Tue Jul 1, 2003 2:39 pm
Subject: after they seen pareeeee

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"How you gonna keep 'em down on the farm
after they seen Pareeeeee?"

popular WWI song

Greetings, sports fans

Here’s uncle guido back in Brussels. Since my last bulletin I have returned from
the united states and come back to Yerp. I linked up with the other bozoes from
Tuxedomoon and we did two very satisfactory gigs, one in Hasselt, Belgium and

Yes, you may say that Paris was a bit of a good time. I must tell you that after
our show we got a standing ovation from those noble Parisians. I can’t remember
when we have had a full-fledged standing ovation with the whole damn audience on
its feet. Moved me to tears don’t you know.

We were housed right smack dab in the heart of old paree, near the aging
shopping mall of Les Halles. The whole area is aging in fact. Interesting to see
how the former bad boy of architecture, that nasty old oil-refinery-looking
centre Pompidou with all of its exposed ducts and ventilation shafts recedes
into the background as its post modern scions around the world have multiplied.
The whole mirror-tiled free-flowing place looks increasingly quaint, in a word.

I suppose the main feature of Paris is architecture. (I exclude the hordes of
drool-inducing young women who prowled around in their summer undress). The
place is just lousy with great buildings and exciting urban spaces. Take the
pyramid at the Louvre, par example. Old I.M Pei succeeded in creating a postcard
worthy landmark so that Louvre Brand art is instantly recognizable around the
world. I don’t suppose it is widely known but under that pyramid is YET ANOTHER
SHOPPING MALL. Yes, it seems that almost no area frequented by humans these days
is free of the opportunity to shop. The space under that pyramid is magnificent
but the people occupying it have turned it into something that resembles an
airport, complete with x-ray machines, metal detectors and CCTV surveillance.
One may not smoke anywhere within its confines. Soon, earth will resemble
Heathrow airport. Marvelous.

All of that said, I take my leave of youse. In the immortal words of Gen.
Douglas Macarthur when asked what he would do with the sweater he got for
Christmas which didn’t fit
“I shall return”.




Date: Sat, 16 Aug 2003 10:22:03 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: back to griechenland

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AUGUST 16, 2003

Greetings culture fans. This is old uncle guido here, writing a belated update. I am sure you were all just jumping out of your skins wondering what I have been up to. or probably not.

at the moment I am back on the island of lesbos where my wee son ian and his mother athena live. i have been riding my bike and swimming and so forth. yes, it's marvy here. yeah yeah yeah.

not so damn long ago me and the other tuxedomoons finished recording our new cd. this has been an epic journey. much of this material was written in cagli, italy 2 years ago. this time around we found ourselves in our old schlomping grounds the fine city of brussels, belgium. ah, bruxelles! ah belgique! ah, les frites! ah le mannekin pis! let me tell you it was most strange to find myself back there. i spilt a great deal of vitriol and moaned many moans over that desolate ville. stranger even was the fact that it didn't look all that bad this time. there's some mighty fine architecture thar. faded old whore of a 19th century imperial capital.

we set ourselves up in a suitably decaying rehearsal room with very high ceilings and a most delicious subterranean fecal vibe down by the gare du midi (which is not in the middle as you might think, but in the south of the city). and there you go. our friend and engineer coti k. came in, we set up laptop, amps, mikes, coffee maker and bob's your uncle, hey presto, we were in the record biz.

this said, what remains to do is to mix the dang thing. we plan to release this beauty around spring 2004. yes, we will also play bruxelles on the 28th (?) of september, so make your travel plans now.

that's about all i will inflict upon youse right now.

i greet thee from the sea






Greetings, sports fans. This fine Saturday morning finds me inside at my computer. Not for long, though. The weather here in Athens has turned at last. Gone is the stifling 40 degree hell that greeted me upon my arrival here. It is now kind of autumnal (“fall-ey” for our American cousins). I wanted to tell y’all a bit about the play which I am currently rehearsing, under the wise tutelage of Albrecht Hirche, the man who brought you “Spiel mir das lied vom tod” and “the ten greatest rocksongs in history”. Working with this guy is a blast, I must say.

The play is "The death of danton" by this german geek name georg buechner. He also wrote wozzek which became a famous opera by alban berg. Play be write in 1835, be about French revolution. I play an incidental figure named Herault sechelles or some such. As things are shaping up, I am a musical creature, I play "sunshine of your love" on guitar with dumbek and accordion, "man of constant sorrow" on open-tuned acoustic guitar with bottleneck as sung in the movie "brother where art thou?", and a couple of german lieder, one by Ludwig van. I have also worked up a grunge version of "la marsellaise" and one Ramstein-like bit of metal scratching of my own design. I serenade danton on banglama, a sort of mini bouzouki with 6 strings (tiny little thing). Of course, there is some fiddlin'. I've been playing "turkey in the straw" while one of my fellow actors wrestles with a vacuum cleaner.

One thing which gives me a rather embarrassing amount of pleasure is the bit where I do a big ol' campy drag turn, wavin' a fan, speakin' in French "tu es bien POINTUE, cheri", camp camp camp, billowy frock trailing behind.

I deliver most of my lines en francais, one bit in greek, the rest in English.

Note on the banglama. It was developed by rebeteka singers. Since they spent the time they weren't singing about smoking hashish actually smoking hashish, they were often put in prison. Unable to smuggle their bouzoukis past the watchful guards, they devised a smaller version which they could conceal in a trouser leg or something. I saw this greek movie with a prison scene. Two guys in a cell...in an American movie, one guy would have pulled out a harmonica. In this case, he pulls out this little thing and they starts a singin'. I said "there's the greek instrument for me." As a plus, the design of the banglama is such that it will function quite nicely as a hash pipe with some small adaptation.

This city is, as ever, a veritable zoo. Transportation is the main problem here, millions of cars spewing toxic clouds from satan's fundament contend in grumpy greek fashion to get from point a to point a, too much trouble to go all the way to point b in this heat. There is no real alternative transport. One with no car is obliged to either jam into a sweaty bus and journey for an hour or two or struggle with one of the many specimens of Australopithecus who drive taxis.

Happily enough, this neighborhood is an island in the sea of hirsute pursuits. It is infested with trees, particularly eucalyptus, there is a creek running through here and lots of fairly empty bicycle-able road. The secret is that they have put in place a labyrinth of one way streets, regularly modified, that puts off all of the low life proles who would otherwise use it as a shortcut. As a lifelong democrat, I am naturally ambivalent towards such an elitist hood, but I likes to bike.

Whoops, got all verbose there. Must be my third cup of instant Nescafe espresso. Whoopee. Now I must do my second round of yoga before doing my morning bike ride.


Crammed Global
Soundclash Festival!

28 Sept. in Brussels during Les Nuits du Botanique
29 Sept. in Paris at Bataclan
30 Sept. in Amsterdam at Melkweg

Premiere October 15, 2003
Athens, Greece.

Here's lookin at you



DECEMBER 31, 2003

urbi et orbi pope guido speaks


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Oh, my friends, it grieves me. It grieves me so. Here some…3? 2? MONTHS! Have passed without a mundoblaineo update from me. Not to mention that the site itself languishes in neglect, covered with pixellated dust, reeking of cybernetic mildew. I beat my breast in remorse. I wail. I gnash my teeth.

Not only that, but the year is turning! 2003 becomes 2004 tonight and what will you do about it? What CAN you do about it? More on this later.


What, you may ask, has old Blaine been up to all this time!??

First off, the play in which I played, strutted and fretted many hours upon the stage has come to a merciful conclusion. This was a tough one, folks. “Danton’s Death” faded off into theatrical history on the 2nd of December.

I should tell you that we had to interrupt play one memorable night for a bomb scare. Yes, folks, someone took the trouble of calling the Athens police to tell them that they had planted a bomb in the Theatro Amore. Just as I was getting ready to put down my baglama, rush backstage and change into my queen Victoria ballgown for the drag scene, the stage manager came in and turned on the lights. “we must evacuate the theatre” of words to that effect. We trooped out onto the sidewalk, some of us still in costume and makeup, others smarter, in street clothes, watched the audience fade into the night, waited as the police sent bomb-sniffing dogs into the theatre and then we buggered off home.

This was shortly after we had our power failure. A scant two nights before the bomb threat we played the thing out by battery-powered emergency lighting. It went fairly well until the last bit where we sang a Beethoven song “Rasch Tritt der Tod”. Without the digital piano to guide us four act-ores we had no idea where the tonal center lay. No, not even I. it sounded like the Schoenberg version. Or maybe 4 guys listening to walkmans singing along to 4 different songs.

During the run of danton, the intrepid Peter Principle and Marc Hollander came down here to Athens to work on the mix of the new Tuxedomoon CD. The title of this remains a state secret. We had some halcyon sessions in a pleasant little studio near the local river. We would take a break from our intense labors to chow down on some magnificent Cretan food. Truly marvy, gang.

Of course, much has been seen, said, felt, consumed, stapled and mutilated which will never find its way into these letters. That is as it should be. Suffice to say that 2003 was, by and large, a pretty good year for me. I have been working like 10,000 dogs (to quote a dear friend of mine) and that is marvelous. what joy to feel the jingle of change in my jeans! i've heard of that...money.

Let us try to forget for a while the march of the fascist morons intent on screwing up a perfectly good world with lots of fun things to do. Hell with ‘em. We can only wish that george bush and his brown shirted thugs and their cousins on the other side of the holy war would just zap off to hell in a foul-smelling cloud. No such luck. We have to endure their presence. No question about their reception in hell. George W. Bush has a private room already booked. The world situation is pretty scary,though. I hate to admit that I am more concerned about my mp3 collection. I guess when the new world orderlies come to the door to machine gun my old bones I will become politically engaged. It will be too late, though.

But serially, folk. we surely don't have to wait for the worm to turn to live like free-thinking people. We can make every effort to do so now. and...um... I forget. What's on tv, George?

I will close. I wish each and every one of you, my precious little love bundles, a simply scrumptious 2004.

Ta ta for now