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The Record Exchange - Culture Spot

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[ 2016 staff picks ]

2016 staff picks

After weeks of scrutiny, Record Exchange staffers have completed their 2016 Top 10 lists. Visit the store to view the lists in realtime and preview our picks. Let the judgment begin!

VIEW STAFF LISTS HERE

[ payette brewing company ]

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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 select live music events!

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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

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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[ rx top 10 ]

rx top 10

1. Voids
Minus the Bear
2. Divide
Ed Sheeran
3. Side Pony
Lake Street Dive
4. Last Place
Grandaddy
5. Volcano
Temples
6. Blurryface
Twenty One Pilots
7. Prisoner
Ryan Adams
8. Windy City
Alison Krauss
9. Graveyard Whistling
Old 97’s
10. Eponym
Steve Fulton

[ treefort music fest ]

treefort

The Record Exchange is a proud sponsor of the sixth annual Treefort Music Fest, taking place March 22-26 throughout Downtown Boise. Treefort 2017 5-day passes are now on sale at The Record Exchange!

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[ 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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[ special orders ]

special orders

Can't find it in the store? The Record Exchange does special orders!

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[ INFOTAINMENT ]

April 2nd, 2010

RECORD EXCHANGE STAFF PICK: RYAN ON THE NEW XIU XIU

Xiu Xiu just came through town, and RX staffer Ryan Harper was among the fans who caught the band’s show at Neurolux March 25. Here’s what Ryan has to say about Xiu Xiu’s latest, Dear God, I Hate Myself:

In an often overlooked interview, Jamie Stewart settles the longstanding indie-rock-nerd debate on the pronunciation of his band’s name (it’s Shoo-Shoo), but then goes on to recount a favorite moment in Xiu Xiu’s evolution. Relaxing between gigs in an out of the way cafe, Stewart and his bandmates overheard the groans of a fellow customer into his phone: “Aww, man, I can’t. I have to take my stupid sister and her stupid friends to see some stupid emo band called Schwee-Schway.”

Of course, Stewart says, he introduced his band as “Schwee-Schway” that night and as “Jzoo-Jzoo” or “Kcsoo-Kcsoo” on as many other nights since, happily wallowing in that ambiguity, in the secret, acrid humor of the inside joke that is or isn’t the band’s name. “Who cares?” he seems to be saying, like the smirking, overly self-aware nihilist in the corner.

This, then, is Xiu Xiu through the lens of its only constant member, Stewart: tortured tales of disillusionment and dismemberment and all the tongue-in-cheekiness that comes with the territory.

And this, also, is Dear God, I Hate Myself, a return to the eclectic, openly-electronic art-pop of his third album, Fabulous Muscles (2004). This is another album that revels in absurdity, misery, and mixed-up, awkwardly muttered love, all while barely keeping a straight face. It’s another carefully constructed vision of life filled with characters as harrowing and hilarious as the cross-dressing, gun-toting “Sad Pony Guerrilla Girl” from A Promise (2003), characters as imaginary and real and myriad as all the beloved perversions of the band’s name.

It isn’t that Stewart’s hushed confessional vocals aren’t serious. Delivered over a wash of glitchy, minimal darkwave, owing equal debts to Deerhoof and early post-punk pop, to New York No-Wave and Cal-Berkeley-back-alley gender politics, Stewart’s narratives of over-the-top self-hatred and under-the-table strokes of faith are entirely earnest, and, really, that’s the joke: that these desperate, pathetic characters might not be the same people singing to you from the stage, from the studio, but they’re completely real. They’re the people you meet right before last call, the people who buy insurance from you, the people who sell you refrigerators. They’re us.

Love it or leave it. And, like Stewart, I can’t help but love it — from both sides of the stage.

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