Tesla was watching Blue's Clues this morning and I got to wondering what Steve, the show's host, was up to these days. Starting with the default two step of Google -> his Wikipedia page, I find that
- There were apparently enough rumors going around that he died of a heroin overdose that he has his own snopes.com entry.
- He quit the show because, in his words, "I knew I wasn't gonna be doing children's television all my life, mostly because I refused to lose my hair on a kid's TV show, and it was happenin'--fast."
- After quitting he concentrated on his music, naturally.
- Here's where it gets interesting. He ended up collaborating with members of one of my favorite bands, The Flaming Lips.
He posted eleven songs on his webpage, and then realizing he needed help with drums and arrangements, went to Steven Drozd of the Flaming Lips for advice. Drozd assisted Burns with six tracks, Lips bassist Michael Ivins engineered the album, and longtime Lips producer David Fridmann produced it. (Wayne Coyne, also of the Flaming Lips, did not work on the album, but cast Burns in his film Christmas on Mars, released in 2008.) - Wikipedia
Christmas on Mars is a weird movie. Exactly as weird as you'd expect a Flaming Lips produced movie to be. I'm going to have to rewatch it now. See if you can spot him in this trailer:
He's a little harder to recognize now, having gone for the pre-emptive close shave look and hipster glasses. He kind of looks like Moby actually.
He ended up forming a band with Drozd and others: Steve Burns and the Struggle.
Check out this video It's actually pretty good song (if awful youtube quality). And he's pretty handsome with the jock look and 5 day beard growth.
I wanted to dislike Blue's Clues when I first had to decide on whether or not to let Tesla watch it. I gave it a shot because of a great analysis I read in a book (I can't remember the title of now). The key point of the analysis is that the things that make parents roll their eyes and get annoyed by a children's show are exactly the things that actually work when the goal is matching a child's edu-tainment needs at their stage of development. So I gave it a shot. It was kind of annoying, but Tesla loved it, and she was learning things. The thing that made it most palatable though was Steve. There was something about him with just a hint of a wink to the adults, while fully concentrating on engaging with the children, that I respected. I'm glad to see the direction he's taken now.