Hello, I’m Shelly Duvall. What?
Morvern Callar. Samantha Morton. Lyne Ramsay. The Mamas & The Papas. “Dedicated to the One I Love.”
Benjamin Curtis in Austin, Texas, during South by Southwest in 2006. They were playing a DKNY-sponsored party on the outskirts of the city in a carpeted event space that seemed like it usually hosted weddings. I don’t know why so few of the other people there cared that a great band was blasting off and had a whole light show ripping, but I felt lucky that I could stand right in front, take it in and snap a few pictures with my shitty digital camera..
The first time I had seen the Secret Machines play live was two years earlier, also at South by Southwest. When the group’s tour took them to The Echo in L.A. just a few days later, I made sure i saw them there, too.
They could be a monster of band.
Here’s a quote from his brother Brandon Curtis that was in a profile/space essay on the Secret Machines from The FADER #22, published just before their debut album Now Here is Nowhere was released. The article was credited to Braxton Hicks, but that’s a pseudonym for an editor who was on staff and had another big feature that issue:
"We came to New York and saw amazing stuff all the time. We saw Suicide, Malcolm Mooney…I mean Malcolm Mooney’s not coming to play in Texas! We got to play with James Chance and the Contortions. And even if you go to Carnegie Hall to see Steven Reich or whatever, it’s still Steven Reich. And not that you’re better than those guys or trying to top the legends, but those guys raised the bar—that’s how how high the bar is.”
Then Benjamin says, “Right, so how can you deliver something less than that?”
Ariel Pink & Sky Ferreira, “My Molly”