"Unplug" by Cloud Cult on iTunes

17 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Cloud Cult have remained an independent group during a time when doing so has turned out to be the smartest move a band could make. Cloud Cult control their sound, and they control their message. It’s in complete evidence on this live album, recorded during three all-acoustic hometown shows in 2013 at the Southern Theatre in Minneapolis. Mixed and edited into an hourlong sequence that emphasizes the strength of their voices, Unplug also speaks to the band’s interests in environmental and social consciousness. The smartly orchestrated arrangements work in beautiful sync with their message; the overall effect is one where the human spirit is clearly raised by the strength of their music and the band’s commitment toward making the most of their musical and personal freedom as an independent group. The rapturous audience response at the end of “Chemicals Collide” is a genuine outburst prompted by the music’s momentum.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Cloud Cult have remained an independent group during a time when doing so has turned out to be the smartest move a band could make. Cloud Cult control their sound, and they control their message. It’s in complete evidence on this live album, recorded during three all-acoustic hometown shows in 2013 at the Southern Theatre in Minneapolis. Mixed and edited into an hourlong sequence that emphasizes the strength of their voices, Unplug also speaks to the band’s interests in environmental and social consciousness. The smartly orchestrated arrangements work in beautiful sync with their message; the overall effect is one where the human spirit is clearly raised by the strength of their music and the band’s commitment toward making the most of their musical and personal freedom as an independent group. The rapturous audience response at the end of “Chemicals Collide” is a genuine outburst prompted by the music’s momentum.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5

18 Ratings

Powerful & Bright

Nick M 1973,

My family and I were able to catch one of their acoustic shows that culminated in the creation of this album. The show was incredibly powerful and bright. I expect Unplug will be as well.

Instant Member of the Cult

Rock-me-el,

Wow. I joined a Cult today. I'm a 65 year old Bhakti Hippie and I couldn't be more proud to know--Bhakti Hippie Spirit 2.0 is alive and flourishing 20 years on (where have I been to have missed you all these years--bless Krista Tippet and On Being!)

Anyway, I listened to only 10 minutes of the On Being Podcast with Craig Minowa and Cloud Cult my heart opened, my soul opened and I was immediately transformed into a member of the Cult.

However, in this Cult they pass around a cup of ever flowing Life Force. I am drinking deeply...

About Cloud Cult

The experimental, environmentally conscious Cloud Cult began in the mid-'90s in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The band was initially the solo project of Craig Minowa, who launched Cloud Cult while he was pursuing a degree in environmental science, and also shining shoes and driving an ice cream truck, among other jobs. Minowa spent the bulk of 1995 recording The Shade Project, which included sounds produced by buckets, pans, and couch cushions. Additional musicians were recruited to play the material live, and Cloud Cult pushed the conventions of rock concerts by introducing "live painting" to their sets. During every show, members Connie Minowa and Scott West would complete a painting; the resulting artwork was then auctioned off upon the show's conclusion. Such creative flourishes would soon come to characterize Cloud Cult's music, green-minded philosophy, and live performances.

Following the release of The Shade Project, Minowa busied himself with the creation of Earthology Records. He housed the nonprofit label on his own organic farm, powered by geothermal energy and built partially from reclaimed wood and recycled plastic. In early 2000, he returned to music with Who Killed Puck? After the birth of his son, however, Minowa devoted the bulk of his time to family, recording, grant writing, and environmental activism.

With the sudden death of his son in February 2002, Minowa became reclusive and sought solace by writing a large volume of songs. Lost Songs from the Lost Years was released that summer as a retrospective compilation, and They Live on the Sun followed in 2003, featuring contributions from cellist Sarah Young and drummer Dan Greenwood. Both became permanent members of Cloud Cult, and the band added Mara Stemm on bass in January 2004. Aurora Borealis was released just six months later. For the supporting tour, Cloud Cult's shows included the aforementioned live painters, performance artists, back-screen video, and tables featuring information from nonprofit environmental organizations.

Advice from the Happy Hippopotamus was released June 2005, with the full live band now consisting of Minowa (vocals, guitar, keyboard), Greenwood (drums), Young (cello, keyboard), and Matthew Freed (bass, keyboard, percussion). Later, 2007's The Meaning of 8, 2008's Feel Good Ghosts (Tea-Partying Through Tornadoes), and 2010's Light Chasers found the band specifically addressing its own environmental concerns in song format. 2013 saw the release of ninth album Love. Later that year the band developed a discography-spanning set list for an all-acoustic tour. The recordings from one show were edited and mixed into the live album Unplug, which was released in spring of 2014. ~ Kenyon Hopkin

  • ORIGIN
    Duluth, MN
  • FORMED
    1995

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