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The Record Exchange - Culture Spot

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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!

[ give the gift of music ]

give the gift of music

The Record Exchange has 60 hand-picked new CDs sale-priced at $9.99 for your holiday gift-giving, and you can send music to our troops overseas, too.

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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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[ 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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[ 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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[ black friday exclusives ]

black friday exclusives

On Black Friday,The Record Exchange will have more than 100 vinyl and CD exclusives you can’t get anywhere else in the Treasure Valley, including titles from the Beatles, Grateful Dead, Flaming Lips, The Doors, Metallica and more!

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[ small business saturday ]

small business saturday

Saturday, Nov. 29, is the fifth annual Small Business Saturday, and you can celebrate this national buy-local day by shopping small at The Record Exchange and other independent businesses!

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[ best of 2014 vinyl sale ]

best of 2014 vinyl sale

Our friends at Beggars Group — which includes such fine indie labels as Matador, 4AD, XL and True Panther — released some great albums in 2014, and to celebrate, we’re offering 14 titles on vinyl on sale through January 15!

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[ buy rx gift cards online! ]

buy rx gift cards online!

Record Exchange Gift Cards can now be ordered for picky music fans from anywhere in the world!

Whether you live in town and want Aunt Sally in Sheboygan to stop sending you a Sears Gift Card, or you're Aunt Sally in Sheboygan and want to send your favorite RX shopper some store dollars, a Record Exchange Gift Card offers the perfect online shopping experience — and we'll ship it anywhere you want it to go!

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[ rx top 10 ]

rx top 10

1. The Endless River
Pink Floyd
2. Sonic Highways
Foo Fighters
3. The Basement Tapes Raw
Bob Dylan and the Band
4. Lost on the River
The New Basement Tapes
5. My Favourite Faded Fantasy
Damien Rice
6. Storytone
Neil Young
7. Led Zeppelin IV
Led Zeppelin
8. Cadillactica
Big Krit
9. Primitive and Deadly
Earth
10. Burnt Offering
The Budos Band

[ INFOTAINMENT ]

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.”

April 24th, 2014

BOISE WEEKLY PRESENTS FAMOUS MOTEL COWBOYS LIVE AT THE RECORD EXCHANGE THURSDAY, APRIL 24 (6PM)

famous motel cowboysBoise Weekly presents Famous Motel Cowboys at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 24, at The Record Exchange (1105 W. Idaho St.). As always, this Record Exchange in-store event is free and all ages. Famous Motel Cowboys are performing three nights of reunion shows April 25-27 at Humpin’ Hannah’s!

ABOUT PINTO BENNETT AND THE FAMOUS MOTEL COWBOYS

garden city skylinePinto Bennett and the Famous Motel Cowboys return to Boise the last weekend in April for their eleventh annual Famous Motel Cowboys Reunion.  They’ll be celebrating the release of their first album in over 20 years, Garden City Skyline, and will be performing songs from the new album, as well as familiar favorites from their four previous albums.

Pinto Bennett has been an influential part of the vibrant Northwest music scene since the seventies when he was a member of the hard country band Tarwater.  The eighties saw him and the Motel Cowboys touring extensively throughout the Western U.S. and in Europe.  The band broke up (they thought) in 1991, and Pinto moved to Nashville, Tennessee, for a few years to pursue his craft. He eventually returned to Boise and continued to perform in a more acoustic setting with his new band – Trio Pinto. Guitarists Rob Matson and Sergio Webb also relocated to Nashville, and still live there.  Bassist Jim Lemmon now lives in Eugene, Oregon, and drummer Joe Dow is in Salt Lake City, so the band is effectively spread out across the country.

In 2004, Jim Lemmon had the idea to hold a reunion, and thirteen years after they broke up, they put together the first of what has become an annual event.  The reunion has evolved into a three day affair involving not only the Motel Cowboys, but artists from all over the Northwest and beyond.  Many of Boise’s talented musicians donate their time each year to help celebrate a musical tradition that continues to make Boise one of the richest and most diverse live music cities in the country.

This year’s line-up features close to 60 musicians, including Montana Rose, Joshua Tree, John Hansen, Kole Moulton and Lonely Road, Reilly Coyote, David Lyle Evans, SFM Steve Fulton Music, Old Death Whisper, New Transit, Kip Attaway and his All Star Band, The Lemmon Family Band, Dale Keys, Kenny Saunders, The Neckid Rednecks, and Carolina Morning.

More information on the band, their music and the FMC Reunion can be found on their website: famousmotelcowboys.com.

April 23rd, 2014

CATE LE BON IN-STORE APRIL 23 (4PM)

2093Cate Le Bon will perform live at The Record Exchange (1105 W. Idaho St.) at 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 23. As always, this Record Exchange in-store event is free and all ages. Cate Le Bon is opening for Franz Ferdinand at the Knitting Factory later that evening and we have tickets for sale at the store!

ABOUT CATE LE BON

cate le bonCate Le Bon is an artist hailing from Carmarthenshire, rural West Wales and is currently a resident of Highland Park, Los Angeles, having relocated across the pacific to record her latest album Mug Museum.

Her first album Me Oh My was released on Gruff Rhys’s Irony Bored label in 2009 and was followed by CYRK (OVNI/Turnstile) which was released to widespread acclaim in 2012 and saw her play live across the world. A frequent collaborator, Cate sang the duet ‘I Lust You’ with Gruff Rhys on Neon Neon’s Mercury nominated debut album ‘Stainless Style’ and also features on ‘4 Lonely Roads’, from the forthcoming Manic Street Preachers album ‘Rewind The Film’. Perfume Genius features on the Mug Museum song ‘I Think I Knew’.

Having finished live commitments for CYRK towards the end of 2012, Le Bon returned to Wales to write the songs that would become Mug Museum. The album is informed by a period of taking stock after a bereavement. “Following the death of my maternal Grandmother I felt a very palpable shift in the roles that we’d all become accustomed to within the female line of the family which, for the first time, had me mulling over the importance of my place and purpose within this female chain” says Le Bon “The album’s theme emerged from and circulates around these maternal familial relationships and this period of a calm, lengthy, intent consideration in turn drew other relationships into the Mug Museum”.

With Le Bon subsequently relocating to California, Mug Museum was recorded at the recently opened Seahorse Sound studios, Los Angeles. Produced by Noah Georgeson (who is perhaps best known for his work with Joanna Newsom and Devendra Banhart) and Josiah Steinbrick, Mug Museum is an album that lets in the sunlight and space and relocates the West Wales lilt in Le Bon’s voice to an equally apposite West Coast setting.

In the studio Le Bon assembled a band of friends from both continents such as multi-instrumentalists Sweet Baboo and H. Hawkline and Nick Murray from White Fence. As well as describing the personnel involved in Mug Museum, ‘Welsh – Californian’ is a phrase that captures the album’s sound: melodic, confident and wrapped in a hazy psychedelic gauze.”I wrote the majority of the record in the home country but a few songs were finished out here in the run up to recording” says Le Bon “I’m sure Los Angeles has bled into the recordings somehow but exactly how I do not know”.

Throughout Mug Museum Le Bon’s voice changes register to both dramatic and emotional effect. This is beautifully exemplified on ‘I Think I Knew’, a duet with Perfume Genius, one of the album’s most atmospheric tracks and one on which two distinctive personalities combine to produce a performance of rare alchemy.

From the bewitching circular riff of the album’s opener ‘I Can’t Help You’ to the closing title track that sees Le Bon accompanied by piano and the occasional burst of double-tacked clarinet, Mug Museum’s reflective song-writing weaves around a richly detailed framework. Like all museums it is a contemplative space, a personal world that is open to everyone. As these ten songs attest Mug Museum is also a unique and dreamlike edifice, created by an artist at the height of her powers.