this sustaining boon, my best, my final love.

This Air BnB gentrification has taken off in Athens in a big and depressing way, as it has, I guess, in many cities around the world. With the current tourist boom, groups and consortia and other slime mold type organisms have banded together to buy up all of the rental properties in central Athens and convert them to lofts, studio apartments, hotels, to serve those tourists.

The streets of the center are now choked, as never before, with hoards of white people, wearing shorts and flip-flops well into winter, zipping around on the electric scooters that now litter the landscape, chowing down in one of the countless new restaurants, snack bars, grills, boozing up in one of the countless new bars and clubs

This is the fundamental injustice of the landlord/tenant relationship, the knowledge that one is not the owner of one’s shelter and that access may one day be suddenly revoked in the service of material gain not one’s own. Fie, fie on thee. No wonder Marx called property theft.

Note the forlorn empty look

Tuxedomoon Live in London 1982 Now Available

This recording captures the early stages of an important transition in the band: the classic repertoire matured and consolidated, with new pieces tentatively brought in, performed live before their studio counterparts have been recorded.

Recorded live at The Venue, London, 9 March 1982

This recording captures the early stages of an important transition in the band: the classic repertoire matured and consolidated, with new pieces tentatively brought in, performed live before their studio counterparts have been recorded.

This recording captures the early stages of an important transition in the band: the classic repertoire matured and consolidated, with new pieces tentatively brought in, performed live before their studio counterparts have been recorded. Interestingly enough, various of these new pieces would end up on Blaine’s solo albums, therefore presaging early signs of the temporary split to come. Worthy of note is the track “Lumière”, which, although never recorded in this form, ended up providing the harmonics for Blaine’s instrumental “El Mensajero Divino”, a little over a year later.
Heitor Alvelos, 2019

credits

Recorded live at The Venue, London, 9 March 1982

Performers:
Steven Brown
Bruce Geduldig
Peter Principle
Blaine L. Reininger
Winston Tong

Live sound by Gareth Jones

Mastered by Anselmo Canha, 2019

Originally traded online with Peter Principle

Cover based on a flyer for Sordide Sentimental, 1981

Band photo by Roberto Nanni, 1982

Notes from the archives of Isabelle Corbisier

Project management and design by Heitor Alvelos

license

all rights reserved

UNDERSTANDING THE GODS

Here is a text I wrote in 2008 which I delivered as a monologue before our production of “The Bacchae” by Euripides. I was originally supposed to play Dionysus but the greek was too dense for me. The director had me play “Old Dionysus” like a retired rock star. I came out alone before the play and delivered this speech. Then I played a Phrygian tune (the mode associated with Dionysus) on a melodica and buggered off.

By Blaine L. Reininger

Dionysos on melodica

How can modern people understand “the gods”? We tend to think about them in one of two ways. They are either familiar fictional heroes like Superman, or Spiderman, or even Bugs Bunny, or they represent some Jungian archetype or psychological metaphor. Almost no one today (with the exception of certain interesting and strange groups who like to wear hoods at night) believes that the ancient immortal gods are real beings who can and do enter human history to effect change.
A god, or deity can be defined as “an immortal being believed to have more than natural attributes and powers requiring human worship” By definition, a god would have to be so superior to a mortal human as to be almost impossible for him to conceive. Phillip K. Dick illustrated this point by saying that humanity was like a group of crabs living in a cloudy aquarium tended by an often neglectful human owner, almost completely unaware of the being or beings who tended their habitat, seeing that they were fed, regulating the temperature, etc. These crabs would find it utterly impossible to understand the motivations or desires of such advanced beings. Similarly, if the human owner wished to somehow manifest amongst these crabs, he would constantly be frustrated in his attempts to communicate, coming up against the wall of crab understanding. He would find himself required to translate complex information into terms of hunger, fear, threats of violence, and desire to reproduce.
Imagine then, the distaste and frustration which must have been felt by a being like Dionysus, compelled to manifest among the ancient Mediterranean peoples.
In my own research into world religion, I have increasingly come to harbor the notion that the gods and goddesses of mythology were and continue to be real beings. If only for reasons of entertainment, I believe that they were either

  1. Highly advanced human or extraterrestrial beings, elevated to divine status by technology or profound spiritual achievement, whose activities were only dimly remembered by the less advanced peoples of their times and set down as stories passed on by word of mouth. Or
  2. Transcendental beings who entered the world of phenomena only by means of a human medium, in the manner proposed by Aleister Crowley and practitioners of Voodoo.

In assuming the first case to be true, we find interesting parallels to the story of Dionysus in other religions, notably the story of Krishna in Hinduism. If, as Dionysus himself asserts, he came “from the East” then it would stand to reason that he would first visit India. In India, known as Krishna, he also enjoyed the company of many women (known as “Gopis”) in natural surroundings where he would play music for them and they would dance for days. Other “solar” gods whose stories are similar to that of Dionysus include, Attis of Phrygia, Osiris, Mithras, Balder and many others.
In the second case, the gods’ manifestation into the world of events through their “possession” of human worshippers, we can find one explanation for the longevity of the cult of Dionysus. The Bacchic cult lasted for at least 2000 years, a longevity not easily explained if it consisted only of wine-powered orgies out in the woods, like an endless series of Woodstocks. The direct experience of the divine through possession of a worshipper’s mind and body would provide a tangible and powerful foundation through which to understand and survive the many shocks and exhilarations of living, one not easily provided by religions whose only understanding is cerebral, not visceral. Such a religion would be difficult to suppress, and, indeed, the similar cults of Santoria and Voodoo continue to prosper in spite of the historic efforts of the Catholic church to erase them.

In conclusion, I must admit that in attempting to understand the gods, I have embarked upon a futile quest. I will never know the gods by containing them within my understanding. I, like my other crab colleagues must content myself with what is possible for me to know, until such time as one of the gods sees fit to reveal himself in our midst again. I thank you for your kind attention.

Dreamt I owned a family clothing store. I was somebody else. My sister talked me out of torching it for the insurance.

Dreamt I owned a family clothing store. I was somebody else. My sister talked me out of torching it for the insurance.