Music News

Cloud Cult

Director John Paul Burgess's No One Said It Would Be Easy is more than a simple documentary about Cloud Cult, a Minnesota group that shares this bill with Say Hi and Ice Palace. It's also a visually stunning tribute to Cult frontman Craig Minowa, whose earnestness is positively off the charts. The music created by Minowa since the 2002 death of his infant son, Kaidin, combines melancholia with an aura of optimism and hope that's all the more affecting because it was so hard-won. As a result, the rapturous testimonials directed at him by bandmates and fans alike feel utterly genuine, not cloying or, worse, self-aggrandizing. True, the undiluted sincerity of everyone involved, not to mention the total absence of irony, can be a bit jarring. But Scott West's wonderful animations, not to mention fascinating tracks such as "Chemicals Collide" and "What Comes at the End," put everything in perspective. Easy, it isn't. Inspiring, it is.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts