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The Record Exchange - Culture Spot

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[ RSD leftovers/restocks ]

RSD leftovers/restocks

Record Store Day is over, but The Record Exchange still has dozens of titles still available, plus limited restocks and a few late arrivals.

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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 ]

[ rx top 10 ]

rx top 10

1. Before This World
James Taylor
2. Pop Songs for Elk
Hillfolk Noir
3. Coming Home
Leon Bridges
4. Payola
Desaparecidos
5. Sticky Fingers
Rolling Stones
6. How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
Florence + the Machine
7. Angeleno
Sam Outlaw
8. Still
Richard Thompson
9. In Colour
Jamie xx
10. Django and Jimmie
Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard

[ 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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[ 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

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[ INFOTAINMENT ]

PICKWICK IN-STORE TUESDAY, SEPT. 17

PICKWICK_Polaroids_1Pickwick will perform live at The Record Exchange (1105 W. Idaho St., Downtown Boise) at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17. The band is opening for Neko Case at Knitting Factory later that evening and we have tickets for sale here at the store! As always, this Record Exchange in-store event is free and all ages!

ABOUT PICKWICK

Pickwick was formed in 2008 when singer Galen Disston began writing songs on his acoustic guitar while drummer Matt Emmett kept time in the background. The duo settled on the name as an homage to ‘The Ostrich,’ an obscure dance song written by Lou Reed and released by Pickwick Records in 1964. With the later additions of Emmett’s childhood friend Cassady Lillstrom on keys, Kory Kruckenberg on vibraphone, and brothers Garrett and Michael Parker on bass and guitar, the six-piece began playing shows in small clubs around Seattle.

By the beginning of 2010 the band was in a state of disarray. Frustrated by the direction the music was taking, the band began having discussions about throwing in the towel and going their separate ways. Up until that point, band members had little to do with the writing process and simply added color to Disston’s songs. Ultimately, the band decided to throw out all of their old material and start over from scratch with a new collaborative approach to songwriting. This rebirth allowed the band to take a new look at their individual and collective strengths, as well as look to new places for inspiration.

Raised on indie rock and a love for lo-fi garage bands, the members of Pickwick found themselves entrenched in underground gospel and blues recordings from the 1950s and 60s as well as popular northern soul artists. This new reference point combined with a renewed appreciation for UK bands like The Animals, Spencer Davis Group, and The Zombies helped the members of Pickwick cultivate their own unique take on garage rock, gospel, and 60s-era pop while interpreting those genres through a modern lens.

Along with a shift in musical aesthetic, Disston began exploring darker, more complicated themes in the lyrics of his songs. Contrasting stories of murder, mental illness, and confused sexual identity with major chords, three-part harmonies, and church organs. This unlikely pairing quickly became a mainstay of the band’s approach to songwriting. “I’ve always been drawn to music that seems a bit schizophrenic,” says Disston.

Inspired by a new burst of creative output, the band wasted little time to self-release their music. Instead of waiting to record a full-length record, the band decided to do things on their own terms, putting their music out exclusively on vinyl with three installments of a 7-inch series. Each 45 was accompanied by a record release show at a different club in Seattle. With the release shows under their belt and a series of DIY live videos gaining attention online, the band had cultivated a strong local following by the middle of 2011.

By late 2011, Seattle independent radio station KEXP caught wind of what the band was doing and began playing the band’s music on-air. By the end of the year Pickwick’s 7-inch series ‘Myths’ was voted the #9 record of the year by KEXP listeners alongside artists such as TV on the Radio, Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, Wilco, Adele and Radiohead.

The band released their first full-length album Can’t Talk Medicine in early 2013.

THE GRAHAMS IN-STORE TUESDAY, SEPT. 17 (6 P.M.) WITH FREE PIE HOLE PIZZA!

approved GrahamsThe Grahams will perform live at The Record Exchange (1105 W. Idaho St., Downtown Boise) at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17. The band is playing Radio Boise Tuesday at Neurolux later that evening and we have tickets for sale here at the store! We’ll also have free Pie Hole pizza while it lasts! As always, this Record Exchange in-store event is free and all ages!

ABOUT THE GRAHAMS

The Grahams, the creative union of lifelong romantic partners Alyssa and Doug Graham, combine soulful bluegrass with hints of earthy Americana, adding colors from traditional folk and country blues, into an infectious blend of storytelling that results in songs of love, loss, yearning, and the view from rural American roads less traveled.

While the duo first met in grade school — a trait shared by previous musical trail-blazers from Lennon/McCartney to Jagger/Richards – the Grahams’ journey together began when they were teenagers in the shadow of New York City. There, Alyssa, the impassioned troubadour, and Doug, the guitarist extraordinaire, shared a mutual love for the music of the Woodstock era and the adventures of the great outdoors. Over the ensuing years many a campfire lit acoustic jam would include the best of roots renegades like Neil Young, The Band, Gram Parsons, Janis and Emmylou along with more than a few Jerry Garcia and Johnny Cash nuggets. Later, spending much of their time in the secluded Adirondack Mountains at the Graham family fold, Alyssa and Doug learned the time-honored craft of songwriting. Here, their ongoing interests in traditional country, mountain bluegrass and folk legends such as The Carter Family and Mississippi John Hurt would blossom. Hoping to share their stories on a wider stage, the couple eventually settled in New York City, where they performed, collaborated and recorded a variety of acclaimed material before adopting The Grahams moniker.

While the duo had written music together before, in the summer of 2012 new writing sessions yielded a different approach. Something magical was happening between Alyssa and Doug. A catalyst was born in the new song “Riverman’s Daughter,” a tale of love, loss, and hardship on the river that showcases Alyssa’s bountiful voice. Backed by her own rhythm guitar, along with the strong current of Doug’s cascading accompaniment on the six string, and traditional vocal harmonies, the track came in a lightning bolt of inspiration. A vision and calling to write more songs of its kind took hold.

Alyssa and Doug had an idea: What if they put their city lives on hold and, armed with just guitars and backpacks, traveled the 2,500 miles of highways and byways of the Mississippi River from Minnesota to Louisiana. Light out for the territory, so to speak, like Huck and Jim. There, the duo could follow the Great River Road (GRR) that parallels the waterway, meet the people, and hear first-hand where European folk music, brought to these shores generations ago, took root alongside rhythms and chants from Africa, and how these polarizing sounds formed the backbone of our 20th Century American musical heritage.

And so The Grahams did just that, and in the process created their debut album, Riverman’s Daughter. Along the way The Grahams played gigs at the various gin and juke joints that dotted the GRR, and met a colorful cast of characters and genuine music makers with whom the duo shared and exchanged stories through the common bond of song.

Eventually Alyssa and Doug ended up intentionally isolated on an old houseboat in rural Louisiana where the Mississippi spills into the Atchafalaya swamp. There, The Grahams prolifically stockpiled songs, enjoyed the simplicity of living off the grid, and for a spell, invited onboard friends and musicians including their longtime collaborator Bryan McCann, a wordsmith who aids with lyrical inspiration. Yet perhaps the biggest inspiration on Riverman’s Daughter was Doug’s own mother, Gigi, the matriarch of the Graham family clan, and a true fan of the duo who had been diagnosed with cancer earlier that year. As her condition worsened, the Grahams packed up their guitars and newly minted collection of songs to become Gigi’s “angel band,” and played by her side until she passed away.

As recording of the new album began, The Grahams found a true kindred spirit in Grammy-winning producer Malcolm Burn, who brought a magical touch and inspired ideas into the studio. It was Burn’s idea to record both Alyssa and Doug’s parts live to tape without the assistance of headphones or isolation — in the way they were written. This process gives the album a natural aura that harkens back to an era when this practice was commonplace. Along the same lines, The Grahams chose to record the album in Nashville, the longtime epicenter of country music. While the album’s foundation is simple and acoustic, The Grahams are backed on a few tracks by stellar accompaniment including the Grammy-nominated North Mississippi Allstars. Along with the title song the album is highlighted by the 70’s country rock flavored “Carrying The Torch,” the spirited traditional vibe of “The Piney River,” and the riveting upbeat barn dance playfulness of “Revival Time.”

Ultimately, the album is a winning culmination of The Grahams’ long journey into the heart of America, the inspiration they derived from immersion into classic American music, and the natural and honest talent they have for bringing forth a modern musical idiom steeped in tradition.

94.9 FM THE RIVER AND BOISE WEEKLY PRESENT THE WILD FEATHERS (OPENING FOR WILLIE NELSON) IN-STORE AUG. 25

wild feathers bannerwild feathers publicityThe Wild Feathers will perform live at The Record Exchange (1105 W. Idaho St., Downtown Boise) at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25. The in-store is presented by 94.9 The River and Boise Weekly. The Wild Feathers are opening for Willie Nelson at the Idaho Botanical Garden later that evening. As always, this Record Exchange in-store event is free and all ages!

ABOUT THE WILD FEATHERS

Long before it got broken up into a million sub-genres, rock & roll was just rock & roll. Pure, true, organic. Six strings, booming harmonies and the call of the open road. It’s a singularly American tradition that Nashville’s The Wild Feathers are full-force dedicated to not only preserving but also – more importantly — evolving. Their sound melds the five unique voices of Ricky Young, Joel King, Taylor Burns and Preston Wimberly and Ben Dumas, taking inspiration from across the musical spectrum – country, blues, folk and rock – and spinning it into a roaring web of warm, cosmic melodies with vintage roots and modern tones. The Wild Feathers are a rock band that feels impossibly fresh with the air of having been here all along.

Ricky, Joel, Taylor and Preston were all lead singers before they came together as The Wild Feathers, fronting their own bands and writing songs with their own distinct sounds. All hailing from Texas with the exception of Joel (Oklahoma), each member grew up with a deep sense of southern musical traditions, while at the same time being raised on records like Led Zeppelin, Neil Young and Tom Petty. As kids, their moms played them the Rolling Stones instead of lullabies, literally and figuratively rocking them to sleep.

Eventually Ricky and Joel both migrated to Nashville, where they connected in 2010. Occasionally, they’d get together to write music and play: Stones songs, riffs they’d written, ideas here and there. “Ricky and I wanted to do something with a bunch of singers, not just one lead,” Joel says. Their vision was of a group where each member is as indispensible as the next; a solid set of four, not just a front man backed by session players. Of course, finding the proper matches for something like this is no easy task. With strong voices can come stronger egos – just the thing to rip a fledgling band apart. Somehow, The Wild Feathers found their missing pieces, leading them to become what Joel calls a “four-headed monster,” not four separate monsters, butting heads.

Mutual friends suggested a man by the name of Taylor Burns with a strong electric-guitar rip and bluesy growl. He seemed the perfect thing to complement Ricky’s smooth, folk tone and Joel’s rock & roll bellow. Next came Preston Wimberly, who rounded out the loose, bright harmonies and added an occasional country twang through some masterful pedal steel. The four gathered to play music in Austin, and it clicked nearly instantly. Instead of a battle of wills, it was effortless. The Wild Feathers was born that day. “It was a match made in heaven,” says Joel. “Or hell,” he adds with a smirk.

“I wanted to do something greater than I could on my own,” Ricky says, but every member of the band could easily echo the same sentiment. “To create something bigger than any one of us individually, and write great songs that last the test of time.” While some of their influences come from deep in the 60’s and 70’s, they’re still thoroughly modern, fusing and evolving their pedal steel and Laurel Canyon harmonies rather than regurgitating and repackaging what’s already in existence. So it’s no surprise that they’re more likely to simply call themselves American than Americana.  “We like folk music, but we’re going to have a distortion pedal on when we do it,” laughs Preston.

For their 2013 debut, The Wild Feathers, the band enlisted Jay Joyce (Cage the Elephant, the Wallflowers, Emmylou Harris) as producer, who encouraged the band to tap into their innate sense of harmony and true rock & roll sound. Their days in his Nashville studio were full and tiring (“like we’d been waterskiing and drinking beer in the sun all day,” says Ricky, “but so inspiring”), recording most tracks live, one at a time. “It was kind of like the old days with Elvis at RCA,” says Joel, “recording one song per day, really living in each one.”

The resulting record is a display of four unique talents effortlessly unified: bluesy, hard rock tunes like “Backwoods Company” live effortlessly next to harmonic stunners like “Hard Wind” and slow, folky love songs like “Tall Boots.” “When Rick Danko (of The Band) would sing harmonies, it was like he was singing lead,” says Ricky. “That’s what we try to do.” And it shows. Songs like “Left My Woman,” allow Ricky, Joel and Taylor to sing a few solo bars each in the opening, before joining with Preston on the chorus. Visually, they are united, too – playing shows standing in a line straight across the stage, as one.

“We make songs that I could never write on my own,” says Ricky, “even if I worked from now until I die. But with these guys and what they bring, it’s easy.” Adds Taylor, “we’re making something better than we could have ever done by ourselves.” What they make is modern rock & roll, laced with nostalgia, built for the new millennium. What they are is The Wild Feathers.

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…”