The Moto-Litas go 'Lilting' with Lynda

When I saw Michael Stipe and his sister Lynda dancing and singing to our tunes, says Betty Boomskins, drummer of the Moto-Litas, "I just knew this night would be featured in our 'Behind the Music' episode."
While a VH1 special might still be several years away for the Motos — who debuted on the first day of 2000 — the all-girl Atlanta band's career has definitely been on the fast track. And though their headlining gig at Athens' 40 Watt Club earned a favorable nod from the R.E.M. singer, the presence of Stipe's sister was even more significant.
"Lynda Stipe had inspired me way back in 1988," recalls bassist Leggy Limbeaux. "I spent many hours in my room playing bass and trying to emulate her vocal style."
Currently playing cello for Flash to Bang Time, Lynda Stipe started her own pop career as bassist/vocalist of the early-'80s Athens trio Oh-OK, whose 59-second song "Lilting" is a favorite of the Moto-Litas.
"It's just such a happy, expertly crafted tune," says Limbeaux, who first met Stipe when their bands shared a bill. "When I told her I was a big fan and that we covered 'Lilting,' she threw her head back in amazement. I probably gave the poor gal whiplash! I asked Lynda if she wanted to sing it with us, but she said she couldn't remember the words. Michael mumbled the tune for a minute, and I jumped in, and he and I sang the first few lines together."
The Motos version of "Lilting" — extended to all of 69 seconds — appears on their just-released debut CD, Talk Your Way Out of This! Despite a labeling error that mistakenly lists it as track four (instead of five), the tune is already getting airplay on college stations.
"I am all about original music," says Limbeaux, "but it is so much fun to play the songs that made you want to be a musician."
The Moto-Litas' play at their CD release party, Sat., Dec. 30, at the Earl.