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Box Elders

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Named for a variety of black and orange bugs described by entomologists as annoying but harmless, the Box Elders are a trio from Omaha, NE, led by brothers Jeremiah McIntyre (guitar and vocals) and Clayton McIntyre (bass and vocals), whose childhood home was infested with the insects, hundreds of which filled up a snare drum in the room where they rehearsed. Formed in 2005, the first lineup of the Box Elders included Jeremiah and Clayton's mom on drums and lead vocals, but familial tension and a lack of discipline concerning memorizing lyrics led to her leaving the group after a few months. The Box Elders became a trio again with the arrival of Dave Goldberg, who could play drums and keyboards at the same time. Generating a sound that's simultaneously raw and infectiously poppy, the Box Elders put their music on plastic for the first time with a 7" vinyl EP from the local Grotto Records label, featuring the original "Hole in My Head" and a Redd Kross cover. After a handful of other singles for other indie labels and plenty of low-budget touring (including a set at the 2009 South by Southwest Music Conference), the Box Elders struck a deal with Memphis' Goner Records, which released their first full-length album, Alice and Friends, in August 2009. ~ Mark Deming