“The usual struggle between fear and love”

Cloud Cult – “Pretty Voice” – Live in the The Current‘s studio

“The scene begins with a hermit’s melody sung by a bashful bird, hung in a violet sky. There are no words, but there’s understanding. It’s been so long, since I’ve heard that pretty voice.

Raise up the lights, and enter hero-girl. She makes me calm. God, she makes me calm. And then she hears the song, and she starts singing. It’s been so long since I’ve heard that pretty voice.

Strike up the band. Here comes the storyline about the usual struggle between fear and love. This is the lifelong song that we’re all singing. It’s been so long, since I’ve heard that pretty voice.

When it begins, I miss your harmony, but you’re so shy, such a bashful bird. And here’s a song that no one’s singing. It’s been so long since I’ve heard your pretty voice.”

I’ve been a little obsessed with northern Minnesota’s Cloud Cult lately, even though I’ve been listening to them for a few years. Their latest album, “The Meaning of 8,” is epic.

On top of making beautiful music, the band’s environmental conscience knows no limits. Before switching to recycled cardboard CD cases, they took in used jewel cases and hand-washed them all to package their own albums. When I recently ordered a CD from them, it arrived in my mailbox with a mailing label simply stuck on the shrink-wrapped cardboard case. No wasteful packaging. The t-shirt that followed came wrapped in a used brown-paper grocery bag. They’ve even opened up their own record label, Earthology Records (which they have stated they have no intentions of abandoning in favor of a major label deal), and provide similar eco-services to other bands.

The band also plants trees to offset their carbon emissions from touring and purchases wind energy credits to compensate for energy used to power amplifiers and lights and the such during concerts.

Painting by Connie MinowaBesides gorgeous video and light shows, their live shows also feature two painters (who are full members of the band, one of them is band leader Craig Minowa’s wife Connie) creating original pieces that are sold through a silent auction each night. Really beautiful stuff; Rosie and I hope to have one to hang on our wall someday.

5 thoughts on ““The usual struggle between fear and love”

  1. Rainier

    They really are an inspiration to make you feel like you want to be a better person. Let’s hope sooner than later, more people in the world start caring about the world like they do. Plus they make really cool music. Thanks for introducing them to me.

  2. Deb

    I like the instrumentation, with the violin and cello. And, I like their commitment to reducing their impact as much as possible. I’ll have to check out more of their stuff- thanks for posting the sample!

  3. Greg Post author

    So glad I could introduce you guys to the band, they are so deserving of having lots of fans.

    Deb – I don’t quite know where the Minowas live (Craig is the leader, Connie his wife is one of the painters) but I’ve heard somewhere in the vincinity of Hinckley before and the address for their recording label, Earthology, is in Sandstone, so they must be in your neck of the woods… Let me know if you see them around!

    :)

  4. Deb

    Greg- I just looked them up in the county plat book, and…wow. Where I am sitting right now, at work, is about three miles from their place! I didn’t know such cool people existed around here!

    Come to think of it, I think the guy at the organic food store in Sandstone mentioned Cloud Cult once. I’ll have to ask when I stop by there tonight.

    Maybe they could use a flute/mandolin player. :)

  5. Greg Post author

    Deb – Must be something in the water up there! I’m sure they could use a flute/mandolin player, just don’t forget about us when you’re a touring rock star! Keep us posted on any local gossip you hear about the band!

    It sounds like they have a neat place, with geothermal energy and all the rest. It would be fun to see, if only for inspiration as you continue to build your dream homestead. :)

    Happy Friday!

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