Perhaps you noticed last week that our weekly train of goodness derailed a bit.  We received nasty emails, dirty glares on the subway, hell, the mob outside our palatial estate nearly took a torch to us.  But our reasons were strong, the lovely Joy Hart of The Record Exchange in Boise, Idaho needed the extra week to craft what will be looked back upon as … a masterpiece.

We’d write more of a intro, but our breath is drawn in utter awe, and if we don’t release it soon, well, we might pass out.

Therefore, Joy, gasp, take it away.

How exactly did The Record Exchange come about?

Michael Bunnell opened the Record Exchange in 1977. Bunnell’s capital came from money he received from a logging accident. He fell 30 feet from a lead line and crushed his leg. (Hey, LITA grew out of an accident, too!) The tiny, 400-square-foot store was filled with inventory from Bunnell’s personal collection. In 1978, The Rx moved to it’s current location at 11th and Idaho St. in downtown Boise. In 1994, Bunnell and his business partner, Kathleen O’brien, bought the 9,000 sq. ft. building and own it today. From 1985 – 2000, Bunnell had two other store locations, but the downtown store became the epicenter of independent music in Boise in 2000.


What’s your favorite record right now?


Ghostland Observatory’s Robotique Majestique delivers tasty electro-rock in a slammin’ way.




And your favorite, ahem, Light In The Attic release?


Both Betty Davis records get plenty of love from our players, but Passover is a cool 2nd. Any package coming from LITA is always a righteous treasure.



What’s your favorite record to play in the shop?



Captain Beefheart’s masterpiece, Trout Mask Replica. Inspires shock and awe and is too complex for the general public, who flee from the store in droves. Mmwwwahahahahaha, the plan is working perfectly.



Funniest story about the shop?


Daily anecdotes are abundant. Standouts:


Bunnell literally chased a one-legged man down the street away from the store and about came to fisticuffs with him early one morning before open hours. The offender was banging his cane on the door, shouting insults and absurdities about the store being closed. We love our leader.



Legendary clerk, Liam Elms, came back from “lunch” and swiftly passed out behind the main counter.  The creatives, Allen & Kent, put a box on his head and dubbed him “passed out robot”, back in the day when the Rx doubled as a bar.



Best in-store performance?


That’s tough. The Melvins came through town and hung out at the store for an entire day waiting for their “fed-ex” package of goods to arrive. They dug the Rx so much, that they came back down the road and played a noon in-store on a Sunday. Pretty wicked, but really, how can you pick from this list:



Smashing Pumpkins

Ben Harper

Tim Reynolds




Flogging Molly


Josh Ritter

Band of Horses

The Black Angels



The Blakes

Grace Potter & The Nocturnals

Marc Broussard

Built To Spill

Marcus Eaton

50 Foot Wave

The Frames

Kottonmouth Kings

Long Winters

Shelby Lynne

Doug Martsch

Michelle Shocked

Eric McFadden Trio

Pat MacDonald

Stephen Kellogg

People Under The Stairs


Alexi Murdoch

Tift Merritt

Jason Mraz

Dave Alvin

Matthew Caws (Nada Surf)

Michael Damian

James McMurtry

Jerry Joseph

Cursive (Tim Kasher)

Viva Voce

[ed. This was a long beautiful list.   Just too long and too beautiful.]

Phew, that made us all sweaty it was so good.

Thank you Joy!