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Benjamin Curtis, of Secret Machines, Tripping Daisy, UFOFU and More, Has Died

Benjamin Curtis (left) with School of Seven Bells
Benjamin Curtis (left) with School of Seven Bells
Justin Hollar

We here at DC9 at Night are extremely saddened to report the passing of Benjamin Curtis. Last night in New York, Curtis lost a year-long battle with cancer at the age of 35.

Though a native Oklahoman, Curtis was a Dallas resident and treasured member of the local music scene from the '90s well into the 2000s. In the mid-'90s, Curtis and his brother Brandon were members of local rock outfit UFOFU with Joe Butcher, before Ben left to spend a few years playing drums for Tripping Daisy. In 2000, the Curtis brothers started the spacey three-piece Secret Machines. Their debut full-length project, 2004's Now Here Is Nowhere, broke nationally to much critical acclaim. It will long be remembered as a Dallas classic.

In 2007, Curtis left the band (which by then had relocated to the Empire state) and formed School of Seven Bells with bandmate Alejandra Deheza. After he announced his T-cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma diagnosis in February, musicians from Texas, Oklahoma and New York alike rallied around Curtis. The Polyphonic Spree, The Strokes, and Devendra Banhart were just a few notable names who participated in fundraising events for Curtis this year.

Curtis will be missed tremendously by the city of Dallas. In memoriam, we leave you with a quote from Polyphonic Spree's Tim Delaughter that was published in a collection of messages of hope and support for Curtis in Filter Magazine this October.

"Benny B. Sweet Benny B.

I will always, always cherish those times and the ones still to come."

See also: -Watch: School of Seven Bells Soothes, Performs on Last Call with Carson Daly -Secret Machines have conquered NYC. Sort of. -College rock: UFOFU brings 'alternative' to ETSU and wins the talent show

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