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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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[ 2013 staff picks ]

2013 staff picks

After weeks of scrutiny, Record Exchange staffers have completed their 2013 Top 10 lists, and leading up to Christmas we're posting individual lists here on the website. You can also visit the store to view all the lists in realtime and shop our special '13 Staff Picks display. Let the judgment begin!

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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!

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Think local. Think indie. Think $9.99 CDs at Record Exchange.

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[ RSD exclusives/events ]

RSD exclusives/events

Okay, here it is: the Record Store Day exclusives list. Over 400 limited-edition CDs, vinyl LPs, 7-inches and more available Saturday, April 19 at The Record Exchange. Follow the link to peruse the list and read about Record Exchange RSD events!

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payette brewing company

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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[ rx top 10 ]

rx top 10

1. ULTIMATE ALTERNATIVE WAVERS
Built to Spill
2. HALF THE CITY
St. Paul and the Broken Bones
3. THE SPACE PROJECT
Various Artists
4. TIME TRAVELERS AND BONFIRES
Sevendust
5. DEMOLICIOUS
Green Day
6. BECAUSE THE INTERNET
Childish Gambino
7. THE DEVIL LOVES YOU
aka Belle
8. DO TO THE BEAST
Afghan Whigs
9. DOTTED LINE
Nickel Creek
10. MEMPHIS GREASE
John Nemeth

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krbx card savings!

The Record Exchange is proud to be part of Radio Boise's KRBX Card program! Present your card on Sunday and New Release Tuesday (6-9 p.m.) and get 20% off all gift shop items and 20% off used CDs, vinyl, DVD, Blu-ray and cassettes!

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[ INFOTAINMENT ]

94.9 FM THE RIVER AND BOISE WEEKLY PRESENT ST. PAUL AND THE BROKEN BONES RECORD STORE DAY WEEKEND KICKOFF IN-STORE THURSDAY, APRIL 17

StPaulBrokenBones_byDaveMcClisterHiRes94.9 FM The River and Boise Weekly present the St. Paul and the Broken Bones Record Store Day Weekend Kickoff In-store at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 17, at The Record Exchange (1105 W. Idaho St.). As always, this Record Exchange in-store event is free and all ages. St. Paul and the Broken Bones are performing at Neurolux later that evening and we have tickets for sale at the store!

Our friends at Boise Bicycle Project will provide free bicycle parking outside the store! To encourage alternative transportation during Record Store Day, BBP will have bicycle parking at the RX all weekend long, and anyone who rides to the RX will be entered to win a BBP RSD prize pack. Be sure to check out our BBP children’s bicycle display as part of their Idaho Gives fund drive!

ABOUT ST. PAUL AND THE BROKEN BONES

St.PaulBB-AlbumArt1Grit, elemental rhythm, tight-as-a-drumhead playing, and a profound depth of feeling: these are the promises of a great soul band. And St. Paul & The Broken Bones deliver on those promises.

Half The City is the compelling full-length Single Lock/Thirty Tigers debut of the Birmingham, Alabama-based sextet, who have already created a maelstrom of interest with their roof-raising live shows and self-released four-song 2012 EP. Produced by Ben Tanner of Alabama Shakes, and recorded and mixed in the storied R&B mecca of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, the album harkens back to the region’s classic soul roots while extending the form with electrifying potency.

Front man Paul Janeway’s handle “St. Paul” is a wry allusion to the vocalist’s grounding in the church. Like many a legendary soul singer, Janeway, a native of the small town of Chelsea, Alabama, was raised on the gospel side, in a non-denominational, Pentecostal-leaning local church. Virtually no non-religious music could be heard in his devout household. Janeway says, “The only secular music that I heard at all was a ‘70s group called the Stylistics, and Sam Cooke. That was about it. The rest of it was all gospel music. When I was about 10 years old, I was groomed to be a minister. My goal in life until I was about 18 years old was to be a preacher.”

He adds, “My pastor was the reason that I learned to play guitar. They would let me play guitar and sing in church. What was weird was that he would never let me sing lead – I’d sing background vocals. I always thought, ‘Well, maybe I’m just a good background vocalist.’ So I never thought I could really, really sing, at all. I never thought it would be a living, ever.”

Though his time in the church exposed Janeway to key influences in gospel music – the Mighty Clouds of Joy, Alex Bradford, Clay Evans – he began moving away from his youthful path in his late teens. He began attending open mic nights in Birmingham’s clubs and diversified his listening, excited by some decidedly left-of-center talents. “Tom Waits and Nick Cave were the really big attractions,” he says. “They have that passion. They’ve built this aura. They’re showmen to the teeth. And that’s what got me – it’s like going to church, in a weird way. At about the same time, I began listening to the great soul singers like Otis Redding, James Carr, and O.V. Wright. I was trying to find something that made my earbuds tingle.”

Seeking his musical comfort zone, Janeway had an incongruous stint in a band that played Led Zeppelin covers, but, he confesses today, “That’s not what I do.” However, his early work in the rock vein brought him together with bassist Jesse Phillips. The pair became close friends and were soon writing together; “Sugar Dyed,” “Broken Bones and Pocket Change,” and “That Glow,” all heard on Half The City, were among the first fruits of their collaboration.

The other members of the Broken Bones are all drawn from Alabama’s deep talent pool. Guitarist Browan Lollar, from the Muscle Shoals area about 100 miles north of Birmingham, previously played with Jason Isbell’s 400 Unit. “We never thought Browan would ever be interested in this band – he was too big-time for us,” says Janeway. “Jesse had met him while he was on tour with another band out of Birmingham. He asked Browan to come to the studio, and he showed up. I think we caught him at the right time. He wasn’t busy, and he said, ‘Man, I really want to be a part of this.’”

Jasper, Alabama, native Andrew Lee signed on via his acquaintance with Phillips. “We just picked him up on the way to the studio,” Janeway recalls. “Jesse said, ‘I know this guy, why don’t I just call him.’ And 30 minutes later, he’s sitting there playing drums on ‘Sugar Dyed.’ Andrew’s just a hell of a drummer.” Brass players Allen Branstetter and Ben Griner are both graduates of the music program at Birmingham’s Samford University. Janeway says his vision of the band always called for a two-man horn section, a la the celebrated Memphis Horns, and he approached Griner, although the latter’s main instrument was tuba. “I told Ben, ‘Man, I’ve got to have horns. Do you think you can play trombone?’ He said, ‘I’ll give it a shot.’ And he brought Allen with him.”

All six members share writing credit on 10 of the songs on Half The City, with Janeway contributing lyrics. “We firmly believe in a shared, communal writing process,” the singer says. “These guys are extremely talented. The drummer wrote horn parts. Browan threw something in. It’s very collective. We just get in a room. Sometimes we’ll have the scales for a song, or sometimes we’ll have this little riff. That’s how we do it.”

In Tanner — who logged time at Muscle Shoals’ aptly named FAME Studios, where scores of memorable soul records were cut — St. Paul and the Broken Bones found a like-minded producer and label boss. Half The City is among the first releases on Single Lock Records, the imprint co-founded by Tanner, John Paul White of the Civil Wars, and Will Trapp.

“When we started getting cranked up and nobody really knew who the hell we were, we got Ben to mix our original four-song EP,” says Janeway. “We just hit it off. He said, ‘Hey, guys, I’m in the process of starting this label. Obviously you can say no, but we’d love for you to be a part of it.’ And we said, ‘Hell, yeah.’”

Reaching back nearly 50 years to methods employed the great epoch of deep Southern soul, Tanner and the group eschewed studio trickery for an in-the-moment approach during sessions at the Nutthouse in Muscle Shoals, AL. Fittingly, the album was mixed at FAME. Janeway explains, “We said, ‘We’re doing this as old-school as we can.’ We did it to tape. We did it live. What you hear is taken from about three takes, and we took the best take. I love it. It’s raw. You hear all the scrapes.” Special guests include Al Gamble on piano, organ and wurlitzer, Daniel Stoddard on pedal steel, Jamie Harper on baritone sax and Tanner on piano, organ and background vocals.

Half The City – vital, direct, emotionally affecting – presents the same engaged, high-voltage, in-the-pocket sound that St. Paul & The Broken Bones produce at their live dates, where Janeway’s extroverted performing style enraptures his audiences.

“I’m going to be dancing, getting in the aisles, climbing on tables,” he says. “That’s just the way we do it. It really takes me back to church. There’s not a lot of difference. When I get on stage, it’s, ‘All right, it’s time to pour it on.’”

RECORD EXCHANGE RECORD STORE DAY WEEKEND EVENTS

THURSDAY, APRIL 17
- St. Paul and the Broken Bones Record Store Day Weekend Kickoff In-store (presented by 94.9 FM The River and Boise Weekly) 6pm
- Free bicycle parking provided by Boise Bicycle Project
Full event details HERE.

FRIDAY, APRIL 18
- RSD Exclusives Listening Party/‘Last Shop Standing’ film screening 6pm — free Payette Brewing Co. beer/Pie Hole pizza* and tons of raffle prizes, including drawings for the first five places in line on Record Store Day! Michael Bunnell, Record Exchange Owner, Executive Director of the Coalition of Independent Music Stores and Record Store Day Founding Board Member, will lead a Record Store Day Q&A at 6:30pm.
- 20% off used CDs, vinyl, DVD/Blu-ray and cassettes!
- Free bicycle parking provided by Boise Bicycle Project
*While supplies last
Full event details HERE.

SATURDAY, APRIL 19
- 400 exclusives released — open 9am-10pm; Gift Shop opens at 8am for line. Free drip coffee & Guru Donuts (courtesy of New West Records)* 8-9am! The Record Exchange will stay open until 10pm on Record Store Day.
- Go Listen Boise buskers and bake sale on the sidewalk (10am-7pm)
- Pie Hole pizza for sale
- 20% off used CDs, vinyl, DVD/Blu-ray and cassettes!
- Free bicycle parking provided by Boise Bicycle Project
*While supplies last
Full event details HERE.

SUNDAY, APRIL 20
- Sevendust new album signing 3pm — get a VIP line wristband with purchase of Time Travelers and Bonfires (out April 15).
- 20% off used CDs, vinyl, DVD/Blu-ray and cassettes!
- Free bicycle parking provided by Boise Bicycle Project
Full event details HERE.

April 2nd, 2014

FIRST THURSDAY AT THE RX: LAUNCH PARTY FOR ANTI-MEGALOADS BOOK, PLUS HILLFOLK NOIR LIVE AND FREE PAYETTE BREWING CO. BEER!

Goliath-Staggered-cover-4-800x390The Record Exchange (1105 W. Idaho St. Boise) is honored to be hosting a launch party for Steve Bunk’s anti-megaloads book Goliath Staggered: How the People of Highway 12 Conquered Big Oil” at 6 p.m. First Thursday, April 3. The event will feature a presentation by Bunk, live music by Hillfolk Noir and free beer (21 and older with valid I.D.) courtesy of Payette Brewing Co. As always, this Record Exchange event is free and all ages.

Festivities start at 6 p.m. with a set by Hillfolk Noir on The Record Exchange stage, followed by remarks from Bunk on the significance of the grassroots resistance to the megaloads, and ending with another set by the band. The book will be available for purchase at the event and Bunk will sign copies.

“Goliath Staggered” follows the rise, growth, and triumph of the people’s movement to prevent major oil companies from transforming Highway 12’s federally protected Wild and Scenic River corridor through northern Idaho from transformation into a high-and-wide industrial thoroughfare. The battle, which raged in meeting halls, on the streets, in the media, and the courts from spring 2010 until autumn 2013, forced Big Oil to find another route for giant infrastructural equipment bound for the tar sands of Alberta, Canada.

The people’s victory, which was far from assured until a federal court ruled in their favor, became an inspiration for the current national grassroots movement against the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline, which would carry crude oil from the tar sands through six states to the Gulf of Mexico for refining.

Bunk, who reported for New West on the saga as it unfolded, and whose book has been warmly received by prominent conservationists, will talk about the importance of grassroots movements to slowing the rate at which carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels enters the atmosphere, imperiling the health of the planet.

“Goliath Staggered,” which will be available April 3 in paperback and eBook, is the initial release from New West Books. More information on the book can be found at newwestbooks.com.

TAKING BACK SUNDAY IN-STORE MARCH 23; ADMISSION WRISTBAND WITH PURCHASE OF NEW ALBUM!

Taking_Back_Sunday_Fall_2011_4_credit_Camille_NolanTaking Back Sunday will perform live and sign copies of their new album Happiness Is at The Record Exchange (1105 W. Idaho St.) at 5 p.m. Sunday, March 23. As always, this Record Exchange in-store event is free and all ages. Taking Back Sunday is performing at Knitting Factory later that evening and we have tickets for sale at the store!

Want guaranteed admission to the event? Purchase Happiness Is (out March 18) on CD ($14.99) or vinyl ($19.99) and we’ll give you a wristband guaranteeing admission to the event!

ABOUT TAKING BACK SUNDAY

taking back sundayTaking Back Sunday are a band who truly need no introduction. Since forming in Long Island in 1999, the group have sold millions of albums, evolved from a scrappy punk act into seasoned songwriters and continued to forge a successful career. That spirit of resilience and innovation is dripping all over the band’s sixth full-length Happiness Is (which is also their first release for Hopeless Records). As you can guess from the title the album addresses some heady concepts, but it simultaneously showcases a new musical and conceptual leap for this band of mainstream misfits that’s certain to endear them to fans both new and old.

The group’s second album since reviving the classic lineup of vocalist Adam Lazzara, guitarist/vocalist John Nolan, guitarist Eddie Reyes, bassist Shaun Cooper and drummer Mark O’Connell was written over a two year period with no involvement from a record label for the first time since their legendary 2002 debut Tell All Your Friends. “The last record [2011's Taking Back Sunday] was us feeling each other out and learning how to work together again and on this one everybody was a little more comfortable and free to express themselves,” Lazzara explains. “At this point in the game we all know each other’s strengths and weaknesses so well that it has made writing music together a bit easier,” O’Connell confirms. “Don’t get me wrong, there are still arguments but we are older and wiser and with that comes less fighting.”

Co-produced by longtime collaborators Mike Sapone in Long Island and Marc Jacob Hudson in Michigan, and mixed by Claudius Mittendorfer, the album sees the band expanding their musical palette and stretching out sonically in ways they’ve never done before by utilizing each producer’s strengths. “Recording with Marc was great because we’ve been working together for a decade on the road so we are so relaxed around him,” Lazzara says, adding that the fact the studio was located in a remote wooded area in the Midwest helped free the band from external distractions during the recording process. “When it comes to Mike that’s like our second home and it helped make those sessions feel so familiar since we actually recorded our very first demos there.”

“We had a month off between the two recording sessions which I think was really important because we’d never had that before and it helped us take a step back and reassess things once we were halfway through,” Nolan explains. In that spirit the soaring choruses and tender verses of the opening salvo “Flicker, Fade” is a perfect illustration of how that fresh perspective helped these songs achieve their full potential. “I’m very proud of that song in particular because in some ways it’s exactly what you would expect from Taking Back Sunday but it also manages to incorporate all of these completely new elements in it such as the orchestral flourishes,” Nolan explains. “I’m also extremely proud of the last song ‘Nothing At All’ because we’ve had acoustic songs before but we’ve never had anything acoustic that builds into such a gigantic climax and I think fans are going to be pleasantly surprised with that.”

“I tried to be a little more loose; I was more focused on being myself than trying to sound perfect or anything,” Lazzara responds when asked how he approached Happiness Is. “We also played around a lot with arranging the harmonies and playing with layers and I think that makes these songs a lot more rich.” Correspondingly “Stood A Chance” alternates between melodic moments and moody breakdowns in a way that’s so seamless that you’ll hardly notice it’s happening until it’s all over while “Better Homes And Gardens” is catharsis set to a driving drumbeat. The band also clearly weren’t afraid to let these songs truly take on their own spirit as evidenced by the ambient ballad “It Takes More,” which started out as an upbeat rocker before organically becoming into the atmospheric masterpiece that it evolved into.

Fans of Taking Back Sunday will also rejoice at the fact that Happiness Is sees the band’s enigmatic frontman at his most personal. “Through the years I’ve tried to stay pretty cryptic because often times it’s easier not to have to explain yourself but on this record I was very direct in the sense I tried to use the simplest way to get an idea across,” Lazzara explains. “In the past I don’t think I ever would have let a song like ‘Like You Do’ go on an album because it’s so heartfelt in a simple way and I also think it’s actually one of the first love songs we’ve ever written.” The band also agree that performing in the Middle East at places like Kuwait were the inspiration for “We Were Younger Then”—and lines like, “I remember when comfort was not an option” illustrate how far these five guys have come along from playing basements in Long Island in the late nineties.

Ultimately this search for meaning and pursuit of progress lies at the core of why the band have managed to retain a fervent fanbase over the years and survive numerous passing trends. But it’s also important to note that none of the band members take any part of this experience for granted. “In the past when we were on a major label there would be A&R people giving us suggestions but with this album it was just us pushing ourselves,” Lazzara summarizes, sounding even more hopeful than he did over a decade ago. “There is no question to me that Happiness Is is the best unfiltered representation of what happens when the five of us get in a room together and that makes me really happy. Nolan confirms this sentiment by adding, “this album really is a testament to each of the members talents because it’s just us.”

In other words, prepare yourself because it’s time to fall in love with Taking Back Sunday all over again.

SECRET TREEFORT IN-STORE REVEAL: NEW MADRID TODAY AT 4:30 PM!

newmadrid-pr3-72dpiToday’s Record Exchange Secret Treefort In-store is …

New Madrid!

New Madrid (playing a 21+ Treefort show at The Bouquet at 8 p.m. tonight) will perform at 4:30 p.m. TODAY at The Record Exchange, 1105 W. Idaho St. in Downtown Boise. As always, this Record Exchange in-store event is free and all ages — and you don’t need a Treefort pass to attend (but you should get one anyway and we have them for sale at the store).

ABOUT NEW MADRID

newmadrid-cover-72dpiFrom just south of the Appalachian Mountains, in the rolling hills of Athens, GA., comes the roaring young four-piece New Madrid. Following the critical acclaim of their 2012 independently released album Yardboat, the band signed with Normaltown Records and promptly began work on their sophomore album Sunswimmer.

Recorded during a cool, rainy July, under the direction of David Barbe (Deerhunter, Drive-By Truckers), the aural landscapes forged in Sunswimmer become almost palpable. Combining reverb-drenched vocal harmonies, soaring underwater noise and floating, meandering melodies, the sounds don’t exit the speakers as much as they condense and hang in the air like the humid Athens summer that birthed them.

FULL SECRET TREEFORT IN-STORE SCHEDULE

Thursday, March 20, 5 p.m. — Coastwest Unrest
Friday, March 21, 4 p.m. — Horse Feathers
Saturday, March 22, 4:30 p.m. — New Madrid

The RX and Treefort are announcing the artists the morning of each event via social media and The Record Exchange email list, which you can sign up for HERE.

SECRET TREEFORT IN-STORE REVEAL: HORSE FEATHERS TONIGHT AT 4PM!

318187_10150686216971076_1400995298_nToday’s Record Exchange Secret Treefort In-store is …

Horse Feathers!

Horse Feathers (playing a 21+ Treefort show at Pengilly’s Saloon at 12 a.m. tonight) will perform at 4 p.m. TODAY at The Record Exchange, 1105 W. Idaho St. in Downtown Boise. As always, this Record Exchange in-store event is free and all ages — and you don’t need a Treefort pass to attend (but you should get one anyway and we have them for sale at the store).

ABOUT HORSE FEATHERS

coverNew Year’s Eve always suggests a new beginning, and Cynic’s New Year welcomes Horse Feathers‘ fans with the promise of something new. To be sure, old friends return. Wrapped around Justin Ringle’s unique vocals are sparkling guitars, dancing fiddles, and smoky banjo woven through the foundation of the lower strings. But new elements are everywhere: horn, woodwind and brass appear and fade, and drums drive the beat in places, providing new texture and heft. The lyrics traverse familiar themes from natural disaster to the deeply personal, each through Justin Ringle’s uniquely American linguistic lens. New vistas and new stories are explored with deep insight and fresh intimacy, always with an abiding respect and affection. The universe rises to threaten, inspire, and sometimes punish, but always to teach a valuable lesson. Souls, lost and found, embark on thoughtful emotional journeys.

The first single, “Fit against the Country”, describes a nation where working men and women shoulder their careworn lives with neither apology nor surrender. These are words that need to be held close, owing their poignance as much to the savor of their pure sound as to their meaning. “Where I’ll Be”, another single from this brilliant collection, has an infectious rhythmic cadence that marks it as one of the great songs evoking trains, with a compelling sentiment that belies the gray landscape it travels.

Again joining Justin is instrumental coconspirator Nathan Crockett, accompanied by a gathering of gifted Northwest musicians including Dustin Dybvig, Victor Nash, Justin Power, Catherine Odell, Jedadiah Bernards, Cory Goldman, Jenn Rawling, Adam Thompson, Scott Magee, Brandon Johnson, and sound engineer Skyler Norwood. Cynic’s New Year does not fail to deliver something beautiful and new. It navigates a thoughtful, thought-provoking expedition from the wide sky and rolling ocean to the most private corners of the human heart.

FULL SECRET TREEFORT IN-STORE SCHEDULE

Thursday, March 20, 5 p.m. — Coastwest Unrest
Friday, March 21, 4 p.m. — Horse Feathers
Saturday, March 22, 4:30 p.m. — ?

The RX and Treefort are announcing the artists the morning of each event via social media and The Record Exchange email list, which you can sign up for HERE.