The first full-length album by the band Artis Gilmore, The Narwhal and the Dinosaur, is 42.9 minutes of pure indie-pop, an unexpected fusion of singer-songwriter Rebecca Williams and Nerves Junior members Cory Wayne and Chris Snow. They play Zanzabar on Friday, and their album will be commercially available this week. How did Artis Gilmore happen? Are we safe?
LEO: Artis Gilmore doesn’t obviously sound like either of your own projects. How did you find this sound?
Rebecca Williams: I met Cory and Chris while I was in the studio recording this album, and several months later, we decided to collaborate as a live band and eventually started writing songs together. I wrote this album two years after my first, which allowed me time to listen to different music than I had been listening to before, and (I) found a thicker sound for the new material I was writing. The sound of this album is solely due to (engineer) Kevin Ratterman’s and (ex-Nerves Junior) Stuart Phelps’ distinct styles; I came to the studio with skeletons, and they gave them blood and guts.
LEO: Who else has inspired you in developing this band?
RW: The live act is heavily inspired by Björk and Matmos, the stuff that they did at the Royal Opera House.
LEO: Where do you go from here? Videos, touring, festivals? Or is this just for fun?
RW: Graduation parties and Bat Mitzvahs, occasional Hall of Fame inductions and/or ribbon cuttings. We’re still in the planning stage.
Learn more at facebook.com/ArtisGilmore.
Sir Microcosm is on the air
In case you missed the first edition of “Sir Microcosm,” the new radio show heard Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on 91.9 WFPK, hosted by ex-Month of Sundays bandmates Dave Givan and Jim James (the latter now performs with Monsters of Folk and My Morning Jacket, and has a solo album waiting for release), here’s the first episode’s track listing:
Huey Lewis & the News — “Heart and Soul”
Fugees — “Fu-Gee-La”
DJ Shadow — “High Noon”
Hank Williams — “Ramblin’ Man”
The Chi-Lites — “Stoned Out of My Mind”
John Lennon — “Mind Games”
Prince — “Sign o’ the Times”
Tom Waits — “Innocent When You Dream”
Adrian Belew — “Ampersand”
Andrew Bird — “A Nervous Tic”
Mary J. Blige — “Be Without You”
Vera Lynn — “We’ll Meet Again”