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The Record Exchange - Culture Spot

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[ RSD exclusives/events ]

rsd exclusives list

Here it is: the Record Store Day exclusives list. Over 400 limited-edition CDs, vinyl LPs, 7-inches and more available Saturday, April 18 at The Record Exchange. Follow the link to peruse the list and read about Record Exchange RSD events!

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[ pono is here! ]

pono is here!

Pono is here! The Record Exchange is now carrying the PonoPlayer, a high-resolution digital music player created with the intent of providing a higher quality digital listening experience.

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[ 2014 staff picks ]

2014 staff picks

After weeks of scrutiny, Record Exchange staffers have completed their 2014 Top 10 lists, and leading up to Christmas we will be posting individual lists here on the website. Visit the store to view the lists in realtime and shop our special '14 Staff Picks display. Let the judgment begin!

VIEW STAFF LISTS HERE

[ payette brewing company ]

Basic CMYK

The Record Exchange is a proud partner with Boise's Payette Brewing Company! Enjoy Payette Brewing Company beer (and for free!) at Record Exchange events such as Record Store Day, the annual holiday Bonus Club Sale and our singer-songwriter Birthday Bash celebrations!

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[ outside the heard ]

[ countdown to rsd ]

[ rx amazon store ]

rx amazon store

Visit The Record Exchange's Amazon Marketplace store to shop for rare and discount CDs, vinyl, DVDs and books. Live in Boise? Order online and arrange for in-store pickup!

SHOP THE STORE

[ rx top 10 ]

rx top 10

1. Strange Trails
Lord Huron
2. Strangers to Ourselves
Modest Mouse
3. Carrie & Lowell
Sufjan Stevens
4. Here Come the Girls
London Souls
5. Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Sit
Courtney Barnett
6. Beat the Champ
The Mountain Goats
7. Kintsugi
Death Cab for Cutie
8. No Pier Pressure
Brian Wilson
9. Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
10. The Ruffian’s Misfortune
Ray Wylie Hubbard

[ sell us your stuff! ]

sell us your stuff!

The Record Exchange buys and trades used CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray discs and vinyl in good condition Monday-Saturday until 9 p.m. and Sunday until 6 p.m.

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[ go listen boise ]

go listen boise

Go Listen Boise is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization with the mission of fostering a vibrant and diverse musical culture in the Boise area.

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[ INFOTAINMENT ]

OTHERWISE IN-STORE SUNDAY, AUG. 25: BUY THEIR CD AT THE IN-STORE, GET A FREE TICKET TO THEIR KNIT SHOW!

otherwise publicity photoOtherwise will perform live at The Record Exchange (1105 W. Idaho St., Downtown Boise) at 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25. The in-store is presented by Boise Weekly. Otherwise is opening for Three Days Grace at Knitting Factory later that evening, and if you buy Otherwise’s latest CD True Love Never Dies at the in-store we’ll give you a free ticket to the show! As always, this Record Exchange in-store event is free and all ages!

ABOUT OTHERWISE

otherwiseLas Vegas will always be the city of sin, but it means a lot more to Otherwise. While the rest of us go there to let off steam, roll the dice and enjoy the eye candy, Otherwise grew up in the shadows of all the bright lights and broken dreams. Las Vegas is their home, and it’s where they’ve lived life, faced death, and climbed the mountain of trials and tribulations that have become True Love Never Dies, their debut album for Century Media Records.

“We weren’t as aggressive when my brother and I first started jamming together, but then things started to happen – people died, relationships ended, and life got more real,” says Otherwise frontman Adrian Patrick. Despite being raised in a tight-knit family, Adrian only started playing music with his brother – guitarist Ryan Patrick – a few short years ago. “Our writing was a lot simpler when we started, but as circumstances forced us to grow up, our music matured with us. Tragedies and loss are part of life, and our music is one of the ways we maintain a positive outlook, despite the setbacks.”

Nowhere is that more evident than on the band’s breakthrough single, “Soldiers.” The song began as a metaphor for the battle that unsigned bands go through to get their message heard as artists, then quickly transformed into an anthem for everyone living on the front-lines of life. “When I started writing the lyrics, I was staring at my bandmates and thinking that they are my brothers in arms,” says the singer. “It was going to be our anthem, but by the time I finished I realized it was an anthem for our whole nation. We are all soldiers fighting for something, whether it’s to put food on the table, to be heard, or just to be happy. Every soldier is human, and we’re all human.”

Already hailed by Fox News as the No. 1 unsigned band in America, “Soldiers” became the song that brought the local Vegas rockers to the national spotlight. Hand-picked to perform alongside Avenged Sevenfold and Five Finger Death Punch on the main stage of the inaugural 48 Hours Festival in October 2011, MTV Headbangers Ball host and Sirius XM DJ Jose Mangin was so impressed by Otherwise that he immediately added “Soldiers” into rotation on Sirius XM’s Octane channel.

In a matter of weeks, the track reached the top of Octane’s charts, the single sold more than 10,000 units independently, and Las Vegas’ best-kept secret was making tremors at a national level. They signed with Century Media Records in December, began recording their debut album with acclaimed producer Jay Baumgardner [Godsmack, Bush, Papa Roach, Seether, Sevendust, P.O.D.] at his NRG Studios in January, and in February embarked on their first national tour as a band, opening for Pop Evil.

“Soldiers” is the first time America is hearing Otherwise, but it’s not the first time they’re hearing Adrian Patrick, who was the featured male vocalist on the In This Moment single “The Promise,” from the band’s 2010 album A Star-Crossed Wasteland. Patrick was asked to record a scratch vocal for the song, so producer Kevin Churko could shop the track to more established vocalists… However, the results were so good his vocals ended up making the final cut, and his duet with In This Moment frontwoman Maria Brink was promoted and performed on each date of 2010’s Mayhem Tour. “Ryan and I followed Mayhem around in our Mom’s decade-old minivan,” says Adrian, who hit the road with his brother and put 17,000 miles on the vehicle, paying for gas by walking into the crowd and selling CDs on every date of the tour. “We had to send the van off to a junkyard right before Thanksgiving – I had a lump in my throat.”

Otherwise aren’t the first band to put their blood, sweat and tears into their music, but they are the only band who could have made True Love Never Dies – the 11-track debut is a testament to their perseverance in the face of adversity, and a living, breathing tribute to their cousin, who died shortly before they signed with Century Media. “Our cousin had those words tattooed on his neck, so now we’re holding onto that idea, and the belief that true love never dies,” explains Ryan of the album title.

On an album ripe with anthems, “Scream Now” and “Vegas Girl” are both arena ready – The first being a call to arms for everyone to scream out in unison (for loved ones, lost ones and life), while the latter is a testimonial of sorts – not pointed at any one girl in particular, but definitely targeting a particular “type of girl” from Las Vegas…

One of the album’s more emotional moments is “1000 Pictures (I Don’t Apologize).” “We wrote that song one night in Hollywood,” says Ryan, “the chords came, the melodies came, heartbreak came right after … and the lyrics were written. It’s an anthem for the heartbroken.”

“When we look back at the songs and their subject matter, calling the album True Love Never Dies was very fitting,” says Adrian. “We’ve worked really hard to get to this point, and this album is proof that hard work, perseverance, and a little bit of talent can take you a long way.” Adds his brother Ryan, “we’re at the foot of Everest now – we’ve been climbing the small desert hills in Vegas, now it’s time for the mountain…”

MOSES GUEST IN-STORE THURSDAY AT 5!

MosesGuest_photoMoses Guest will perform live at The Record Exchange (1105 W. Idaho St., Downtown Boise) at 5 p.m. Thursday, July 18. The band is performing a pair of Boise shows this week – Wednesday at Neurolux and Thursday at Reef and we have tickets for sale here at the store! As always, this Record Exchange in-store event is free and all ages!

ABOUT MOSES GUEST

Started in 1995, and named after founder Graham Guest’s fifth generation grandfather, Moses Guest is a Texas-based Southern Rock band that has just enough Pop, Jazz, Funk, and Country in its veins to appeal to audiences of all ages and origins.

The current lineup formed in 1998, was voted “Best Rock/Pop Band” in the 2001 Houston Press Music Awards, and has won numerous Battle of the Bands contests.

The band has been selling out shows in Houston since 1999 and concentrating hard on winning over their region, with frequent tours through the South and West.

The band has self-produced five records and one EP on its own record label, Aufheben Records.

Moses Guest has shared the stage with many great acts in the past few years: Moe. (twice), Steve Miller Band, JGB Band, Willie Nelson, Los Lobos, Leftover Salmon, String Cheese Incident, Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise, David Nelson Band, Rebirth Brass Band, The Jayhawks, Lisa Loeb and Colonel Bruce Hampton and the Fiji Mariners (on H.O.R.D.E. 1998 sidestage in Antioch, TN).

Moses Guest was recently voted into the Homegrown Music Networks “Hall Of Fame“.  One of only a handful of bands that have been bestowed this coveted award.

QUICK AND EASY BOYS IN-STORE FRIDAY

13.6.28 and 29 - QEB cd release Make it EasyQEB_highresThe Quick and Easy Boys will perform live at The Record Exchange (1105 W. Idaho St., Downtown Boise) at 6p.m. Friday, June 28. The band is performing a pair of release shows celebrating their new album Make It Easy on Friday, June 28 and Saturday, June 29 at Tom Grainey’s (10 p.m. both nights; $5 at the door; 21 and older). Buy the CD at the in-store ($9.99) and get free admission to one of the shows! As always, this Record Exchange in-store event is free and all ages!

ABOUT THE QUICK AND EASY BOYS

make it easyThe funky R&B, psychedelic rock, garage-pop of this Portland power-trio is representative of an emerging West Coast post-jam band sound, in which the 80s and 90s pop-rock-funk of L.A. has merged with an indie rock feel and an ability to extend the core rock songs through live improvisation.

The Quick & Easy Boys bring an element of honky-tonk into this mix and arrive at a sound akin to The Minutemen, My Morning Jacket, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Funkadelic rolled into one. Formed in Eugene, Oregon, in 2005, the band moved to Portland and released their first recording—Bad Decisions With Good People—in between jaunts up-and-down the Pacific Coast, then headed out on their first national tour in 2009. By the end of 2011, they had toured the country two more times and released their second album, Red Light Rabbit (2010).

On the road, the band has opened for an eclectic array of talent, including Deer Tick, Blitzen Trapper, The Bridge, Iglu & Hartly, The Pimps of Joytime, Southern Culture On The Skids, Big Sam’s Funky Nation and many others, subjecting unsuspecting audiences to The Quick & Easy Boys’ interactive party—complete with thought provoking lyrics, quirky eclecticism and unexpected stage antics.

The trio of Jimmy Russell (guitar), Sean Badders (bass) and Michael Goetz (drums) has gained a reputation for moving a crowd all-night long, whether on a big festival stage or in the corner of a tiny watering hole, and for pouring out every ounce of their energy, leaving nothing behind. In appreciation, home town crowds scream out “Yeah Bud!” at every show, and it appears that this disturbing trend is spreading to other markets …

THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS IN-STORE AND MEET & GREET SUNDAY, JUNE 9 (3PM)

tmbgportraitbwThey Might Be Giants will perform live at The Record Exchange (1105 W. Idaho St., Downtown Boise) at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 9. A meet and greet with the band will follow the performance. This free, all-ages Record Exchange in-store is sponsored in part by Boise Weekly. They Might Be Giants are performing at the Egyptian Theatre that evening and we have tickets for sale here at the store!

ABOUT THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS

They-Might-Be-Giants-Nanobots-608x608There aren’t a lot of bands who can open an album with the line “Hi, your head is on fire” and have it sound not only cool, but for the said lyric to be one of the album’s less ostentatious declarations. With NanobotsThey Might Be Giants’ 16th studio album—the band offers up a musical landscape of black ops, microscopic robots, insect hospitals, and karate chops—as well as a sprinkling of mini-ruminations clocking in at well under the one-minute mark. For a group that has made a career out of crafting unforgettable melodies while deftly illuminating the odd, Nanobots is a remarkable achievement—25 tracks that zig and zag in a myriad of new directions, including the very adult topics of melancholy and alienation, while showcasing the band’s expert musicianship and undeniable skill at crafting perfect pop productions.

Formed in 1982, They Might Be Giants are themselves giants of a sort in the pantheon of alternative-indie-college rock (or whatever you wanna call it). Emerging out of NYC’s East Village performance scene with a singular take on art-pop, the dynamic duo of John Flansburgh and John Linnell would break big at the dawn of the 1990s with their platinum LP Flood, one of the most beloved “alternative rock” albums of all time. In the following years, the band would go on to dip their creative toes in a variety of different pools—not only releasing a slew of excellent albums, but also making music for television and films, snagging a couple of Grammy awards, and serving as the subject for an acclaimed documentary about their career (Gigantic: A Tale of Two Johns). Over the course of three decades they’ve also managed to engender a coterie of intensely devoted (some might even say obsessive) fans who are prone to following the band around Grateful Dead style whenever They Might Be Giants hits the road. It’s certainly a great track record for any band…particularly for one more well-known for accordion heroics than guitars and whose most classic songs involve birdhouses and ancient cities.

So, when you are already 15 albums deep into a career that spans over thirty years, what do you do next? If you are They Might Be Giants, you simply do what you’ve always done—you gather your friends in NYC (in this case producer Pat Dillett and regular TMBG cohorts Stan Harrison, Jon Graboff, Jedediah Parish, and Chris Thompson) and follow your creative impulses wherever they happen to lead you. In the case of Nanobots, the resulting album is a collection of skewed narratives that present a kind of through-line to the band’s earliest work—herky jerky pop songs sprinkled among a variety of truncated mini songs, all of them begging to be sung along to.

“There is a thread that runs along everything we’ve ever done,” says John Linnell. “We’re always trying to do new things—new styles, experimenting with things that are pretty/ugly or kind of atrocious sounding or purely weird—but we also love pop songs. Despite how we may try to change things up, I think we’re still trying to meet the same kinds of criteria ultimately. We are still, in the end, trying to make songs that we want to hear.”

“When you enter a studio to make your 16th record, you might assume the stakes couldn’t be any lower,” jokes John Flansburgh, “But we really approached this project with a level of intensity and focus that rivals anything else we’ve ever done. I think the sonics and musicality of what we’ve been doing for the past couple of years are actually quite evolved from where we started, but at the same time we really pared things back. We tried to come at this record with a lot of restraint, to see how minimal we could be with the song arrangements. That was really our challenge this time around. Some of the songs are crazy sparse. It’s kind of amazing to me that it took us sixteen albums to get around to trying some of these ideas. It’s also reassuring to know that you can make music for this long and still uncover these new ideas. There are definitely points in Nanobots that feel like a new direction for us.”

So, what then is a Nanobot? According to reliable Internet sources, a nanobot is “a hypothetical, very small, self-propelled machine, esp. one that has some degree of autonomy and can reproduce.” Given the microscopic nature of songs like “Tick” “Hive Mind” and “Didn’t Kill me”, it’s easy to see how the idea of the tiny creation with the capacity to accomplish big things might serve as a guiding principle for the entire record, so much of which is built upon a kind of purposeful brevity. That being said, the album still boasts a variety of three-minute pop gems—“Call You Mom,” “Nanobots,” “Lost My Mind”—that rank among TMBG’s most instantly catchy tunes.

“I like the idea of short songs,” says Linnell, “It’s just gonna dilute the power of the idea if we make it longer. There’s no need to force another verse and chorus if the song doesn’t need one. There isn’t necessarily a logical explanation to why Nanobots seemed like such an important title for the entire record, but I like the idea of these tiny things that are designed to do a very specific thing—they can replicate themselves in whatever way they might need to in order to do the required job. And I like the idea are self-replicating. Humans do that by having children. It’s not necessarily a logical process, it’s just something that happens. You unleash this force—a child or a microscopic robot—and then it goes out into the world and does its thing…in a way you can’t always control.”

“We came of age in the time of albums”, says Flansburgh, “So we were raised on the notion that songs—when collected together—serve to amplify and support each other when part of a well-considered collection. That’s the power of the album. With Nanobots we weren’t making a concept album, but it does have a certain power as a kind of song cycle. These short little tiny songs have a purpose and they make sense when surrounded by the longer songs. There’s a certain mania to this record, a certain energy you get when you include all these hard working miniatures.”

There are few bands currently operation that can boast a thirty year career, let alone boast a career that includes 16 studio albums—including four beloved albums for children—and a history of embracing emerging technologies (the band’s brilliantly curated iPhone app recalls their early “Dial-A-Song” days), but the genius of They Might Be Giants—and perhaps the secret to their success—is that they continue to operate within their own world. Three decades in, there is still no other band that sounds like them and—even more importantly—very few artists that approach songwriting with the kind of wide-eyed, natural curiosity as They Might Be Giants. Whether they are singing about tiny robots, broken hearts, combustible heads, or ticks, they do it in a vernacular that is uniquely their own.