Over the Weekend...Cloud Cult @ Larimer Lounge

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Cloud Cult Sunday, May 18, 2008 Larimer Lounge Better Than: Taking your medicine.

On Cloud Cult’s website, singer and guitarist Craig Minowa states he’s had 36 different occupations in his life so far, everything from a paper boy, janitor and plasma seller to a lawn weed assessor, environmental scientist and musician. And he’s thinking about having another 52 occupations. But lets hope if he does dip his hand into those 52 jobs that he still keeps writing songs and singing, and it was apparent at Sunday’s show that the guy is immensely talented in both areas.

Minowa’s voice sounded a bit rough and scratchy when speaking between songs, which he blamed on touring for the last weeks. But when he sang, the guy truly belted it out with a slight falsetto that at times recalled the Flaming Lips’ singer Wayne Coyne. While Minowa was the captivating frontman, the rest of the band was equally riveting, especially on cuts from the band’s most recent album, Feel Good Ghosts (Tea-Partying Through Tornadoes). “No One Said It Would Be Easy” was epic and vibrant, as was “Everybody Here is a Cloud,” which built up into potent peak and then drifted into a lovely, subdued wash of cello, violin and trombone.

About halfway through Cloud Cult’s set, the band segued into Neil Young’s “Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black).” After finishing the brief, yet effective interpretation of Young’s song, a gal in the crowd said, “I got chills on that one.” A few songs later, the band launched into a rousing version of “Take Your Medicine” with Minowa singing, “You can take it in stride, or you can take it right between the eyes. Suck up, suck up, take your medicine.”

Throughout the band’s set, Minowa’s wife, Connie, stood at a canvas and painted near the back of the stage. By the end of the show, the canvas had transformed into an amazing painting of a facial profile staring into mélange of dripping yellows, greens and blues. Craig said the painting, which was auctioned off after the show, was one of the better works his wife had done on the tour.

--Jon Solomon

Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: I’d seen Cloud Cult at the Monolith Festival, but didn’t fully comprehend what a great band it is until after the band’s Sunday set. Random Detail: Minowa played with one shoe on throughout the set. He used his bare foot to control his foot pedals. By the Way: Give Feel Good Ghosts (Tea-Partying Through Tornadoes) a spin, as it might be the band’s last record, or at least for a while.

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