Around the corner and a two-minute bus ride up from Five Tunes HQ is an all-vegan Korean BBQ joint called Alice & Friends. It’s an odd little place. It’s full of tchotchkes, mismatched tables, purple walls, and last time I visited, it was full of older people who could’ve just as easily been seen at a Cracker Barrel. It’s one of Chicago’s great restaurant anomalies. I never made the connection between the restaurant and the Goner full-length Alice And Friends by Box Elders.
The trio from Nebraska—the brothers Clayton and Jeremiah McIntyre and Dave Goldberg—are one of today’s great garage bands. Their music hearkens back to the lovelorn bubblegum music of the early ’60s, although the production is murkier than it was then. Giving the album another listen, it warms my heart to know that the fine gentlemen behind this awesome music enjoy a good Korean vegan meal.
Box Elders – “Hole In My Head” (from Alice And Friends)
The Box Elders will be at The Hideout tonight with The Fresh & Onlys. Then, they continue the Shattered Tour with Nobunny, Hunx & His Punx and Jay Reatard across the West Coast. Here’s a list from Jeremiah McIntyre.
1) Throbbing Gristle – “Discipline” (single) – “The first tour we did we spent an afternoon off watching punk/industrial/noise videos on YouTube. The Throbbing Gristle was the most intense. We invoke this whenever we have to do something we don’t want to, like drive 14 hours. ‘I want Discipline!'”
2) Frankie Ford – “Sea Cruise” (single) – “The most listened to records at our house, either this or ‘Mister Lee.’ I picked this one because I have a recurring dream that we tour in a boat.”
3) The Slickers – “Johnny Too Bad” (from The Harder They Come soundtrack) – “I love how all of this era reggae/dub records sound. The tune is great and the vocals give me chills.”
4) Slade – “Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me” – (from Sladest) – “My favorite Slade song. Clayton pointed out that you can change any Slade lyrics to ‘Fuck yeah!’ without changing the song too much
5) Guinea Worms – “Box of Records” (from Box Of Records) – “The greatest record store clerk anthem of all time. We usually play this in the van when we are getting close to the club.”