Beautiful Small Machines may be synthetic, but they’re not stupid. Caught somewhere between the 70’s, 80’s and deep space, this electro-pop duo (Bree Sharp, Don DiLego) learned about comedy from adult swim and heartache from Philip K. Dick and they’re spewing it all back out at you like a bunch of mandroids on whiskey and psycho-pharmaceuticals. Fun, Sad, Creepy and Clever – Beautiful Small Machines is the retro-future.
Bree Sharp and Don DiLego have had quite the career together. What is the glue that holds you together?
We have a great artistic marriage – Don is the consummate musician/producer, who can play any instrument and hears high hat patterns in his sleep and I’m the lyricist/brash frontman. We both write melodies, so we compliment the other in places where we’re light and then meet in the middle. We hate to admit it because we’re competitive, like siblings, but we’re each really lucky to have the other.
Also, we’ve been working together for so long I’m fairly sure our brains melded at some point.
It’s hardly a choice now – we kind of have our own language. So, if we separate, no one will know what the hell we’re talking about.
I’d say 85 percent of our relationship is repeating movie quotes to each other.
The rest is divided between arguing, softball and spontaneous harmonizing. We’re the Fred and Carrie of the music world.
We check-in with each other multiple times a day via phone or text and no real information is actually exchanged.
Our old band mate likes to call them “nonversations.”
I guess more simply put: We make each other laugh.
“The DJ Stayed Home.” A mystical, gravel roots tone – What was the inspiration behind this Album?
I’ve spoken about this a bit already, but much of the album is written for and about an ex-beau, who left me years ago to pursue a life alone and away from the outside world in general.
He’s not growing his toenails long or anything, but he is definitely a shut-in. It’s so sad because he’s one of the sweetest, smartest and kindest people I’ve ever met and despite our physical, emotional and intellectual chemistry being off the charts, most nights he’d rather be home alone watching the NASA channel or some crap sitcom than be with me — or anyone else.
And, I get NASA. Anyone who knows me knows I got nothin’ but love for science (and science fiction – just listen to the music), but come on, yo – Cryer and Sheen over, time with a real lady you laugh with and like to touch? Ugh. It’s just painful.
July 9 – Official Record Release for The DJ Stayed Home
2009 was your last release with, ‘The Robots in Love’ – What have you been up to in the last five years? How in this time did you evolve as artists?
First of all, it hasn’t been five years.
That sounds crazy and you must be lying. Secondly, I hope we’re always evolving just by being on the earth and staying open to new experiences. Donnie produced several albums, including one for New York City’s favorite son, Jesse Malin (Dgeneration). I’ve been following acting pursuits and gleefully just guest starred in an episode of “Louie” on FX. My episdode also co-stars Jerry Seinfeld and Victor Garber. Forgive my immodesty, but that’s effin cool, right?! I had the best time and am looking forward to more adventures on screen.
Would you share a story behind one of the songs off the album?
Our cover of ”Paper Planes ”was inspired by a friend and NYC theater performer, Andrew Butler, who sang a country version of the song as a character he wrote, set in the hobo-future.
“Bring Out Your Dead” (whilst seeming like an adorable Monty Python reference) is sadly about the wave of teen suicides that swept through the gay community a while back. L aws discriminating against LGBT equality remind me of the gradual degradation of the rights of Jews right before things went absolutely ballistic in the Holocaust. It’s the “minor” injustices and the accepted prejudices that pave the way for atrocities- like those facing gays in Russia, Uganda and the like- and even the smallest infractions should not be tolerated.
What was one of the biggest challenges you overcame during the making of this album?
Finding chunks of time when Donnie and I were both free.
Beautiful Small Machines is hosting a Dinner Party.
What three Albums are on constant rotation?
Yankee Foxtrot Hotel – Wilco
My Aim is True – Elvis Costello
Mack the Knife: The Complete Ella in Berlin – Ella Fitzgerald
What is on the Menu?
Prosecco cocktail hour
Small bowl of Donnie’s homemade split pea soup
Ridiculous salad with fresh mustard greens, sunflower shoots, purple kale micro-greens, carrot, cucumber, grape tomato, pumpkin and flax seeds with homemade balsamic/garlic dressing
Angel hair pasta, marinara, lentils and spinach
Avocado-based sweet chocolate mousse dessert
Jameson on the rocks all around.
Also, I just decided this is a “key party.“
Four Influential people [past or present] are invited, who is on the Guest List?
Donnie’s two guests:
Lewis Willie Nelson
Breezy’s two guests:
Ok, after reviewing the guest list, it’s no longer a key party, but we will be playing ‘celebrity.’
“The Wretched Sound of City Cars” inspiring lyrics and oh so true.
What could the world use more of?
Thank you :) You like the cigarette line? That’s the one that always makes me smile.
When it comes to what the world needs, I’d have to say compassion, hands down.
The forth smartest and most sentient animal on the planet (smarter than dogs) – pigs – are bred and enslaved by the millions each year. They’re tortured and slaughtered, so we can have bacon. How did we get to a place where everyone is okay with that?
Yeah, I get it – people like the taste of bacon. Cool. But once you know the mass scale suffering you’re contributing to, at some point you have to say, that’s not okay. It’s not okay for me to make another creature’s life sheer misery so
I can enjoy five minutes of mine.
What does the perfect lazy Sunday look like to Beautiful Small Machines?
Coffee, blueberry pancakes morning with Times crosswords and cats. CBS Sunday Morning on the tube.
Later, we take a trip to an amazing yard sale with NPR’s ‘wait, wait, don’t tell me” for the drive. Then, there would be an early evening softball game. (We actually do play – Donnie is short stop and I pitch).
Your dream Marquee would read?
BSM, Louie C.K., Carl Sagan
One Night Only: Music, Comedy and the Cosmos Collide!
All proceeds go to charity
One piece of advice that will always stay with you is…
“Always be yourself, never be phoney and never let ’em see you sweat”- My Dad’s been telling me that ever since I was a little girl. He’s the best.
Also anything the 2000 Year-Old-Man advises, I find to be words to live by.