Monday, December 7, 2009

Cloud Cult is effing amazing

My favorite lyrics at the moment, "Where It Starts" by Cloud Cult-

I found god at the stroke of midnight with your tongue in my mouth, on New Year's Eve

I found god when I was twelve with my cousin, trying to get a buzz from shots of listerine

I found god in a Dr.Suess book

I found god in a dirty magazine

I found god in the words of Steve Miller: I really like your peaches, wanna shake your tree

I found god on a Wednesday afternoon, drinking boxed wine and wishing you would call me

I found god in the middle of the woods, spitting at the stars and making love to a tree

I found god when I quit smoking cigarettes

I found god in a bag of weed

I found god in the back of my head: Too scared to even talk to you, but dreaming you would marry me

I could find god if I could taste you

I could find god if you'd lay down next to me

I could find god in your secret places

I could find god if you'd only talk to me

I found god in the back of my head: too scared to even talk to you, but dreaming you would marry me
I found god in the words of Steve Miller: I really like your peaches, wanna shake your tree


This is a band my wife turned me on to a couple years back, and they never cease to blow me away with their music. I could probably write a freaking thesis on how amazing they are. That is, if I had the time, the patience, and the focus. I'm pretty sure that if ADD exists- which I don't necessarily believe it does, I think it's a cultural/societal phenomenon rooted in technology and our Western lifestyle in general, fast-paced as it is- I've got it in fucking spades. Shit. What was I talking about?

Oh yeah... Anyway, they are such talented musicians. They are literally uncategorizable. That's right, new word. Their music crosses almost all genres, they have so many different styles that you honestly can't pigeonhole them into one particular type of music.

And they are such passionate musicians, I think that's the thing that really hooks me in. Their music is just so magical and overflowing with pure emotion, the intensity is palpable. It's just a visceral experience; the only musical accomplishment that surpasses them for sheer emotional content and intensity is Johnny Cash's cover of "Hurt." I swear, I can't even listen to that song without first steeling myself for the experience lest I be overwhelmed by the magnificent sadness of that performance.

With Cloud Cult, so much of their music is permeated by that raw, driving emotion. There are songs of theirs that I know I can turn on and change my mood if need be. Another favorite of mine:

Like some kind of sonic drug, they just wash away all the superficial, dramatic bullshit and leave me basking in the glow of their delicately powerful aura. Not to say that the emotion is always positive; much of their music has a melancholy to it that Billy Corgan would trade his right arm for. Especially poignant are the songs they (or rather, "he," meaning Craig Minowa, the heart and soul of the band) wrote about their (Craig and his wife, Connie) son Kaiden, who died when he was 2. Craig wrote literally hundreds of songs about the tragedy- none that are really obvious in meaning on the surface- and he pours his heart into them. The best example of which is the song "Your Eighth Birthday," which is not only written for (as the title implies, 5 years after he died) but sung to his departed son. The lyrics are so childishly silly, perfectly capturing the innocence of youth, but still profoundly sad. I mean, just listen to the beautiful pain in his voice as he calls his son's name in the chorus, with an intensity that almost feels strong enough to pierce the veil between our world and the afterlife, letting his too-soon-departed son know that he is still greatly loved and even more greatly missed:

Holy. Shit. Gives me goosebumps just listening to it. Just amazing. Nothing else I write (nor anything I've written so far) can possibly capture the essence of what their music does for me. So I'll just be done.

Wait, one more nugget of the intricate link between love and sorrow- After Kaiden died, Craig and Connie split up. A fate none too surprising for couples who suffer that tragedy. But after splitting up, they eventually reunited and are now expecting another baby.

There is so much more that's cool about Cloud Cult- from the live paintings that are performed on stage at all their concerts, to the massive efforts they put into being a truly green band- that they definitely deserve all the success they achieve. Check them out.

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