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The Record Exchange - Culture Spot

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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.


[ 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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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!


[ the right price ]

the right price at the rx

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

[ outside the heard ]

[ RSD exclusives/events ]

rsd exclusives list

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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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!


[ rx top 10 ]

rx top 10

1. Primus and the Chocolate Factory
2. Songs
John Fullbright
3. 5: The Gray Chapter
4. Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone
Lucinda Williams
5. Songs of Innocence
6. Standing in the Breach
Jackson Browne
7. You Can't Stop Me
Suicide Silence
8. Sylvan Esso
Sylvan Esso
9. From the Ground Up
John Fullbright
10. This is All Yours

[ krbx card savings! ]

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!




The Belle Brigade will perform live at The Record Exchange (1105 W. Idaho St., Downtown Boise) at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 3. As always, this Record Exchange in-store performance is free and all ages. The band is performing at The Venue later that night. (FYI, Good Old War canceled its in-store appearance and Venue performance due to illness.)

Like many siblings, Barbara and Ethan Gruska had their ups and downs over their years growing up together in Los Angeles. “Oh, we hated each other as kids,” Barbara says with a laugh. “And by hate, I mean ‘love dearly,’ but we could never get along. We started to become friends for the first time when Ethan was 15 and I was 21. Then we became best friends and four years later we started writing songs together and formed The Belle Brigade. Listening to The Belle Brigade’s self-titled debut album, you could never tell that these two were ever not in perfect sync. The Gruska’s familial chemistry, not to mention their obvious songwriting gifts, have resulted in one of the most thrilling debut albums you’re going to hear all year. Inspired by the duo’s love for Fleetwood Mac, Simon & Garfunkel, The Beatles, and Stevie Wonder, their artfully arranged, freewheeling songs brim with breezy, California melodies and bracing pop harmonies, fueled by the driving rhythms Barbara plays on drums.


And today’s Record Exchange Secret Treefort In-store is …

Blitzen Trapper!

The band (playing a 21+ Treefort show at Neurolux at 10 p.m. Friday) will perform a 30-minute set at 6 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).


American Goldwing is Sub Pop’s third full-length release with Portland’s Blitzen Trapper and the band’s sixth full-length overall. Over the course of their career, they’ve earned rave reviews (from Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, SPIN, and a whole lot more), played on television, appeared at festivals all around the world, done a staggering amount of touring, and sold a whole bunch of records. All of which is distinctly less interesting that what Blitzen Trapper singer/songwriter/guitarist Eric Earley has to say about the band’s new record, American Goldwing:

“It’s us letting our loves, our early influences hang out for all to see. Entering into the sounds we grew up with, the hard guitar rock and country picking of our younger years mixes with glimmers of our usual space-aging technology and pawn shop Casio aplomb. Heavy guitar riffs and blasting drum fills live side-by-side with plucking banjos and wailing harmonicas, and muddy slide guitars that make you want to shotgun a beer in the shower while listening to the Stones or Joe Walsh. It’s also our first foray into direct, outside influence in the creation of a record. It’s me letting go in a certain way. I let Tchad Blake come in to mix this album, and my good friend Gregg Williams co-produced all these tracks.

“When I sing, in the title track, ‘I know / I know / I’ll be staying if the wind don’t blow,’ I’m seeking to invoke the unseen, the spirit that beckons you to saddle up that old 1980 Honda Goldwing, or your uncle’s beat up Ford Bronco, or that Jeep you somehow, and only barely, keep running and leave this lonely town behind, ‘cause that wind’s always blowing. I’m calling you to ride, to take those curves at speed and head for someplace better where love is true, whether that be into the depths of the galaxy or just to the next truck stop where the neon shines, and where the ‘company of strangers / and the close and the present dangers’ are all that really matters.”


And today’s Record Exchange Secret Treefort In-store is …

The Ascetic Junkies!

The Portland folk-pop outfit (playing a 21+ Treefort show at Pengilly’s at 8 p.m. Thursday) will perform a full-band set 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).

After the in-store, head next door to Neurolux with us to see Finn Riggins officially kick off the festival at 6 p.m.!


The Ascetic Junkies are a pop band with more than a passing interest in Americana, noise and psychedelic song structure quirks. Hailing from Portland, Oregon, they’ve been inciting audiences to dance and sweat all over the West Coast and beyond since 2008. The band has its roots in a merging of rock and bluegrass, but after self-releasing an album in 2008, they started indulging in the pop/Americana/indie realm. Since then, they’ve constantly evolved their sonic palette without losing the core focus of their sound, which has been made easier by the distinct sound of their dual-lead-vocal center. Kali and Matt write the songs, and Cole and Stephen help take them and twist them into something unique, fun, and shape-shifting. They have gathered fond comparisons within the pop world as diverse as The Avett Brothers, The New Pornographers and The Dirty Projectors.

Through the last four years, the Ascetic Junkies have self-released two albums and seen a third released on Portland indie label Timber Carnival Records, toured often all over the Northwest, West Coast and Northeast and had the pleasure of sharing the stage with such national acts as Nicole Atkins, Warpaint, Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside and Asobi Seksu. In 2011, their received several honors on their home turf, including having tracks featured on the prestigious PDX Pop Now! compilation and Tender Loving Empire’s “Friends and Friends of Friends Vol. 4,” and having a self-produced music video highlighted and screened at NW Film Fest.

2012 finds the band planning to tour more than ever, recording a lot of new electrified material that intentionally sits on the border between “really catchy” and “pretty weird” and taking in the sights while driving back and forth across the country to bring their tunes to fans in towns big and small.


The Knux will perform live at The Record Exchange (1105 W. Idaho St., Downtown Boise) at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 21. As always, this Record Exchange in-store performance is free and all ages. The Knux is performing at The Shredder later that night (9 p.m.).


Everything starts with mom. It was their mom who fed Kentrell “Krispy” Lindsey and Alvin “Joey” Lindsey, professionally known as The Knux, an eclectic musical diet as they were growing up. On the menu were generous portions of funk, classic rock, R&B, and the coolest of pop music. Part of her maternal goal was to develop the musical palettes of her boys, to make sure they developed a taste and appreciation for all types of music. But she also wanted to spark their imaginations so they could see the world beyond the tough New Orleans streets where they were growing up.

“We were blessed to have a mom who was super open-minded,” says 27-year-old Joey, the younger of the siblings. “She was the whole reason we got into playing music and everything,” he continues. “We discovered Jimi Hendrix through her – Hendrix, the Doors, and all that cool rock shit. That was ‘cause of her. Part of why she got us so deep into music was to keep us out of trouble. She was like ‘You can be in it but don’t be of it. Just ‘cause you in this shit don’t mean you gotta do what everyone else is doing.’”

What everybody else was doing was by-any-means-necessary surviving that could have lead the Lindsey boys onto a whole different path in life had they followed suit.

“We could’ve been amazing gangsta rappers,” laughs 30-year-old Krispy, the more loquacious of the brothers, “’cause we really lived that life. But we chose to go another route.”

It wasn’t just their mom’s influence, but also the gumbo of New Orleans’ music and cultures that molded the duo. New Orleans is one of the few places in America where the dream of the melting pot is also the reality. Its fusion of African American, Native American, European, and Caribbean influences, traditions and practices has produced a dynamic, centuries-deep culture unlike any other in the country. One of the strongest components of that culture is its unwavering love of music and its reflexive fostering of musical talent.

“I would say that young people in New Orleans are probably the most musically inclined, musically trained in America,” says Krispy. “Like, they’re actually classically trained musicians. Everybody else makes a big deal out of knowing how to play an instrument, but in New Orleans everybody can play and everybody can read music. It’s not a big deal. That guy standing on the corner selling weed might actually be the best trumpet player you’ll ever hear. When we first started out, everybody in the industry was shocked that we play our own instruments. But the thing is, our music programs were the only things that weren’t suffering down there when they made all the budget cuts and education roll-backs. One thing about New Orleans is that they kept the music programs really strong.”

Their music educations paid off when they left home for Cali, where they wrote and produced their ’08 debut Remind Me in 3 Days. On that collection of songs, grime covered beats provided the foundation for idiosyncratic tracks like “Fire (Put It in the Air)” and “Cappuccino.” The brothers pushed rap left-of-center in a way it hadn’t been since the heady days of its first golden era, and they did it with eccentric wordplay and verbal backflips off high-wire funk grooves. Fan favorites like “Bang Bang” and “Daddy’s Little Girl” planted New Wave inflections and skittery guitar lines inside a vibe of southern-fried experimentation that evoked the Dungeon Family. Remind Me retrieved fun and experimentation from the dust-bin where hip-hop had tossed them, and it quickly won the Lindseys a devoted cult following. It was the soundtrack to an off-the-beaten-path nightclub where the air was pungent, the girls were fly, and the air was crackling with possibility. The dress code read: Be dope but don’t try too hard. It was the “how did I get here” party you never wanted to end.

With their follow-up, Eraser, which they also wrote and largely produced, the two sidestepped the dreaded sophomore slump by returning to a basic principle of hip-hop. “It should open your mind rather than close it,” says Joey.

But with the culture and rap music having “hit a wall,” in Krispy’s words, the brothers dug deeper into their own record collections and formative years for new inspiration. They tapped the influence of Hendrix, A Tribe Called Quest, Beck, LA-based ‘80s cult band Dramarama and British and American new wave. The result is dazzling. Electro/techno drum patterns and keyboard programming are juxtaposed against blistering hard rock guitar; sinewy bass-lines pulse beneath hip-hop inspired breaks, and old-school rock star swagger fuels it all. There’s been a measured shift in tone, a fine-tuning of focus. The very first words you hear on the new disc (coming after an instrumental intro that sounds like the score to some sci-fi futuristic dystopian Western) are, “So I said fuck it… / now, have you ever met a girl who turns your world into a playground?” From there you’re taken on a fast-moving, witty, biting journey through the war of the sexes in which no one has the upper hand.

“When we started recording,” says Krispy, “we had a clear vision of what we were going after, what we wanted to create. I had a bunch of songs and he had a bunch of songs, and when we brought them together they all seemed to be about relationships with women, how women are so complex. They’re these beautiful creatures who can bite you at any time.”

Though lyrics pour out in a magnetic stream of consciousness over grooves that, at various times, evoke everyone from the Clash to Tears for Fears, what quickly emerges is a narrative about the tensions and differences between what men and women want from a relationship, the ways in which the perceptions of each gender might be wildly askew from reality. Songs like “Beautiful Liar,” “Queen of the Cold,” and “Maniac” are acid-tipped odes to gender battles.

Eraser is about that tension,” says Krispy, “this tug of war. You get it from two different angles. You get this almost bitter version of Joey that wasn’t on our last album. On that one, we talked about doing a lot of psychedelics, smoking a lot of weed. I pulled some of that back so we could have a balance, so the art Joey was bringing me could be perceived in the right light. The songs he was bringing me had to be presented properly. As a producer, I felt his contributions should take precedence over me saying some funny line. His thoughts were just flowing and I was spending twelve hours in the studio to get it right. The art that he was giving me was so epic and so vivid.”

They co-produced “Dead World” with their creative cohort, John “Abba Zabba” McClain, and co-produced “Fame-Us” with Blake Miller from Moving Units. In addition, they worked with singer Natalia Kills (on “1974”), Jack Davey of indie darlings J*Davey (on “I See Stars”) and fellow alterna-spirit Kid Cudi (on the single “Run”). All these co-producers and collaborators are heavyweights in their own right but fear of being overshadowed wasn’t anywhere near the Lindsey brothers’ list of concerns.

“In our world,” laughs Krispy, “when we do songs with other people, they come into our world. And that’s where we want our audience to be.”

Trippy, funny, shape-shifting, foreboding, sexy… Eraser is like no place you’ve been before. Buckle up.


The Record Exchange and Treefort Music Fest are planning a series of Secret Treefort In-stores during the festival, and we’re pleased to announce our second confirmed show:

Thursday, March 22 (4:30 p.m.)
The Record Exchange
1105 W. Idaho St., Boise (two blocks from the Treefort main stage)

That’s right before Finn Riggins officially kicks off the festival next door at Neurolux (6 p.m.), so head down early and join us for some warm-up fest-ivities!


Thursday, March 22, 4:30 p.m.
Friday, March 23, 6 p.m.

All Record Exchange Secret Treefort In-stores are free and all ages, and a Treefort pass is not required to attend (but you really should get one because this festival is gonna rule).

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