by Josh Gross
Record Store Day stretched a little over the standard 24 hours in Boise this year. And why not? The 5-year-old event has now gone international as well.
Things kicked off on April 20 at the Record Exchange, first with a signing from Chicago stadium-punks Rise Against and then with an in-store performance from The Ravenna Colt, a new local-ish solo project from Johnny Quaid, who spent the last decade playing in My Morning Jacket before moving to Boise.
After that, the music-minded schlepped over to The Linen Building for Finn Riggins' record release party. The band dropped its new 10-inch EP, Benchwarmers, featuring the title track and four other new songs.
Boise post-rockers Red Hands Black Feet kicked off the show followed by Virginia's Pontiak, which featured '70s psychedelic riffs almost as big and fuzzy as its members' matching beards. Almost.
Finn Riggins didn't have its best set off all time and seemed to struggle with monitors for much of the show. Seeing as how this same fate befell Atomic Mama during its CD release set at the same venue—but was avoided during Treefort—this reporter is beginning to believe some sound upgrades might be in order at the Linen Building.
But to most of the 200 people in the audience, that didn't matter. It was a celebration as much as a concert for a band that has earned the right to celebrate. Finn Riggins blasted through a few standards, as well as the new songs from Benchwarmers, schilling intermittently for Record Store Day between tunes and singing a somewhat tawdry birthday song written by Jared Mees to Stephanie Coyle of Go Listen Boise.
On April 21, things kicked off early at the Record Exchange, with some of the most prized special releases for Record Store Day, like the Feist/Mastodon split, promptly selling out. The ICP/Mozart/Jack White 7-inch did not leap off shelves as quickly.
In front of the RX, Go Listen Boise booked a full day's worth of buskers including Hillfolk Noir, AKA Belle, Fleet Street Klezmer Band and more.
Go Listen Boise had a table near the buskers with a variety of baked goods for sale to benefit the organization. Local band Atomic Mama had a table to vend its wares as well, and to plug its gig that night at Neurolux.
Inside, special releases were flying off the shelves and deals were being scored by the score.
The Record Exchange capped off the evening with a special performance from Curtis Stigers, who dropped his new album three days before its official release for the Boiseans packed into the RX.
"It looks like Occupy Record Store in here," Stigers quipped.
A little bit later, he explained his jokes thusly: "I get away with murder up here."