RIP: Jan Kuehnemund, founder of female metal band Vixen

RIP: Jan Kuehnemund, founder of female metal band Vixen

From Vixen’s official website:

It is with profound sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Vixen founder and lead guitarist, Jan Kuehnemund, who lost a fierce battle with cancer on Thursday, October 10, 2013. Though most well known for her gifted guitar playing and other musical talents, Jan was a rare friend and beautiful in every sense of the word. Humble, thoughtful, loyal and kind, she was the most gracious of women, possessing the quiet strength of a true warrior. She genuinely loved and appreciated her friends and fans more than most could ever know. Those who were most fortunate to have known her and loved her are heartbroken at the loss of Jan, whose spirit will shine through her music eternally.

Jan was very courageous. Never complained. Never gave up. The cancer beat her body but it NEVER broke her spirit at any point. Up until the actual moment that she died, she really believed she was going back home.

Jan… you will be missed.. but never forgotten.

• Vixen:

Dais Records plans new COUM Transmissions (pre-Throbbing Gristle) release Home Aged & the 18 Month Hope, because that coum ain’t gonna transmit itself

Way back in 1969, Led Zeppelin released their first album, Wes Anderson got ejected from a uterus, and Sesame Street had its television debut. As years go, it was pretty alright, except, of course, for the fact that nobody was really transmitting any coum. Zero coum transmitted. Zilch. Genesis P-Orridge took note of that fact, and late in the year, s/he founded the group COUM Transmissions while at school in Hull, Yorkshire. From there s/he set about transmitting all the coum that was humanly possible (not as gross as it sounds, I promise!) Between 1969 and 1976, with a rotating membership including John Shapiro, Cosey Fanni Tutti, and Spydeee Gasmantell, COUM Transmissions completed various tasks related to the effective transmission of coum, including being generally confrontational, making some pretty cool music, and opening for Hawkwind. In 1976, having deemed the amount of coum transmitted adequate, P-Orridge formed Throbbing Gristle alongside fellow members of COUM Transmissions.

Flash forward a whole bunch of years and everybody’s all ga-ga about Throbbing Gristle but about half of them are like “COUM Transmissions who?” because, turns out P-Orridge et. al. totally forgot to convert all the recordings they made way-back-when into MP3s, because, surprisingly, MP3s were not a thing in the 70s. But never fear, the kind folks at Dais Records have arrived to save the day! Back in 2009 they began what they said would be an ongoing process of making COUM Transmissions recordings a bit more widely available with The Sound of Porridge Bubbling, followed by Sugarmorphoses in 2011. Now they’re planning yet another release, which is entitled Home Aged & the 18 Month Hope. Out October 29, it collects material from between 1971 and 1975, and includes everything from live performances to poetry readings to radio interviews. It’s even got audio from that time the group played with Hawkwind! It’s limited to 1000 copies, so, in my professional opinion, you should hop on that preorder train yesterday.

Home Aged & the 18 Month Hope tracklisting:

01. Interview with Genesis P-Orridge on Arena Radio Humberside by Jim Hawkins for Fanfare Arts Festival, January 6, 1973
02. Doo Dah (Excerpt)
03. Prescott & Williams 1932
04. Edna and the Great Surfers in St. Georges Hall, Bradford, October 22, 1971
05. Cement Men - My Granny Goes Grave Digging
06. 18 Month Hope
07. Home Aged
08. Genesis P-Orridge talks with David Mayor at 5 Beck Road

• COUM Transmissions:
• Dais Records:

Zacht Automaat announce new LP on Calico Corp., remain unaware their band name sounds like a Final Fantasy character

Let’s cut the crap: what’s the best Final Fantasy game? I’m liable to say it’s Final Fantasy VI, but I still have very fond memories of Final Fantasy VII. Then again, I played Final Fantasy V for the first time a few years back, and, I have to say, the job system in that one is very rewarding. Huh, what’s that? Tiny Mix Tapes isn’t a Final Fantasy fansite? I’ve been writing here for four years, I should know that? Okay, I see your point, but I’m reading a press release for Zacht Automaat, who I am fairly certain is a Final Fantasy character. Oh, turns out they’re an avant-rock duo from Toronto? Well. That puts a damper on how the rest of this story was going to play out, namely the poll about which Final Fantasy protagonist is the dreamiest. A: Cecil Harvey.

Zacht “We Are Not a Final Fantasy Character” Automaat have put together an imposing discography, numbering 11 albums in the past three years. To wrangle this massive pool of material — much like wrangling Chocobos in the Final Fantasy VII minigame — Calico Corp. has released a self-titled double LP from the band, compiling many of the best moments from their records. The album is out now in digital format, as well as in limited-edition vinyl consisting of 333 hand-numbered copies. Check out a commercial for the record or skip all that and just listen to a stream of it on Calico Corp’s Bandcamp. If that makes you want to listen to the rest of Zacht Automaat’s records, all of them are available on their Bandcamp page for free.

Anyway, best Final Fantasy game? Let’s talk.

Zacht Automaat tracklist:

01. Ancaster Heights
02. We’re Glad You Agree
03. Don’t Worry It Will Be Fine
04. Untitled 1
05. Lost in the Peak District
06. Disturbed Ground
07. Voyage 4
08. Voyage 5
09. Voyage 6
10. Long, Long, Long
11. The Smiling Wilderness
12. A Celestial Event
13. A Trip to See McLean on Holiday pts. I, II & III
14. Room B10
15. Reprise Surprise / Brief Resolution
16. Museum Robbery Pts. II, III & IV
17. The Green Hills of Earth
18. Tim’s Vox
19. There’s Nobody Home
20. Untitled 2
21. Close the Gate
22. Untitled 3
23. Triumphant Bridge
24. Special Dinner
25. George Martin Bit
26. Malnutrition
27. For Mark Robots / A Passing Phase

• Zacht Automaat:
• Calico Corp.:

Ramones box set comprising their first six albums is coming this month to save punk rock for the fifth time!

Man, I don’t know if you’ve ever done it (because why would you?) but, let me tell you: lots of dumb shit happens when you Google “The Ramones.”

One thing that happens that isn’t so dumb, however, is that you end up learning (not much, but some stuff) about RAMONES: THE SIRE YEARS (1976-1981), a new box set arriving October 29 from Rhino Entertainment that collects their first six albums.

You know the first six, right? Their 1976 self-titled debut, 1977’s Leave Home, also-1977’s Rocket to Russia, 1988’s Road to Ruin, 1980’s End of the Century, and 1981’s Pleasant Dreams? Oh good. I was afraid you didn’t. Well, each will be presented with its original running order and all of that unbeatable original 1970s/80s-style artwork. Mmm-mmm-mmm. I’d say “Hey, ho, let’s go!” at this point, but that’d be cheap and shitty, I think.

Speaking of cheap and shitty, there’s also gonna be a digital version! [Actually, the digital version is kinda cool because it’s expanded to comprise 11 albums instead of six. Titled THE SIRE YEARS (1976-1989), it’s got all that stuff I mentioned before, plus subsequent albums Subterranean Jungle (1983), Too Tough to Die (1984), Animal Boy (1986), Halfway to Sanity (1987), and Brain Drain (1989).] What happened to The Ramones after the Sire years came to a close? According to Google, no one really knows.

• The Ramones:
• Rhino:

Universal reissues Kanye’s 808s and Heartbreak on vinyl, rubbing their collective Mr. Burns hands together in glee

Sometimes I forget I’m following Kanye West on Twitter. Occasionally I’ll think to myself, “Hmm, haven’t heard anything from Kanye lately. I guess I must’ve finally decided to unfollow him late one drunken night” (because duh, why else would I make such a misinformed decision, unless under the influence of MIND-ALTERING CHEMICALS). Then lo! Hark! What this? An ALL CAPS rant from Kanye — most recently directed at Jimmy Kimmel — and I’m like “Oh yeah, I am still following this guy.” Well, Universal Music wants to make sure fans of good old-fashioned vinyl records never unfollow Kanye — in their hearts, I mean. Thusly, they’re giving Kanye’s 2008 album 808s and Heartbreak the ALL CAPS equivalent of the record release game: the vinyl reissue. Diamond-encrusted vinyl with previously unreleased tracks and a pull-out booklet with intro by Byron Coley? Nah, probably not. So in reality, it’s really more of a “some caps, some wingdings”-style reissue.

“WHY?” Perhaps you’re asking yourself this right now. “WHY ARE THEY REISSUING THIS ALBUM THAT CAME OUT FIVE YEARS AGO. IT’S NOT LIKE IT EVER WENT AWAY.” Well, because, ye of little faith, Universal wants your money. Nah, J/K! They want you to Respect the Classics, as is the name of their vinyl reissue campaign of releasing remastered versions of “iconic, genre-defining albums,” starting with the October 22 release of DMX’s It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot (gold vinyl, what) and Flesh of My Flesh Blood of My Blood (clear vinyl with blood splatters, whaaaaaaaaat I’m sorry excuse me, my hearing trumpet must be outta whack whaaaaat). The series will continue with releases from 50 Cent, Slick Rick, and Public Enemy this year. Yeezy’s album release is yet TBD, probably because it takes a while to gather all that silky silky unicorn hair that will be pressed into the 24 karat gold vinyl.

• Kanye West:
• Universal:

Learn 15 debatable vocabulary words AND read about the new Olan Mill LP, all by using this one weird trick!

There are so many cool, kinda necessary words that have no equivalent in English. Take German’s kummerspeck (literally, “grief bacon”), for example. It’s a word meant to describe emotional overeating! Or the Turkish language’s gumusserv, a word referring to moonlight shining on water. The poetry! The romance! Or Persian’s zhaghzhagh — FINALLY, an easy to use word to describe the sound made by teeth chattering from rage/cold. Either/or. Well, at least that’s according to some list I found on the internet. Hell, for all I know some guy made all these words up and is just sitting in front of his computer, rubbing his hands together and gleefully laughing, saying “Yes, yesssss, they believe my made up list! Hrigfashn!” (A Norwegian word to describe the glee one feels upon perpetrating an internet hoax.)

But when it comes to words we don’t have in English, the Welsh word Hiraeth is definitely one of the most evocative — it means “homesickness for a home to which you cannot return.” It’s also the title of British experimental composer and instrumentalist Alex Smalley’s forthcoming album under the Olan Mill moniker (with Svitlana Samoylenko [Update: Svitlana is no longer in Olan Mill.]). Slated for a late October release on Australia’s rad Preservation label, Hiraeth is the follow-up to 2012’s critical darling Home, a record that garnered comparisons to Maurice Jarre and Vangelis. Hiraeth will be available on both CD and vinyl, with different artwork for each format. So listen to album track “Cultivator” below, and then Gifvalt! — a Lithuanian word for “buy that shit, yo.”

• Olan Mill:
• Preservation: