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Music

Benjamin Curtis of Secret Machines dies at 35.

December 30, 2013

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I just got news that Benjamin Curtis, of one of my favorite bands of all time, Secret Machines, has died at the tragic young age of 35. As I was reading through articles covering his death, one note in particular stood out to me

“In February 2006 they were the opening act for U2’s Vertigo Tour in Mexico. In an interview for the Uncut magazine (August 2007 issue), The Edge of U2 said that Now Here is Nowhere is “the last record he fell in love with”. In a September 2007 release, the band performs with Bono on the Across the Universe soundtrack on track 7, I Am the Walrus. Both Curtis brothers and Garza receive mention in the “Featured Musicians” credits as members of the NY BAND. The Secret Machines also perform tracks 14 and 15 of the deluxe edition soundtrack, Flying and Blue Jay Way.”

I may not be the biggest U2 fan on earth, but I’ve always been a fan of The Edge, and I respect U2 for what they’ve done. The Edge, saying that Now Here is Nowhere was the last record he fell in love with says a lot. Just last week, on a road trip from Vancouver to Los Angeles, the Secret Machines song “The Road Leads Where it’s Led” popped into my head out of nowhere, so I revisited the band, as it had been an extensive amount of time since I had listened to them. That album, as well as their others, were recorded with the kind of care that you don’t come across often. If you haven’t listened to them, you should take this opportunity. These are albums. These are to be listened to completely, because they form a complete idea, and a complete journey.

I remember when Interpol was on tour for Antics, if I’m not mistaken, the show was at The Gypsy Tea Room in Dallas Texas. Secret Machines opened the show, there was no showmanship, the band was completely backlit so all you could really see was their silhouettes. It was all about the music. I didn’t know it yet, but they blew Interpol out of the water that night, and Interpol was fantastic. Perhaps it was because of their Dallas roots, but I tend to think they are just that good.

“Benjamin Curtis has died, the Dallas Observer reports. Earlier this year, Curtis was diagnosed with T-cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma. He was 35.
Curtis was an Oklahoma native who later moved to Dallas. He and his brother Brandon were members of UFOFU, and later, he drummed for Tripping Daisy. In 2000, he and his brothers started the band Secret Machines.
He formed School of Seven Bells in 2007 with Alejandra Deheza. Together, they released several EPs and three full-lengths. Their most recent LP was 2012’s Ghostory. Earlier this year, when it was announced that Curtis was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, artists such as Paul Banks, Devendra Banhart, Albert Hammond Jr., and many others helped raise funds to cover treatment.”

-Pitchfork

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