Catch Gambit thrice in September

Waiting for a sign
To fall out of the sky that makes me wonder
Baby, are we running out of time
Before they grab our hope and drag us under?

— From “This Town” by Gambit

Former venture capitalist Lyle Kamesaki got a sign one day, “in some random cubicle, at some random office,” that he needed to escape the nine-to-five office grind and pursue his passion.

“I was falling asleep at my desk as I was typing something,” recalls Kamesaki, “and I had this dream where I received the email I was actually typing. This moment was the inspiration for [the song] ‘Maybe’: ‘Memo to myself: Wake up, run like hell.’ And run I did.”

The Harvard grad longed for the excitement of his adolescence, growing up on Long Island, when he would listen to Tool, Notorious B.I.G., and Ani DiFranco. He began writing music and also learned how to record with the help of producer Ido Zmishlany, whom he compares to Obi-Wan Kenobi. But Kamesaki calls Gambit a “collective,” and when Gambit play live, the lead vocalist will be joined by fellow Long-Islanders Jeff Ballantyne on guitar, Peter Anselmo on keys/synths, Dave Kaplan on bass, and Ben Marshall on drums.

Creators of “sincere electronic pop,” in the vein of Postal Service and Owl City, Gambit released an eponymous EP in April, and the arty video for “This Town,” filmed in Rocky Point—featuring everything from convenience stores, Rocky Point High, and bonfires, to “The Anarchist Cookbook,” fireworks, and the beach— will be appearing in four film festivals this month. (In case you haven’t already scanned a QR code in a Levi’s ad that led you to this visceral video, here’s the link:

Kamesaki, who is heavily influenced by film, sees the video for “This Town” in his head no matter where he’s playing:

“The lyrics and video for ‘This Town’ are literally every summer my friends and I had as kids. It’s amazing to me that back in the day, I hung out with all my friends every single day, all day long, and we had nothing to do but get in trouble. Long Island is not the city, but we had fun. Lots of it.”

Catch the sincere collective at their September shows: The CFX Festival, called a “Mini Bonnaroo,” benefits Cancer, Human Rights, and the 9-11 Memorial Museum this weekend at the Chelsea Mansion in Muttontown. Gambit will take the stage Sunday at noon.

Then, on September 20th, the band plays Rockwood Music Hall in Manhattan, and the 29th brings Gambit back to the island for a benefit show at Adelphi University. Check out: ;

lisa heffernan

Lisa Heffernan received a master’s in Communications from Emerson College before moving to New York. She has worked for publications such as: Details, Nylon, Rolling Stone, Time Out, Newport Mercury, American Songwriter and W magazine.