“The guy from Blue’s Clues” was the number-one name attached to rumors of heroin-soaked death when I was in college, edging out Lane Staley and Jerry Cantrell, who were locked in an amputed-leg-wrestling match for second place. When you questioned whether or not “the guy” had really died, people who had obviously never seen more than five minutes of the show would say, “Well, that’s why he was replaced so suddenly,” because that’s how they heard the story. Then we’d throw something heavy into a gorge and pass out.
So it’s cool to see “the guy”, Steve Burns, not only came back from the dead, but with a solid album, just like Pete Doherty but without the sick implant. Songs for Dust Mites is heavily influenced by the Flaming Lips, which isn’t surprising, since his entire music career basically happened because of The Soft Bulletin, which he heard at a party.
Months after his unexpected creative explosion, Burns cold-called his favourite producer, Dave Fridmann, who’d worked with Mercury Rev, Mogwai, Sparklehorse and The Flaming Lips. The producer’s chilly response thawed when he recognised Burns’ name (Fridmann had just held a Blue’s Clues birthday party for his children) and turned into enthusiasm when he heard Burns’ demos. Next, Flaming Lips drummer and arranger Steven Drozd joined them, then came Lips bassist Michael Ivins, who engineered several of the sessions. Finally, even Wayne Coyne wafted into Burns’ orbit. But instead of music, Coyne wanted Burns for the movie he was directing called Christmas On Mars.
I realize that the album came out in 2003, and that it’s already been written up in Spin and the Observer as of last forever, but I’m just relieved to know he’s alive. And that the Flaming Lips are involved somehow. Somebody get the guy from Steampipe Alley high and play him some Yoshimi.
Steve Burns – “Mighty Little Man” (MP3 Link Expired)
(via That Girl Needs Therapy)
Update: Scott told me about Steve’s TMBG cover, which isn’t nearly as old as the rest of this post.