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The Record Exchange - Culture Spot

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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!

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

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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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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. Southsiders
Atmosphere
2. Stellar Motel
Mike Doughty
3. Lullaby and the Ceaseless Roar
Robert Plant
4. Physical World
Death From Above 1979
5. The Beauty of Destruction
Devil You Know
6. Partners
Barbra Streisand
7. Primitive and Deadly
Earth
8. Wild Animals
Trampled By Turtles
9. El Pintor
Interpol
10. Ryan Adams
Ryan Adams

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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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June 18th, 2014

AT ALIVE AFTER FIVE: GREYHOUNDS AND LOCAL OPENER AFROSONICS

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 4.30.30 PMThis week’s Alive After Five headliner: Greyhounds
Go Listen Boise local opener: Afrosonics

ABOUT GREYHOUNDS

From the heart of Austin, Texas, Greyhounds are a blues duo described best as “ZZ Top meets Hall and Oates”.  For fifteen years keyboardist Anthony Farrell and guitarist Andrew Trube have been together perfecting their soulful sound. Greyhound’s sound also has its ties to Memphis, Tennessee, which they claim is the home of the soul that inspires them. Trube and Farrell both share the songwriting talent and have also written for musicians such as Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks.

Ardent Music, the independent record label based out of legendary Ardent Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, expects to build on the fan base the band has developed both on the road and as a staple of the Austin music scene. Label director Reed Turchi says, “We committed to three albums not only because we believe in these guys, not only because they’re great musicians and songwriters, but because they’ve been incredibly prolific.” “We’re always writing,” Trube says. “We’ve got songs for eight albums.”

Ardent has had a long and productive relationship with Texas music: Studio C was designed for ZZ Top, which called Ardent Studios home for many years, and Stevie Ray and Jimmy Vaughan recorded Family Style in the famous brick building on Madison Avenue.

The first ‘hounds out of the gate is Accumulator. The album combines cream-of-the-crop tunes the band’s devoted followers pass along to the uninitiated with new, previously-unreleased tracks.

June 11th, 2014

AT ALIVE AFTER FIVE: SHOOK TWINS AND GLB LOCAL OPENER BREAD & CIRCUS!

shooks-2This week’s Alive After Five headliner: Shook Twins
Go Listen Boise local opener: Bread & Circus

ABOUT SHOOK TWINS

Born and raised in Sandpoint, Idaho, Shook Twins are an Indie folk-pop band now hailing from coniferous forested Portland, Oregon. Identical twins, Katelyn and Laurie Shook, Kyle Volkman and Niko Daoussis form the core quartet. Central elements of the Shook Twins’ sound are a wide range of instrumentation, including banjo, guitar, electric and upright bass, mandolin, electric guitar, electronic drums, face drum (beatbox), glockenspiel, ukulele, banjo drumming and their signature golden EGG. Beautiful twin harmonies, layered upon acoustic and electric instrumentation coupled with Laurie’s inventive use of percussive and ambient vocal loops, and Katelyn’s repurposed telephone microphone, set their sound apart, creating a unique and eccentric blend of folk, roots, groove and soul.

The twins are the main songwriters but they have recently started backing up their band members, Niko Daoussis (Cyber Camel) and Anna Tivel (Anna and the Underbelly), and adding their stunning songs to the mix.

Each Shook Twins song tells a story, distinctive, sharp, genuine, and well – sometimes quirky. Drawing from their life experience, select subjects include, being potters’ daughters, imagined superpowers and a chicken named ‘Rose’ they befriended. Shook Twins also pull out unexpected takes on classic hits, retellings of their musician friends’ songs, heartfelt ballads and rhythm driven dance numbers.

After releasing their first album You Can Have the Rest, the twin sisters moved to Portland in December of 2009, conceptualizing their 2011 release Window (featuring Bonnie Paine and Bridget Law of Elephant Revival). Both albums were recorded and produced in Santa Cruz, California, at InDigital Studios. Favorable reviews, extensive radio airplay and a busy tour schedule have created an ever growing fanbase & kudos from many major musicians.

Shook Twins and their full band, including Niko (mandolin, electric guitar,vocals), Kyle (bass), Anna Tivel (violin,vocals), and Russ Kleiner (drum kit, percussion), recently released What We Do, recording the third album with Grammy nominated producer Ryan Hadlock at Bear Creek Studios. They also partnered and recorded an album with fellow Portland musician Ben Darwish on his epic concept piece, “The Clear Blue Pearl.” Shook Twins have shared the stage with artists including: Ryan Adams, David Grisman, Mason Jennings, Blizten Trapper, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Sarah Jarosz, Laura Veirs, The FruitBats, Jonatha Brooke, JJ Grey and MoFro, The Indigo Girls, Crooked Still, Jason Webley, The BoDeans, Elephant Revival, The Head and The Heart, The Lumineers and many more. Eclectic, amusing and whimsical, Shook Twins’ laid-back and fun stage presence draws the listener in, allowing them to take the audience away on the adventure that is their live show.

“The Portland, Ore., folk group is ready to rattle the music world with its ‘What We Do’ album.” – USA Today

“The Shook Twins have sass and spunk to spare! Their live show is tons of fun to behold.” – Laura Veirs

“The Shooks will Shake you. These ladies have been keepin’ it real since the day they were born and that was only seconds apart from one another I think. Do yourself a favor and check ‘em out. I do declare, ya won’t be sorry.” – Langhorne Slim

“The Shook Twins put on a heck of a show. Keep your eyes on these folks. I’m excited to hear what they do next.” – Tucker Martine

“A unique, personal music that lights up the stage with its joy and enthusiasm.” - Mason Jennings

June 4th, 2014

AT ALIVE AFTER FIVE: TREEFORT ALUMS COASTWEST UNREST OPEN ’14 SEASON!

coastwestunrest-475x299This week’s Alive After Five headliner: Coastwest Unrest
Go Listen Boise local opener: Dedicated Servers

ABOUT COASTWEST UNREST

The Las Vegas based band Coastwest Unrest is full of surprises. Comprised of brothers Josh and Noah Dickie, and violinist Alex Barnes, this is not a soft acoustic group; instead, they fearlessly take on an aggressive and dynamic approach with underlying hum of punk on some songs, and apply melodic textures to others. In the wake of their first album Songs From The Desert, they recorded Old Weird America, a raw album of songs on redemption, rebellion, loss and the American landscape.

The band’s most recent album High Times On Lowly Streets, added cello for a more layered and artful sound – without losing power. Performer Magazine gave them a top-pick, while The Alternate Root said, “there is a strong sense of Indie Rock on High Times on Lowly Streets, the use of strings against potent rock beats gives a sound nod to bands like The National and Ra Ra Riot.” Owl Magazine reviewed with “sometimes melodic, sometimes chaotic, always delicately composed and energetically delivered, the songs of Coastwest Unrest defy genre, but ring familiar.”

May 14th, 2014

94.9 FM THE RIVER PRESENTS OLD 97’S ACOUSTIC PERFORMANCE LIVE AT THE RECORD EXCHANGE WEDNESDAY, MAY 14; FREE PAYETTE BREWING CO. BEER!

old 97s94.9 FM The River presents a special Old 97’s acoustic performance live at The Record Exchange (1105 W. Idaho St., Boise) at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 14. We’ll be serving free beer (21 and older with I.D.) courtesy of our friends at Payette Brewing Co.! The band is performing at Knitting Factory later that evening and we have tickets for sale at the store! As always, this Record Exchange in-store event is free and all ages.

The first 25 people to purchase Old 97’s new album Most Messed Up (available on CD and vinyl) will receive a free ticket to the Knitting Factory show!

ABOUT OLD 97’S

_images_uploads_album_Album_art“Rock and roll’s been very very good to me,” Rhett Miller sings on “Longer Than You’ve Been Alive,” an epic six-minute stream-of-consciousness meditation on his life in music. It’s a rare moment of pulling back the curtain, on both the excesses and tedium of the world of a touring musician, and it’s the perfect way to open the Old 97’s new album, ‘Most Messed Up.’

“I wrote that song very quickly and didn’t rewrite one word of it,” Miller explains.  “It’s sort of a thesis statement not just for this record, but for my life’s work.”

To say that rock and roll has been good to the Old 97’s (guitarist/vocalist Miller, bassist/vocalist Murry Hammond, guitarist Ken Bethea, and drummer Philip Peeples) would be an understatement. The band emerged from Dallas twenty years ago at the forefront of a musical movement blending rootsy, country-influenced songwriting with punk rock energy and delivery. The New York Times has described their major label debut, ‘Too Far To Care,’ as “a cornerstone of the ‘alternative country’ movement…[that] leaned more toward the Clash than the Carter Family.” They’ve released a slew of records since then, garnering praise from NPR and Billboard to SPIN and Rolling Stone, who hailed the band as “four Texans raised on the Beatles and Johnny Cash in equal measures, whose shiny melodies, and fatalistic character studies, do their forefathers proud.” The band performed on television from Letterman to Austin City Limits and had their music appear in countless film and TV soundtracks (they appeared as themselves in the Vince Vaughn/Jennifer Aniston movie ‘The Break Up’). Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan told The Hollywood Reporter that he put the band on a continuous loop on his iPod while writing the show’s final scene.

‘Most Messed Up’ finds the Old 97’s at their raucous, boozy best, all swagger and heart. Titles like “Wasted,” “Intervention,” “Wheels Off,” “Let’s Get Drunk And Get It On,” and “Most Messed Up” hint at the kind of narrators Miller likes to inhabit, men who possess an appetite for indulgence and won’t let a few bad decisions get in the way of a good story.

“A few people in my life said, ‘You can’t sing ‘Let’s get drunk and get it on,'” Miller remembers. “I said, ‘What do you mean? I’ve been singing that sentiment for 20 years! I was just never so straightforward about it.'”

It was a trip to Music City that inspired Miller to throw away his inhibitions as songwriter and cut right to the heart of things.

“For me, this record really started in Nashville on a co-write session with John McElroy,” he says. “I really admired his wheels off approach to songwriting, And I liked the idea he had for how he thought I should interact with my audience. He said, ‘I think your fans want you to walk up to the mic and say fuck.’ It was liberating.” It reminded me that I don’t have to be too serious or too sincere or heartfelt. I just have to have fun and be honest. I felt like I kind of had free reign to go ahead and write these songs that were bawdier and more adult-themed.”

The magic in Miller’s songwriting lies in the depth that he lends his characters. Upon closer inspection, the hard partying and endless pursuit of a good time often reveals itself to be a band-aid covering up deeper wounds and emotional scars.

“There’s a lot of darkness hidden in this record,” he explains. “One of the big Old 97’s tricks is when we write about something kind of dark and depressing, it works best when it’s a fun sounding song. So it’s not until the third or fourth listen that you realize the narrator of this song is a complete disaster.”

If that description calls to mind The Replacements, it’s no coincidence. Miller is a fan of the Minneapolis cult heroes, and now counts Tommy Stinson among his own friends and fans. Best known as bassist for the Mats and more recently Guns ‘n’ Roses, Stinson joined the Old 97’s in the studio in Austin, Texas, to lay down electric guitar, elevating the sense of reckless musical abandon to new heights and lending the album an air of the Rolling Stones’ double-guitar attack. It’s a collaboration Miller never would have even imagined in 1994 when the band released their debut.

“We didn’t think we’d last until the year 1997,” Miller laughs. “We thought the name would get a little weird when it became 1997, but we decided none of our bands had ever lasted that long, so let’s not even worry about it. But as it all started to unfold, we realized we could maybe make a living doing this, and we were all really conscious of wanting to be a career band. It was way more important to us to maintain a really high level of quality, at the expense, perhaps, of having hit singles or fitting in with the trends of the time, and I’m glad we did that.”

Twenty years on, it’s safe to say rock and roll has indeed been very, very good to the Old 97’s.

May 10th, 2014

94.9 FM THE RIVER PRESENTS NEEDTOBREATHE LIVE AT THE RECORD EXCHANGE MAY 12; ONLY BOISE SHOW!

needtobreathe94.9 FM The River presents NEEDTOBREATHE live at The Record Exchange (1105 W. Idaho St., Boise) at 6 p.m. Monday, May 12. This is the band’s only show in town! As always, this Record Exchange in-store event is all ages.

Purchase NEEDTOBREATHE’s new album Rivers in the Wasteland on CD or vinyl at The Record Exchange and we’ll give you a wristband guaranteeing your admission — we anticipate a big crowd for this one!

ABOUT NEEDTOBREATHE

Needtobreathe_AlbumCover_RiversInTheWastelandHiResRivers In The Wasteland, NEEDTOBREATHE’s latest album, opens a new chapter in the South Carolina-based rock band’s story. But the band, comprised of brothers Bear and Bo Rinehart and Seth Bolt, couldn’t have arrived here without the tumultuous narrative that came before, each aspect of their career building up to this point. After the band’s previous album, The Reckoning, was released in 2011, the group spent over two years on the road, where the musicians began grappling with both significant inner turmoil and the external pressure created by notoriety. With the Rinehart brothers, sons of a pastor who hail from the rural town of Possum Kingdom, as the songwriting core of the band, NEEDTOBREATHE has built a successful career, earning a sizeable fanbase with their extensive touring. But tension between Bear and Bo was so high by the end of the touring cycle there was discussion of ending the band. The brothers kept to separate dressing rooms, uncertain that this was the sort of band they’d wanted to become, the possibility of quitting lingering in their minds.

“We were asking ourselves ‘Are you willing to change yourself in order to succeed?’” Bear says. “I think, in some ways, we tried that for a while. It was so tough on our souls and our stomachs and I think all of us knew that we couldn’t do that any longer. There was a moment where I thought the band was over. We had to take a break and meditate on what we each wanted NEEDTOBREATHE to be.”

For all three musicians, the answer was to return to the band’s roots and find the anchor of musical simplicity. They agreed that the most important moments of touring came at the end of each show, when they cut off the sound system in each venue and played directly to the fans. It’s a moment of realness NEEDTOBREATHE wanted to capture on their new album, a means of letting go of everything that isn’t truly essential to the song. Bear and Bo began writing a year ago, while still intermittently touring on The Reckoning, doing most of the initial work at their own Plantation Studios in Charleston. The band then spent time at Fairfax Recordings (formally Sound City Studios) in Los Angeles and at Blackbird Studios in Nashville, to co-produce the album with the help of various producers, including Joe Chiccarelli, Kevin Augunas, Jerrod Bettis and Ed Cash. It was a long, sometimes tumultuous process, that ultimately yielded a collection of songs the band feels reflect who they want to be as musicians now.

“We had a few goals as a band for the album,” Bear says. “I had them written in my notebook while I was writing songs. They were really basic: Keep it simple, not too many instruments, and have fun with it. And the last one was: be ourselves.”

“There was so much over-the-top production on the last album and on our tour,” Bo says. “We wanted to blow it all up and start over. The idea for the record was to get as much of the production elements out of the way and then force ourselves to not rely on extra stuff and studio tricks and technology. We wanted to force limitations and see how far we could take the songs with just us. Probably 90 percent of the record is all live takes. It’s very much an honest record.”

The album reflects these sentiments, each song lending itself to the idea of honest expression and genuine identity. “More Heart, Less Attack” is the heart of Rivers In The Wasteland, written in the studio as a response to the pressure of doing something for the wrong reasons. “Rise Again,” a twanging acoustic ballad, is about the necessity of adversity in order to move forward and the pensively soulful “Difference Maker” contemplates the qualities the musicians hope to embody in their lives, embracing a sparse instrumentation that lends to the emotional tone of the song. “The Heart,” the disc’s lead single, is a stomping number imbued with an infectious sense of hopeful anticipation. In the end, after the album was complete, the band saw the connectivity of the songs, each songwriter’s contributions threaded together in a surprising way.

“On the other side of it, it’s crazy how these songs really show a clarity that I don’t think we had while writing them,” Bear says. “These songs feel very timely for us. They feel like they were written for this time that we’re in now, not when we actually wrote them.”

“Being in the band for years now, there’s only a handful of moments where everybody in the band is on the same page,” Bo adds. “Going into this record, there’s no doubt that we were all of one mind and being inspired by the same things. We wanted to say the same things. I think this record is mostly about the journey of the heart. Ours were in much different places when we started this record but now, like the first day we started the band, are of the same heart.”

The past few years have seen NEEDTOBREATHE touring relentlessly, crisscrossing the country on multiple headlining tours, playing standout sets at major festivals like Bonnaroo and Austin City Limits, and performing throughout Europe (which included a personal highlight of opening for Sting in France). They’ve experienced the departure of their longtime drummer and a harrowing band scuffle that landed one member in the emergency room, but have also seen the birth of Bo’s first child and found a sincere reconciliation between brothers. Rivers In The Wasteland balances a palpable tension between two very different songwriters with a sense of brotherhood and shared voices. The album reveals that truly honest and authentic music can only come when everyone in the band believes in the same thing. For the musicians, the hope is that the songs inspire their fans and emphasize how committed NEEDTOBREATHE is to doing what they love in a way that doesn’t compromise anything.

 “We’ve come through some rough moments and some amazing moments,” Bo says. “We’re the most energized we’ve ever been. The band is young again. We’ve got a new sense of purpose and we believe in what we’re doing and are completely honored and humbled that there are fans out there who appreciate that and love the music along with us. We just fell back in love with the idea of what we get to do.”