Filed under: SXSW 2008
My two favorite acts of March 14th. One includes two brothers that mix hip-hop and indie rock, the other is a band that fights loss through lyrics while promoting environmental friendliness.
Despite apologies from Craig Minowa for a fading voice (due to a severe head cold), Cloud Cult put on an awesome performance. And what other band includes a live painter at their show? If their songs aren’t enough (and they are), the band is the epitome of indie rock.
A look into Cloud Cult and why they top my list of favorite bands…
Rejecting Major Labels for the Greater Good
The announcer noted that Cloud Cult came to Austin in their biodeisel van, which the band uses during all of their tour travels. In 1997 after rejecting several offers from major labels, the band formed Earthology Records in an effort to remain independent and to help the environment. The self-produced environmentally friendly non-profit label uses only recycled materials and donates all of their profits to charities that support the environment.
Songs about Heartbreak of a Rare and Common Nature (death, and separation)
As noted in Wikipedia, “The most common theme to Cloud Cult’s songs is the 2002 death of Craig and Connie Minowa’s baby son Kaidin. After this tragedy Craig wrote over a hundred songs to deal with the loss.” Minowa and his wife separated shortly after their son’s death.
In regards to writing over 100 songs in a time of loss, First Avenue quotes Minowa as saying “I just needed the medicine that writing music provides me.”
You can take it in stride, or you can take it right between the eyes. Suck up, suck up and take your medicine. It’s a good day, it’s a good day- to face the hard things.
Cloud Cult – Take Your Medicine
from The Meaning of 8, 2007
(no video as of yet)
Download Take Your Medicine free mp3 at Spinner (while available).
(The meaning of) The Meaning of 8
First Avenue writes that the CD “liner notes offer insight into what The Meaning of 8 is all about, comparing religions and philosophies from around the world with Carl Jung’s theories of universal symbolism and the collective unconscious.” In a more out right approach to its meaning, the song “Your 8th Birthday” written during the time their son would have turned eight years old may offer an idea into what 8 really means to the band. Lyrics from “Your 8th Birthday” include: “You make traffic jams feel like parades. You bury the dead with the faith that makes lightning bolts warm as if it was graduation.”
Why? Because they’re awesome and their shows give you an all-in-one hip-hop/indie rock experience. The band noted that they are the only band to not repeat a song for south-by. The tracks during their free Soundcheck Magazine party included some old (ex-500 Fingernails, Sanddollars) and mostly new (ex-By Torpedo Or Crohn’s, Alopecia).
Your fisted language still affects my style, although I sometimes catch your visions like a child.
One of my favorites…
Why? – Fall Saddles
from Elephant Eyelash, 2005
(no video as of yet)
On more of the indie rock side: Why? – The Hollows (from Alopecia)
Other highlights of the day/night’s events:
The old guy bus driver’s bad joke that only I laughed at. He told an elderly woman in a pink and black polka-doted dress, standing at the very front of the bus- “It’s like the Titanic. You up there…the wind blowin’ thru yer hair. Heh, heh.”
Examining the day’s collection of free cd’s that I’ll never listen to thanks to poor song titles. Case in point: Eyes Run Dry, Run Away Run, Then the Rain Came, Be…(yeah, no thanks).
Furthering my hearing damage by standing next to big speakers (I couldn’t hear this tone already anyway).
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