I caught up with the always vivacious local singer-songwriter Kami Lyle recently, on the occasion of her gig a couple of Sundays ago opening for the Boston Pops at the 2008 Pops by the Sea concert in Hyannis. Luckily, our conversation was recorded for posterior:
1. So, were the Pops like all wicked old or what?
Well, first I should perhaps mention, I didn’t actually know the Boston Pops were going on after me. I just thought I had a ridiculously huge following in Hyannis. To answer your question, though, I don’t know if it’s so much that the Pops are that wicked old, as much as the fact that I am just so incredibly very, very young, y’know? No one can even believe how young I tell them I am.
2. Do they party down? For instance, how many of the Pops were tripping, how many did ‘ludes, glue, etc.
Unfortunately, we didn’t really get to party with anyone. In kind of a crazy aural mix’em up, the guys in my band thought they heard someone saying the Boston Cops were after us. So…needless to say, we got outta there pretty quick.
3. Did you get it on with any of the Pops? Was it much different than making it with a regular musician? Was it super funky?
Me and my band!?! No! I mean, yes, but only with the super funky one…the one we were told was the lead singer.
4. Which one is the lead singer?
Um. You know.
5. Are they really all from Boston?
They are. They all live together in this great big house. It’s actually in Quincy. But the “Quincy Pops” sounded too much like a cool refreshing ice cream treat.
6. Do they have an incredibly big van? (One would certainly assume so.)
You mean the PopMobile? Yes. It’s huge. My band and I had to park our cars in Yarmouth. Fortunately on our walk back to Hyannis we found a place that sold Quincy Pops. They were cool. And refreshing.
7. I once read that Dave Matthews’ dad was a Pop -do you think that could be true? Did any of them look like a really old, screwed up version of Dave Matthews?
Oh, see, and we thought they said Dave Matthews’ dad was a cop. Well, there was this one guy that kept following us around yelling, ‘but I know Dave! I know Dave…’ and playing air guitar. I think he wanted to join my band. I felt bad, but I’m kind of all set for air guitarists right now. I mean, our guy’s great! You can’t even see him. He’s literally made of air. And he’s a breeze to work with.
8. The deli tray must be huge. Would you agree that there’s probably some promoters who might tend to skimp a little on some of the less popular condiments in a situation like that.
You know, that is such an important question and one that I think is just all too frequently not answered in full. Yes. Their deli tray is freaking huge. We had to sit in Mashpee. Oh, and here’s a little fun fact: They’ll only eat food with the word Pop in it. Poptarts, Popovers, I saw a lot of Jiffy-Pop. You should have seen when they all started in on the Pop Rocks. It was deafening. Then they rinse it down with, well…pop.
9. I know you’re a wonderful writer of beautiful songs that are an inspiration to all or most of us. Do you sometimes enjoy putting a period at the end of a sentence that would normally end with a question mark.
What. I think I’ll skip that one?
10. When you’re not doing something glamorous at high profile international local artist facilitated events such as The Pops, do you do other things you do instead, perhaps with a loved one or family member or even on your own.
Do I? Oh, definitely! I do that all the time. It’s like, I love doing stuff like that.
Fortunately for all, Kami’s local performance schedule this summer is extensive indeed, and includes every Wednesday night at Bubala’s in Provincetown and myriad outdoor shows, not just as a leader but also with the Stage Door Canteen, the Rip-It-Ups, and the Chandler Travis Philharmonic; further details can be gleaned at kamilyle.com. Kami’s cute as a button and plays a mean trumpet to boot, and her husband and accompanist, Joey Spampinato, known for his fine work with NRBQ, is one of the world’s truly great bass players -to miss them would be sheer folly.
And furthermore: A new band called Cathy from New York City makes their Wellfleet Beachcomber debut this Saturday and Sunday, and lord, they make a hell of a din. Their latest big hit is called “Do the F***ing Awesome”, and one of them is my nephew -what more can I say?
Speaking of awesome, the Greenheads are. Newcomer Sarah Swain is starting to get comfy, and guitarist Steve Wood is still… well, awesome, as evidenced by a recent cameo appearance with the Incredible Casuals, during which he purposely smashed himself in the face with his guitar (preserved for future generations on Youtube under the heading “Incredible Casuals w/ Steve Wood – “Jack the Ripper” .) Blood was shed; it was an Iggy Pop moment, and all I can say is “thank you.”
On the other end of the gore/sonic mayhem scale are Wellfleet’s Parkington Sisters, a young quintet just putting the finishing touches on their latest album. Their music tends to be gentle, thoughtful, and largely acoustic, with instrumentation that includes piano, cello, violins, guitar, and lots of vocal harmonies; samples (including Radiohead and Nico covers and -my favorite -a lovely instrumental version of a theme from the movie “Amelie”) can be found on their website, parkingtonsisters.com. And/or you’ll be able to catch them live on Thursday, August 14th at the Music Stroll on Main St. in Hyannis, Saturday, August 16th at the Wellfleet Library, and Monday, August 18th at the Eastham green.
While we’re on the subject of things that are fantastically pleasant, the amazing Zoe Lewis (yup, zoelewis.com) is playing locally just slightly less than usual this summer due to circumstances beyond her control, but she’s got a fab new album out called “A Cure For the Hiccups”, and if you want to have a terrific time and see something done absolutely perfectly, go on her sunset cruise on the Viking Princess in Provincetown on Saturday, August 23rd. Seeing Zoe is always a pleasure, but seeing her do her thing on a boat cruising around P’town at sunset is just entirely sublime.