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The Record Exchange - Culture Spot

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[ 2015 staff picks ]

2015 staff picks

After weeks of scrutiny, Record Exchange staffers have completed their 2015 Top 10 lists. Visit the store to view the lists in realtime and preview our picks. Let the judgment begin!


[ 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.


[ 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!


[ 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.


[ outside the heard ]

[ record store day 2016 ]

record store day 2016

Mark your calendars: Record Store Day 2016 is April 16 at The Record Exchange! We'll have 350+ exclusive releases, live music 20% off used music/video and more all weekend long!


[ rx top 10 ]

rx top 10

1. A Sailor’s Guide to Earth
Sturgill Simpson
2. Cleopatra
The Lumineers
3. Purple Rain
4. The Complete Peel Sessions
The White Stripes
5. Santana IV
6. Dig in Deep
Bonnie Raitt
7. Sounds Like a Reasonable Thing for a Band to Play
8. Lovers and Leavers
Hayes Carll
9. 25
10. Ultimate

[ 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!


[ 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.





curtis sutton budwigThe Record Exchange (1105 W. Idaho St.) is honored to host a double album release preview party with Curtis/Sutton and the Scavengers and Bart Budwig at 6pm Thursday, May 12. Curtis/Sutton and Budwig also will be celebrating their new albums at 8pm Friday, May 13 at Pengilly’s Saloon. As always, this Record Exchange in-store is free and all ages.

Curtis/Sutton and the Scavengers’ self-titled six-song EP and Bart Budwig’s full-length “The Moon and Other Things” will be available for purchase at The Record Exchange on the 12th!


Curtis-Sutton & The Scavengers - Curtis-Sutton - coverCurtis/Sutton and the Scavengers are an Americana/folk blues band based out of Boise, Idaho. The band’s sound is best described as country-folk meets swamp-blues. This hodgepodge of gritty-sweet roots music is the brainchild of the band’s two distinct songwriters, Charlie Sutton and Ryan Curtis. Both songwriters have played across the country in different band settings. Sutton has even been featured as a solo artist on “A Prairie Home Companion.” The revolving cast of characters known as the Scavengers are anchored by their only full-timer, Sam Alkire (upright bass).

Sutton and Curtis share their musical roots in the Midwest — Sutton in St. Louis and Curtis in Michigan and Chicago. The story of Curtis/Sutton began in 2013, when both songwriters found their way to Boise. Curtis was escaping the suburban sprawl of Los Angeles and Sutton the rural farmland of north Idaho. The North Boise neighbors quickly hit it off over late-night jam sessions, cold beers and old records.

Curtis/Sutton and the Scavengers are known for their rowdy 3-4 hour sets of mainly original music. They take their listeners on a journey through the genres of blues, traditional country, bluegrass, rockabilly and folk. You can catch them most weekends playing the dives and haunts of Idaho and the greater Northwest.


bb-tmaot-700One has to wonder: what is a twenty-something, jazz trumpet-playing, Wes Anderson movie-loving, ex-Certified Nursing Assistant who literally lives backstage in one of America’s longest-running theaters doing writing an album that would’ve sounded more at home in 1970s Texas?

Fortunately, Bart Budwig is a man who would rather ask good questions than give bad answers. In the same way that Willie and Waylon were rebelling against “the machine,” the above begins to make sense when considering the Oregonian songwriter’s authenticity as a fellow outlaw.

Budwig’s new full-length, “The Moon and Other Things,” was recorded to four-track reel-to-reel in the historic OK Theatre in Enterprise, Oregon.

Budwig grew up on the Idaho Palouse with a pawn shop trumpet and a heart as big as a skyscraper — if skyscrapers knew how to be humble. Budwig learned melody from classic jazz charts, and learned that fault-lines in big hearts create drifting continents, cut new oceans and forge new mountains. Everyone close to him disappeared, whether to death or Texas, and from Texas he got a letter from Waylon Jennings entreating him to pick up a guitar and a pen.

Budwig doesn’t write the big songs. He writes the songs about the places between the hills, in the draws and hidden canyons where truth is a little more in focus, stories can take their time gettin’ told, heartbreak is a place of deep reflection, and melodies don’t have to wear rhinestone suits or drive new, shiny cars to be beautiful.

Budwig’s also not afraid of working out of the spotlight — he engineered not only his own full-length “Whiskey Girl” (2012) but also albums and tours with Radiation City, Holiday Friends, Girlfriends, Misé, John Craigie, Edmund Wayne and Mama Doll. He also made the rare (for songwriters these days) move of covering both a Waylon tune and a friend’s (An American Forrest) tune on “Whiskey Girl.” He’s busy regularly updating “Jalapeno Business,” a covers and duets record available for free on Soundcloud, featuring Joseph, Craigie, Forrest, Luke Ydtsie (of Blind Pilot), Janis Carper and a whole slew of other Northwest musicians.


Photo DBubblecrownCROPLODressy Bessy (Elephant 6, Yep Roc Records) will perform live at The Record Exchange (1105 W. Idaho St., Downtown Boise) at 6:30pm Tuesday, April 26. Dressy Bessy is performing later that evening at Liquid. As always, this Record Exchange in-store event is free and all ages!


418457030370“We never broke up,” Dressy Bessy singer/guitarist Tammy Ealom says on the occasion of the release of KINGSIZED, her band’s first new album in seven years. “It was never our intention to drop out, it just sort of happened. We were dealing with life, but we never stopped making music.”

Indeed, the 13-song KINGSIZED makes it clear that, nearly 20 years into their career, Dressy Bessy are making some of their most compelling and accomplished music. Such melodically infectious, lyrically barbed new tunes as “Lady Liberty,” “Make Mine Violet” and the anthemic title track are potent examples of the band’s uncanny ability to wrap Ealom’s personally-charged, pointedly subversive lyrics in sparkling, irresistibly catchy songcraft.

In addition to showcasing the band’s musical chemistry, KINGSIZED also draws upon the talents of a wide assortment of friends, admirers, and contemporaries. R.E.M’s Peter Buck adds distinctive 12-string guitar on “Lady Liberty” and “Cup ‘O Bang Bang,” while legendary Pylon frontwoman Vanessa Briscoe-Hay adds her voice to “Get Along (Diamond Ring).” Minus 5/Young Fresh Fellows mastermind Scott McCaughey plays keyboards on “Make Mine Violet” and “57 Disco” and R.E.M’s Mike Mills sings on the band’s distinctive rendering of the George Harrison classic “What Is Life,” which appears as the b-side of the 7″ single release of “Lady Liberty.”

KINGSIZED, after the departure of original bass player Rob Greene, features an assortment of notable guest bassists as well, including Eric Allen of The Apples In Stereo, Jason Garner of the Polyphonic Spree and The Deathray Davies, Mike Giblin of Split Squad and fabled punk progenitor Andy Shernoff of The Dictators.

KINGSIZED also marks a return to the band’s early recording approach. As Hill explains, “With our first two albums, we were a completely D.I.Y. operation, and we recorded everything at home. Then we did our next three albums in the studio. Three or four years ago, we revamped our home studio, so we could record complete works at home. Now we have the sound quality of a real studio without the time constraints. We have enough time for stuff to jell and enough time to work things out.”

While KINGSIZED features some of the most focused, organic music Dressy Bessy has ever made, the new album is consistent with the pursuit of joy and transcendence that’s been the band’s mission from its early days in its hometown of Denver.

Although such seminal Dressy Bessy releases as Pink Hearts Yellow Moons, The California EP, SoundGoRound, Little Music: Singles 1997-2002, Dressy Bessy and Electrified earned the band an enthusiastic fan base with their effervescent, uplifting pop tunes, they also caused some observers to miss the tougher edge of Ealom’s lyrics.

Now that they’re back in action with some of their strongest music to date, Dressy Bessy is happy to be back at work. “I feel like we’re just starting to get good at what we do,” Ealom states. “We’ve had a lot of time to hone in our sound, knowing what we want to sound like and figuring out what we need to do to get that. I’m really excited about the future.”

“We actually kind of know what we’re doing now,” adds Hill with a chuckle. “We used to always be flying by the seat of our pants, but we’re better players, Tammy is a better singer, and we’re a better band. I think we’ve recorded the best album that we ever have, so our plan now is to just get out there and rock, then keep on rocking. We need our fans and we feel like they need us too.”


BBP+Bike+CorralOur friends at Boise Bicycle Project have generously provided free bicycle parking in front of The Record Exchange for Record Store Day Weekend!FINAL_LOGO_2011

BBP’s bicycle corral will be on The Record Exchange sidewalk (Idaho Street side) Friday morning and will remain there through Sunday. Anyone who cycles to the RX Friday-Sunday will be entered to win a Record Exchange/Boise Bicycle Project prize pack that includes a Boise Bicycle Project Alley Cat membership, BBP T-shirt, $20 Record Exchange Gift Card and cycling-related items from The Record Exchange Gift Shop!


In October of 2007, two hotshot firefighters put their axes and chainsaws down and began repairing and donating used bikes to under privileged kids. They dreamed of creating a cooperative workspace that made bicycle education and quality-recycled bicycles available to the entire community.

Seven years later, BBP has donated over 10,215 bicycles to the Treasure Valley, while teaching countless members of the community about bicycle repair and safety. BBP has grown into a fully functional bicycle cooperative with services to offer every demographic. It has truly been a dream come true, and the impact on Boise can be seen with recycled bicycles gracing the streets everywhere you look.

At Boise Bicycle Project we rebuild bikes to build better lives. Please join the ride and give today.


LarkinPoe_Press2016_594.9 FM The River presents Larkin Poe live at The Record Exchange (1105 W. Idaho St. in Downtown Boise) at 12:30pm Friday, April 15 as part of our Record Store Day Weekend festivities. Larkin Poe is opening for Elvis Costello and serving as his backing band for his sold-out Egyptian Theatre show later that evening. As always, this Record Exchange in-store event is free and all ages.

As a special treat for Record Exchange customers, Larkin Poe’s new album Reskinned will be available for purchase at the event prior to its April 29 official release date!

“Trouble in Mind,” the first single off Reskinned, premiered via Paste magazine in February. In an effort to show off their true grit and evolution as a band, Larkin Poe immediately returned to the studio to record after concluding their world tour. This fresh version of the original album Kin includes new remastered tracks as well as productions by Chris Seefried (Fitz and the Tantrums, Lana Del Rey), Justin Warfield (She Wants Revenge, Nico Vega) and Wax LTD (Muse, Bon Iver, Miley Cyrus, Maroon 5).


larkin+poe+-+kin“A sister act with staying power.” – NPR

According to the sisters themselves, 2015 was a defining year of growth for Larkin Poe, an Atlanta-based roots rock ’n’ roll duo comprised of Rebecca and Megan Lovell: “We feel lucky to have experienced a year of life-changing moments that shaped and crystallized our artistic direction. We’re entering our mid-twenties, we’re coming into our own. We’ve lost love, we’ve found love. We’ve lived loud, leaving little pieces of our hearts in every club we’ve played around the world – and we are really proud to have come out of 2015 with new songs that speak to that change.”

This “change” they speak of is their second album Reskinned, a re-release follow-up of the critically acclaimed debut album Kin. Voted as one of the top 10 albums released in 2014 by Huffington Post, Larkin Poe toured the world supporting the November 2014 release of Kin. Rebecca states: “As musicians, singers, songwriters and performers, we learn something new with every show we play; last year we played hundreds of shows: from big festivals to tiny radio stations; from backing Elvis Costello to backing Conor Oberst. We’ve learned to stay on our toes and keep our artistic approach fresh.” This perpetual innovation fueled a writing spurt that the sisters felt compelled to immediately record and share with their fans.

A Brief History of Larkin Poe:

“We have a very colorful family history,” explains lead singer/guitarist Rebecca, referencing the sisters’ familial connection to tortured artist and creative genius Edgar Allan Poe. “There have been a lot of creative, hotheaded, mentally unstable branches in our family tree. Growing up in the midst of their crazy stories has definitely shaded our perception of normal. As artists, I think some of those eccentricities, passed down from generation to generation, have been even further exaggerated in us!” Megan, who contributes lap steel to the lineup, chimes in: “As sisters, we wanted to pick a band name that had familial significance, so we decided to pay tribute to our ancestors by taking on the name of our great-great-great-grandfather, Larkin Poe.”

The sisters celebrate that unique genealogy, and their own eccentricities, with Reskinned. A sassy nod to the sisters’ southern heritage, first single “Trouble In Mind” features sassy, homegrown lyrics: “I’m a bad little angel, I fell from grace, a Georgia Peach gone bad, yeah, you know the taste.”

“As Georgia girls, we came up listening to and soaking in the source music of the south: the blues, country, Americana and mountain music; classic rock and southern rock. That deep and gritty heritage has seeped into the bloodstream of our music,” explains Megan. “We’ve reached a point in our lives where we no longer care to be quite so polite, so ‘nice,’ so perfectionistic. Now is the time to be raw, unapologetically overdriven Larkin Poe. Deep in our bones, we are rockers. We’re ready to let the tiger out of the cage.”

Reskinned marks Larkin Poe’s second release with RH Music. After years of fierce independence (i.e., five self-released EPs and three years of international and domestic touring, without label support), the sisters decided to sign with RH Music. “We signed with RH Music because they wholeheartedly believe in our authenticity. They understand that we make music because we inherently need to make music, and they want to support that need,” explains Megan, “They’re a 21st century patron of the arts.” This new release will also be the first for their new relationship with Vertigo/Capitol/Universal Germany in Europe. Rebecca comments: “We are honored to be working with Vertigo/Capitol/Universal in Europe. In the music industry, where ‘industry’ sometimes takes precedence over ‘music,’ the folks at Vertigo are tastemakers who still love music as much as we do.”

“Larkin Poe is our heart and soul, mashed up into a musical form. We live and breathe Larkin Poe,” says Megan. “Supercharged on that life commitment, we’ve been able to record music in studios across the country, to play our songs around the world, to perform onstage with our heroes – all of these experiences are deeply valuable to us and have built a strong foundation. Standing strong on that foundation, we are so proud to release Reskinned and see what 2016 has to bring.”


Larkin Poe Live at The Record Exchange, 12:30pm — Opener and backing band for Elvis Costello’s sold-out Egyptian Theatre show will perform a special duo set presented by 94.9FM The River; purchase their new album Reskinned before its April 29 official release date! RSVP
RSD Exclusives Listening Party, 6-8pm — free Payette Brewing and tons of raffle prizes, including drawings for the first five places in line on Record Store Day! RSVP
Coalition of Independent Music Stores 20th Anniversary: A Limited Edition Illustrated History book available for purchase. The book was produced and printed in Boise for national distribution and includes a forward from The Record Exchange Owner Michael Bunnell, who is Executive Director of CIMS and a founding board member of Record Store Day.
Santana “Santana IV” Listening Party, 8pm – enter to win a signed vinyl test pressing of the new album! RSVP
20% off used CDs, vinyl, DVD/Blu-ray and cassettes!
Free bicycle parking provided by Boise Bicycle Project
350+ exclusives released — open 8am-10pm; Gift Shop opens at 7:30am for line. Free drip coffee 7:30-8am! The Record Exchange will stay open until 10pm on Record Store Day. RSVP
Free commemorative RSD poster designed by Kelly Knopp for first 50 people to make a purchase!
– Free Idaho Kombucha Co. samples courtesy of Fat Possum Records!
20% off used CDs, vinyl, DVD/Blu-ray and cassettes!
Free bicycle parking provided by Boise Bicycle Project
Radio Boise information booth on the sidewalk (10am-4pm)
Boise Hive information booth on the sidewalk (10am-4pm)
– 20% off used CDs, vinyl, DVD/Blu-ray and cassettes!
Free bicycle parking provided by Boise Bicycle Project