A bolt from the blue

Cloud Cult blends agony, love and wonder into music for a different world.

Keri Carlson

Craig Minowa, the man behind the local band Cloud Cult, has experienced loss comparable to that of Job. Minowa lost his 2-year-old son in February 2002 and shortly after, separated from his wife. Whereas Job maintained his faith in God, in reality, humans lose faith.

“All my philosophies were thrown in the wind,” Minowa said after the death of his son Kaidin. “I felt so angry; I’ve always set myself aside and tried to do honest work.”

Forced to re-establish his entire concept of life, Minowa began focusing on the idea of the sun. “We’re all made out of this carbon that originated in the sun,” Minowa explained. “We’re all made out of stardust, in a way.”

This idea grew into Cloud Cult’s second full-length album, “They Live On the Sun.” The album featured fairy tale themes, but Minowa shattered storybook ideas with the realization there might not be a “happily ever after.” Musically, Sarah Young’s graceful cello would often collide with a low-fi mess of frantically muddled guitars and strange electronic beeps and beats.

A shattered faith, however, does not mean it is beyond repair. Once broken beliefs are glued back together, they are even stronger than before.

Cloud Cult’s newest record, “Aurora Borealis,” does not find Minowa fully restored, but shows he is beginning to pick up the pieces. “Borealis” retains “On the Sun’s” experimental quality but is not nearly as crazed and abrasive. The songs feature Young’s cello more and swirl around gentler melodies. “Borealis” is certainly more optimistic, but Minowa continues to be skeptical. Now Minowa must examine love while knowing the truth: that it is not a fairy tale.

Cloud Cult’s “Mini Woodstock on Wheels” show features performance artists, visual art, video and environmental activism. The music and performance artists will revolve around themes of truth, love and fantasy while booths will be set up concerning many environmental issues. Minowa believes there should be a “purpose outside of the art. You have a perfect opportunity to relay a message when everybody’s mind is wide open.”

“Mini Woodstock on Wheels” represents the most important messages Minowa has to offer and a continuing rebuilding of faith.