Friday, April 20, 2007

FDF Volume 1: Issue 53: Steve Burns - Songs for Dustmites

Album - Songs for Dustmites
Artist - Steve Burns
Key Players - Steve Burns (virtually everything) with the help of Steven Drozd
(The Flaming Lips) on 6 of the 12 tracks.
Produced By - David Fridmann

Release Date - August 12, 2003

What caused me to blow off the dust? - Read the overview...

Overview - Steve Burns may be more familiar to you if you have younger children. From 1996 until 2002 Steve was the "human" on the children's' program "Blue's Clues"

Recently my four year old has discovered his sisters older Blues' Clues VHS tapes. Watching these episodes in passing along with him reminded me of the huge amount of time spent with this cd when it first came out and it had been a bit since it got a good listen.

Steve also was the subject of a tragic death rumor while hosting the children's program that was proved to be false.

FDF Comments (aka the songs)

"Mighty Little Man" opens the record with some quick guitar then fades up quickly with some heavy synthizier. The "band" all comes in for a few bars but fades down for the whispered delivery of the lyrics. After a partial verse the whole thing kicks back in with heavy drums and the "moogy" syntysiser. The chorus is beyond infectious with the music swelling around the vocals. By the second verse your feet should be tapping and if you never figured Steve had this in him, you are smiling ear to ear. A call and response of "I am a Mightly Little Man" repeats and ends on a dime. This is a perfect lead off track and sets the tone for whats to come. "What I Do On Saturday" has a very strong Flaming Lips feel. The bass is punchy with acoustic guitars driving the top. Steve delivers the vocals more in a spoken form than "sung" until the chorus. "Maintain" opens with acoustic guitar and a simple drum line for the first portion of the verse, it then opens up with a nice heavy keyboard based run with punctuated rat a tat drum beats. ">1" is the shortest track on the record just under 3 minutes long. The track is a solo electric guitar and Steve singing in hushed tones. The track follows the same pattern and ends with some plucking of the acoustic guitar. "Troposphere" opens with a reverse loop on some keyboards and then falls in to places with a wah wah keyboard line. It's a quiet, yet somehow, "bouncy" and just a few minutes the band opens up with an almost orchestral effect. Steve delivers some lines through a megaphone as Steve bemoans "Lately I have not been myself". The song uses the same formula throughout but overall this is one of the stronger tracks on the album. "Stick Around" is another track that opens with a solo acoustic guitar and hushed vocals. Cellos fill out the track even further with some chimes and horns. Its seems a little out of place on the record with its haunting feel but it shows the diversity of Steve as musician and artist. "A Reason" is a track that you'd almost hear an artist due at an open mic night in a local pub. Acoustic with some slight conga style drums holding the beat down. "Music For Montgomery County, PA" is the shortest track on the record at just over a minute long. Heavily keyboard based its a lyric free track that really doesn't do a whole lot to improve the record. A musical interlude for sure leading up to the title track. "A Song For Dustmites" which has a heavy solo piano opening and holds to that formula for its duration. "Superstrings" opens with some clanging guitar, then compressed guitar, then phased drums. "A Sniveling Mess" is a terrific song (as you'll hear). An urgent intro, slowed way down for the verse only to swell up and be brought to a more rocking chorus. The vocals have a cool phase/delay on them adding to the punch of the track. It fades up and down for verse/chorus yet it keeps its fun beat. There are some cymbal "sploshes" some upright bass plucking. Steve asks "will you love me if I'm a mess?" and the bass and drums hold down the band. The chorus has some nifty vocal effects and the band just lights up coming out of the second chorus. "Henry Krinkle's Lament" ends the record on somewhat of a down note, but its still a pretty song delivered with piano and hushed vocals. The track slowly builds and there are hints of a jazz feel, spiced up with some flute runs that build along with the vocal delivery. It fades down and the album stops. Your once "dropped jaw" may now be closed.

Where are they now? - Steve is currently working on a new solo album that should be out in 2007.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - Steve has toured sporadically since the release of this record. His Boston show was on the radar to attend but the area was hit by a pretty good snowfall and I never made it.

FDF Overall Take - The most fun with this record (or songs) is to play a track and then say "Do you know who this is?" and then watch the reaction when you tell them "It's Steve from Blues Clues!" Well, its more fun if the person you are telling has an idea of what Blues Clues is..but still.

You can check out his official page here

His myspace page is here

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

mp3's removed may 14th

Mighty Little Man
What I Do On Saturday
A Sniveling Mess

Check out the cd for sale here

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.


At 9:58 PM, Blogger Rinjo Njori said...

This is the equivalent of finding a cool album from lisa lennox (doodlebops)or The Wiggles (The Cockaroaches). Who knew steve had it in him. perhaps joe is now fronting a black metal band in Sweden now.


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