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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.

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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!

[ 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!

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[ the right price ]

the right price

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

[ outside the heard ]

[ 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 ]

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. Lazaretto
Jack White
2. Acoustic Classics
Richard Thompson
3. Ultraviolence
Lana Del Ray
4. Mandatory Fun
Weird Al Yankovic
5. Heaven & Earth
Yes
6. Remedy
Old Crow Medicine Show
7. Hooray For Love
Curtis Stigers
8. CSNY 1974
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
9. Terms Of My Surrender
John Hiatt
10. Sleepy Seeds
Sleepy Seeds

[ 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!

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[ INFOTAINMENT ]

February 8th, 2013

THE VINYL WORD: UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA’S ‘II’ AVOIDS THE SLUMP

Unknown-Mortal-Orchestra-IIPREVIEW/BUY THE VINYL HERE

It’s something of a miracle that Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s singer Ruban Nielson is even alive to make a second album. Since his 2011 debut, Nielson has been testing the limits of the mind with a cocktail of drugs that would make Raoul Duke from Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas blush. Nielson describes his commitment to partying on tour as an “occupational hazard”. With II, he gets closer than ever to laying out those hazards for all to see.

“Isolation can put a gun in your hand”, he sings on first track ‘From The Sun’, setting the tone with a croak. From there, II maps out a single, sleepless night that takes Nielson through dreams of his home and wife and child in Portland (‘So Good At Being In Trouble’) through the process of getting out, getting high, and trying to resist temptation (‘One At A Time’, ‘The Opposite Of Afternoon’). ‘Dawn’ explores his obsession with new age theories (see also the cover art, featuring British Wiccan high priestess Janet Farrar), while ‘Faded In The Morning’ fizzes with warm cassette sounds and the cheerful proclamation: “Don’t want to die today”. By the end, the sun is up and Nielson has kept his mind. So why does he sound so sad to see his insanity drained of its intensity in the cold light of day?

All the storytelling and structure makes II much more considered than its self-titled 2011 predecessor. Although that album’s standout tracks ‘Ffunny Ffrends’ and ‘How Can You Luv Me’ were gloriously rough round the edges, ultimately it only grasped at themes that II pins down with ease. The loneliness in the latter of those two tracks is what II is all about. It’s drenched in the sense of being an outsider – a feeling that rises from Nielson’s life as a New Zealander in Portland, Oregon, perhaps.

II has clearly had the tape recordings cleaned up on a computer, but not enough to lose their analogue fuzz – the sound that makes this album as warm as any funk or psych classic. And make no mistake, the classics at work in Nielson’s mind are many: ‘No Need For A Leader’ reaches for the heaviness of Led Zeppelin and Yes, while ‘Swim And Sleep (Like A Shark)’ mines that era’s baroque tendencies, with vocal melodies wound tight around quick-fingered guitar parts. Raw melody made Unknown Mortal Orchestra exciting two years ago; now they’ve matched it with attention to detail. — NME

CLICK HERE FOR MORE NEW VINYL RELEASES!

February 1st, 2013

THE VINYL WORD: LOCAL NATIVES RETURN ‘WRENCHING WITH SEVERITY’

new vinylPREVIEW/BUY THE VINYL HERE
PREVIEW/BUY THE DELUXE VINYL HERE

Gorilla Manor: goofy name for a young band hoping to be taken seriously for their full-hearted hooks. There was no guarantee Local Natives’ 2009 album would take off the way that it did, or take off at all for that matter. As is frequently the case with debuts, there remained a sad likelihood that it would end up not as a career-launch, but rather a photo album to be looked back upon fondly. In fact, that’s exactly what it sounded like: documentation of friends holing up and having a little fun while they could.

As a result, Manor was an overwhelmingly positive album. Three years later, on Hummingbird, the four remaining members of Local Natives link up once again; this time, with a couple concessions about death. Hummingbird is, in a phrase, pretty damn bleak. Between Kelcey Ayer’s heartbreaking recollection of his mother’s last breaths on “Colombia” to the man pictured on the cover futilely trying to resist being swept away from solid ground, it’s clear that the Los Angeles harmonizers are no longer brazenly jumping off the deep end together. This album is full of sober surrender.

Be that as it may, Hummingbird’s sonic palette makes Gorilla Manor seem monochromatic and lo-fi by comparison. With no small thanks to The National’s Aaron Dessner, who auspiciously came on board as producer,  Hummingbird is jam-packed with textural traces of several key indie touchstones: Veckatimest, Bon Iver, and yes, High Violet.

They’ve come a long way since being ‘the band that opened for Arcade Fire.’ Hummingbird proves that these guys are maturing into a sound that’s both singular and wrenching with severity.Consequence of Sound

CLICK HERE FOR MORE NEW VINYL RELEASES!

January 25th, 2013

THE VINYL WORD: THE RETURN OF A CLASSIC PUNK COMPILATION

V-A - Not So Quiet On The Western Front (1982)PREVIEW/BUY THE VINYL HERE

In 1999, Alternative Tentacles reissued this classic compilation with Jeff Bale (longtime Maximumrocknroll columnist and one of the compilers of this compilation) and his label, Sonic Reducer Records. Originally released in 1982 by MaximumRocknRoll on Alternative Tentacles Records, NOT SO QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT was the first compilation to document the Northern California punk scene (an idea that was subsequently copied in other cities). It contained the first issue of MRR before it was MRR.

Fast forward to 2013 & the 30th anniversary of this compilation. Alternative Tentacles has teamed up again with Jeff Bale and the current crew at Maximumrocknroll to reissue the vinyl version of this classic, complete with the 48 page newsprint booklet printed directly from the 1999 transparencies at the same San Francisco print shop that printed it last time. There’s also a brand new 2013 insert written by Maximumrocknroll. The piece gives a contextual overview of the record and the scenes that existed in 1982, 1999, and now!

And just like the original release, all songs are in the same order, pretty much the same artwork, and it still comes with the first issue of MRR — a.k.a. the 48-page lyric booklet. Unlike the original pressing, this one comes with a free download code!

CLICK HERE FOR MORE NEW VINYL RELEASES!

January 8th, 2013

THE VINYL WORD: CRYSTAL CASTLES’ III FINALLY MAKES IT TO YOUR TURNTABLE

new vinylPREVIEW/BUY THE VINYL HERE

Crystal Castles’ third album ushers in a new approach. Recorded in Warsaw with Kath’s digital arsenal of old replaced by vintage analogue synthesizers, it retains something of Crystal Castles’ initial approach – a spontaneous first-take policy still reigns – but adds a bigger sound and glossy production values to the mix.

This wasn’t guaranteed to turn out well. For one, ‘analogue synths’ are what literally everybody from Hot Chip to Metronomy to James Murphy is banging on about these days. And two, Crystal Castles have always felt as digital as a corrupt data file – the last people you’d expect to go analogue. But as the first tracks from (III) began to sneak out, it was clear Ethan and Alice had found a way to expand their palette without losing their essence. First there was ‘Plague’ – an apocalyptic liturgy retooled for the dancefloor – and then the exceptional ‘Wrath Of God’. It beams in on a pulsing, David Guetta-like synth fanfare, with something sinister coursing through its veins. The melodies take on a funereal hue while Alice’s voice goes from subsumed to strangulated, and the pummelling beats sound less like freedom and more like a prison.

But (III) is, unmistakably, the sound of a band softening. Yes, there are moments of wilful sonic evil: see ‘Insulin’, its beats distorted as if cushioned by concrete, Alice’s wails stuttering through the mix as if broadcast through a run-down walkie-talkie. But as the cover image – a striking picture of a burka-clad woman cradling a wounded relative, shot in Yemen by photojournalist Samuel Aranda – suggests, (III) is out to find moments of beauty in a world full of ugliness.

The first Crystal Castles album (2008’s Crystal Castles) was a punkish exhortation to murder on the dancefloor. For (III), they’ve remade themselves. Not entirely. But in toning down the shock and awe, they’ve revealed the beating heart at the centre of their work. The message, still, is that the world is a cruel and fucked-up place. But being doomed seldom sounded so beautiful.NME

CLICK HERE FOR MORE NEW VINYL RELEASES!

November 2nd, 2012

THE RECORD EXCHANGE AT THE BOISE RECORD SHOW & SWAP SUNDAY, NOV. 4

The Record Exchange is participating in the fifth annual Boise Record Show and Swap from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4, at the Linen Building, 1402 W. Grove St. in Downtown Boise’s Linen District.

General admission is $5 beginning at 11 a.m. Want to get in the door before the public? Purchase a VIP early admission pass ($10) beginning at 10 a.m. A free raffle ticket is included with admission.

Dealers from three states — including record stores and private collectors — will have on hand thousands of records from multiple genres, offering everything from affordable classics to hard-to-find pieces. Everyone from the hardcore collector hunting for rarities to the thrifty newcomer looking to start a collection will find something at the swap.

VPS Idaho will have hourly raffle drawings, records spinning all day on the VPS hi-fi and merchandise for sale. Visitors to the swap can also sign up for free VPS membership.