Andy Stott’s problems are Luxury Problems, new album due in October

Andy Stott's problems are Luxury Problems, new album due in October

A spaceship sinks to the bottom of the ocean. Inside, electronics break, and Andy Stott knows how they sound in slow motion. He strung the sounds together on last year’s EPs, We Stay Together and Passed Me By.

What about Luxury Problems, Stott’s new album on Modern Love? According to FACT, Stott has invited Alison Skidmore to record live vocals (a Stott first!), so we can probably expect something slightly different. But what won’t be different is the care that Modern Love will bring to its packaging, which will come as a six-panel Digifile CD and gatefold 2xLP. Can’t wait.

Luxury Problems is due October 29 via Modern Love.


01. Numb
02. Lost and Found
03. Sleepless
04. Hatch the plan
05. Expecting
06. Luxury problems
07. Up the box
08. Leaving

• Andy Stott:
• Modern Love:

The Weeknd signs to Universal sublabel, announces Trilogy, and quickly gets back to singing the clothes off of people

Music for love-making sounds so much sweeter when it’s backed by the burly (if not blood-stained) hands of a major record label, doesn’t it? Don’t answer that — just assume that’s the case for the sake of this particular article, okay?

In this instance, the envoy of said music-for-love-making is Abel Tesfaye a.k.a. The Weeknd, who, last year, almost single-handedly inspired flashbacks to the 90s, when traditional R&B artists actually enjoyed sustained popularity. The Weeknd’s three albums/mixtapes, House of Balloons, Thursday (TMT Review), and Echoes of Silence, all received a rather astounding degree of attention — astounding not because they were undeserving, but because they were all limited to digital downloads via The Weeknd’s website.

Naturally, that kind of musical appeal doesn’t often go unnoticed, which is why The Weeknd has since signed with Universal Republic Records, a division of Universal Music Group. Just announced, his first release on the label will be the aptly-named Trilogy, which will include mixed and mastered versions of all of the aforementioned mixtapes, alongside unreleased material. It comes out November 13, which is just in time for some Thanksgiving ugly bumpin’. And no, I most definitely do not mean with the turkey. Sickos.

• The Weeknd:
• Universal Republic:

Addison Groove announces new label, Lost in Translation, starring Bill Murray

Are we sure that Oprah Winfrey officially ended her talk show in 2011? Because it seems as though someone is giving away free record labels. “YOU get a record label! And YOU get record label! And YOU, and YOU… ” This isn’t a huge stretch from what actually seems to be occurring right now.

Add Bristolian producer Addison Groove a.k.a. Antony Williams (a.k.a. Headhunter) to the list of those idealistically trying their hand at record label-ing. His new label is called Lost in Translation, and whether or not future releases follow the same prescription, the first 12-inch EP, Audioporn, featuring Chesus and The Organ Grinder, seems to reside firmly in house territory. You can preview it here:

I’d link you to Lost in Translation’s website, but it doesn’t seem to exist yet, as spontaneously-borne as the label appears to have been. I’ve previously remarked at how difficult it is to start and maintain a successful record label. I’d like to formally retract the former part of that statement.

• Addison Groove:

Charles Manson releases album of unreleased material; “Most people won’t like it,” says person who released it

According to a recent L.A. Times article, a new vinyl of unreleased music by Charles Manson (yes, this Charles Manson) has already hit the shelves and, according to the man who put out the record, Manuel Vasquez, it has “sold about 200” copies to people weird enough to enjoy music made by a psychotic cult leader.

Vasquez, who turned to a friend of Manson’s to secure the tapes that he recorded at a prison medical facility, used Kickstarter to press and release 500 copies of the album. Vasquez, not a professional publicist, says the music has a “nasal, bluesy folk music-like sound,” and “[m]ost people won’t like it. It probably requires an acquired taste.” In addition to the novelty of owning music made by a guy with a swastika tattooed on his face, fans can look forward to the fact that none of this music has ever been released on any of the already released albums by Manson, which number around 20. The album, available now, exclusively, at Vasquez’s L.A. area store Beauty Is Pain Boutique (road trip!!), also features artwork by Manson.

For those of you unaware of who Charles Manson is or anything related to the 1969 murders for which he is associated and incarcerated, then I refer you to this video.

RIP: Dorothy McGuire of 50s vocal trio The McGuire Sisters

From Rolling Stone:

Dorothy McGuire Williamson, who with her sisters Phyllis and Christine formed the Fifties vocal trio the McGuire Sisters, has died at her son’s house near Phoenix, The Associated Press reports. She was 84. Williamson had Parkinson’s disease and age-related dementia.

The McGuire Sisters were as well known for their matching outfits and hairdos as for their vocal harmonies, which helped them earn six gold records between 1952-68. The sisters began singing together as children in Ohio, performing in the church where their mother, Lillie, was a minister, and at weddings and church revivals. After breaking through to a wider audience in 1952 on the program Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts, the sisters established a career that included numerous television appearances, concert tours and more than 60 singles, including the Number One hits “Sincerely” in 1954 and “Sugartime” in 1957. […]

• The McGuire Sisters:

This week in confirming stereotypes: documentary claims that the music industry deliberately lowered the quality of vinyl records during the 80s

It’s September 11, and what could be a better commemoration of that tragic event than… (unrelated) conspiracy theories! I should rephrase; it’s dismissive of me to refer to this as a “conspiracy theory.” The idea that the music industry tried to push the prominence of CDs by deliberately decreasing the quality of vinyl records during the 80s seems to be more within the realm of reasonable speculation than anything fantastic.

From an anecdotal perspective, it seems taken for granted that the quality of vinyl records decreased markedly during the 80s, just as the manufacturing of CDs started to begin en masse. The documentary Last Shop Standing, about the “rise, fall and rebirth of the independent record shop,” takes things a bit further, with Graham Jones, author of the book “Last Shop Standing,” interviewing several music store owners who believe that the diminished quality was, in fact, intentional.

According to Music Week, Jones had this to say: “If you go back to the Eighties as well, the vinyl that we had was all recycled vinyl. So the actual quality of vinyl recordings had started to diminish. The records were thinner and more flimsy. Everything was designed for us to switch our music collection over to CD.”

Gary Smith, manager of Truck Store, an independent music shop in Oxford, UK, corroborates the poor quality of 80s vinyl: “Certainly when I began in the early 80s we would get people bringing in five or six copies of the same album back because there’d be a fault in the vinyl. The 70s vinyl seemed to be fine and the 60s vinyl was fine, it’s just that the stuff in the 80s was really thin and not very good quality.”

Attempting to counter these claims of a conspiring music industry cabal was BPI chairman Tony Wadsworth, who told Music Week, “One of the themes that was only touched on in the film was that labels drove out vinyl, which is frankly absurd. Whenever I’ve worked for record labels, if something has a demand, you meet that demand, you don’t stop making stuff for which there is still a demand.”

Of course, the question isn’t entirely one of meeting demand, but whether labels tried to influence demand by degrading the quality of a not-so-contemporary medium. It might’ve simply been a case of shifting resources, or there might’ve been something more nefarious going on. Debate amongst yourselves.

Last Shop Standing: