Odds & Ends

The Chemistry Set, the Old 97's and Five Questions With Steve Burns

Christmas morning, 1978: My brother rips open his final present to find exactly what he wanted--a newfangled chemistry set. Later, bathroom pipes will mysteriously explode.

July 29, Gypsy Tea Room: Dallas band The Chemistry Set holds a CD release for its self-titled album, a lovely little CD of catchy, ethereal pop songs that remind me of so many other pop bands I like. Later, the band may explode--we certainly hope so. (El Gato headlines.)

Murder or a heart attack?: Ambulances swarmed Gypsy Tea Room on Sunday night during the Old 97's second show--and afterward, rumors. The hubbub? A fight between two dudes in the back that ended in lots of blood and someone's head split open on the floor. The band wasn't aware of the situation, and there's no word on the status of said dude. But come on: It's the Old 97's. Can't we just get along?

Lauren, we hardly knew ye: Singer-songwriter Lauren Fine, whose fine debut CD, Paper Airports, was reviewed only two weeks ago, has already announced her departure for the northeast. Fine: Be that way.

Everybody cut, everybody cut: Whenever Kenny Loggins comes to town, there's a special kind of buzz around the office. In anticipation of the Kenster's show at Fort Worth's Bass Performance Hall on Wednesday, August 4, I asked staff members what their favorite Loggins song was and why. Here is what they said.

Robert Wilonsky: "I can't even respond to this."

Shannon Sutlief: "Um, I only know one song by Kenny Loggins. 'Footloose.' And I guess that's why it's my favorite."

Patrick Williams: "I don't like Kenny Loggins. But my wife likes 'House on Pooh Corner.'"

Michelle Martinez: "I'll have to abstain. I really haven't been exposed to his oeuvre."

Jim Schutze: "Oh, geez. I don't know these things."

Personally, I like "I'm Free (Heaven Help the Man)" from the Footloose soundtrack because of that exhilarating children's chorus. But, then, no one asked me.

Five Questions With... You might recognize Steve Burns better if he put on a rugby shirt and sang the "Mail Song." He won't, but that's because it was his job for six years as host of the phenomenally successful children's series Blue's Clues. Now he's a musician with an album, Songs for Dustmites, a collection of sweet Flaming Lips-inspired pop songs about science and love. On Saturday he brings his "multimedia video and rock hootenanny" to Hailey's, along with openers Modulator and El Gato. We tracked him down for a game of "Five Questions With." Ready? Let's play.

So you're theBlue's Clues guy. Are you OK with that, or are you ready for everyone to forget it already?

It would be unreasonable for me to try to erase my character from the American media landscape. It's sort of indelible. I know this and am fairly comfortable with it. I'm very proud of that show. It does sort of get under my skin when I'm onstage performing and someone asks me to sing the "Mail Song." Ooooh. That's bad. If you're planning on attending my multimedia rock-and-roll extravaganza, please, please try not to do that. Please.

Last time you toured, the Starlight Mints were your backing band. Who is it this time?

I'm touring with just a drummer. It's a two-piece so that we can feature the 10-foot video screen more. Yes. A 10-foot video screen. Come. Behold.

A while ago, there was a rumor that you were dead. Recently, a former member of the Polyphonic Spree was rumored to be dead. What advice would you give him?

Casket choice is very important. Also, don't deny the rumor. Go with it, and expound. I've taken to telling people that I died in a whaling accident. Before that, I died fighting lions in the Congo.

Who's hotter: nannies or groupies?

The absolute hottest are nanny-groupies with tattoos.

Your name is a complete sentence. How cool is that?

It's great. I'm glad you noticed that. I've always enjoyed that about my name.

 
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