Blaine L. Reininger (born Blaine Leslie Reininger, 1953, Pueblo, Colorado, United States) is an American post-punk, new-wave and alternative pop singer, songwriter, musician, multi-instrumentalist (particularly violin), writer and performer. He is known for being a member of the group Tuxedomoon since 1977 after co-founding it with Steven Brown and, latterly, for a notable music and theatre career, both as a soloist and contributor to other artist’s recordings, including Durutti Column, Snakefinger, Anna Domino, Savage Republic, Paul Haig, William Lee Self’s Montanablue project, Devine & Statton and Brown himself.
After learning the violin and guitar during childhood and studying music theory in San Francisco, Reininger formed the band Tuxedomoon with composer, singer, musician and college-mate Steven Brown and appeared on early albums such as Half Mute, Desire and Suite En Sous-Sol before departing early in 1983 to pursue a solo career. He permanently rejoined Tuxedomoon in 1988 and has subsequently appeared on more recent recordings such as Vapour Trails, issued in 2007 by independent label Crammed Discs.
While still a member of Tuxedomoon, and inspired by the work of John Cage and Allen Ginsberg, Reininger wrote and recorded his debut album Broken Fingers, issued on Brussels-based independent label Les Disques Du Crepuscule in 1982. The album’s title was inspired by his experience of being mugged after playing a concert in Rotterdam and included the title track, Uptown and a cover of David Bowie’s “Sons Of The Silent Age”.
During 1983, Reininger left Tuxedomoon to concentrate on a new co-project with occasional band member Michael Belfer. Entitled Night Air, the album represented a more electronic approach than before, was produced by Gareth Jones and saw him continue his recording relationship with Crepuscule. Further solo works have included the EP Paris En Automne (recorded with Alain Goutier), the Live In Brussels album in 1986, Byzantium (recorded with Gilles Martin) and his last for the label Songs From The Rain Palace, released in 1990.
His collaborative and contributive work during this period included the albums Short Stories For Pauline and Without Mercy with Durutti Column, an album of cyclical contemporary classical music pieces recorded with composer and producer Mikel Rouse entitled Colorado Suite and the Live In Lisbon concert recording with Steven Brown. The last two albums heralded a shift in musical style towards minimal music and classical music. In 1989, he also wrote the song Zeb and Lulu for the William Lee Self-fronted band Montanablue, issued as a 12″ single and later re-recorded by Reininger himself for his “Songs From The Rain Palace” album.
Blaine L.Reininger – Alain Goutier – Daniel Wang
During the 1990s, Reininger embarked on a couple of musical projects for major labels such as the solo film-soundtrack album Radio Moscow (Polygram) and Kingdom Of Dreams with ambient house collective Falling Infinities (Sony Music), as well as a one-off ambient music album with UVOII entitled Sound Of Heaven, issued in 1994 by German indie-label Fax Records (also known as FAX +49-69/450464).
Since relocating to Greece in the late 1990s, shortly before the death of JJ La Rue, his wife of 18 years, his involvement in film and theatre projects has increased with further soundtrack commissions including The Manic Man, Danton’s Death and Elektra, as well as numerous recordings being made available online. In addition, much of his earlier solo output has been reissued on CD via LTM Recordings. Of these, “Night Air 2” garnered acclaim from some corners of the press, particularly Allmusic who declared the album “..a fine showcase for his abilities at lush, often classically ‘cinematic’ work..”.
In addition to music releases Reininger also began acting the late 1990s, including roles in “Agamemnon”, directed by Mikhail Marmarinos, “Spiel mir das Lied vom Tod” under the direction of Albrecht Hirche and a handful of films with director Nicholas Triandafyllidis including The Sentimentalists, released in 2014. Prior to this, Reininger resumed a working relationship with William Lee Self by recording several tracks at Self’s Hamburg home studio between 2009 and 2011. The recordings saw the light of day in 2012 as “The Hamburg Sessions”, issued as a CD on the Belgian imprint Stilll.
In 2013, Reininger co-wrote music for and appeared (as a contributing musician) in “Clear Tears Troubled Waters”, a dance-piece for 7 dancers and 3 musicians, choreographed and directed by Thierry Smits and written and performed by Reininger, Steven Brown and Maxime Bodson, its soundtrack gaining a release on Crammed Discs as part of its resurrected Made to Measure series. Live performances of the latter drew praise from French and Belgian press.
Also issued in late 2013 was Commissions, a double-CD retrospective of Reininger’s catalogue of theatre and dance productions staged from 2008 onwards including Electric Girl, New Electric Ballroom, Lithi (Oblivion), Danton’s Death, Double Take, American Buffalo and Antigone. (by wikipedia)
Blaine L. Reininger
“Live In Brussels” originally appeared on chic Euro label Les Disques du Crepuscule in 1986. Recorded on stage with a four piece band in February of that year, the powerful set includes versions of several of Blaine’s best known solo numbers, including Broken Fingers, Birthday Song and Mystery And Confusion, as well the Tuxedomoon classics What Use? and Volo Vivace. Most surprising of all is his ultraviolent take of Uptown, an extended essay in urban paranoia.
Blaine L. Reininger today
Alain Goutier (bass, keyboards, background vocals)
Klaus Klang (keyboards, background vocals)
Blaine L. Reininger (vocals, violin, keyboards)
Daniel Wang (drums, trumpet on 05.)
01. Intro (Reininger) 4.48
01. Volo Vivace (Reininger) 5.54
02. Night Air (Reininger) 4.52
03. Birthday Song (Reininger/Belfer) 4.424
04. What Use Indeed? (Reininger)
05. Uptown (extremely long concert version) (Reininger) 14.43
06. Broken Fingers (Reininger) 8.12