Every so often Philadelphia’s bastion of NPR-ness (World Café Live) and DIYest (R5 Productions), come together to put on an event that is both culturally refined (I have no idea what that means, but I feel like people who listen to NPR would think it’s a good thing) and pretentiously hip (and I mean that in the sweetest possible way). This Thursday, 5/26, such sentiments are surely to overflow as Cloud Cult take the stage at World Café Live.
For those who don’t know, Cloud Cult is the primary musical project of Craig Minowa, head of Earthology Records and pretty much Guy Debord as an environmentalist. When he’s not on his organic Minnesota farm (powered by geothermal energy), attempting to green up the music world as much as possible through 100% postconsumer recycled CD packaging and certified organic merch (whose profit goes to charity!), he and the rest of his 7-piece (at least that’s how many there were the last I checked) band are traveling across the country in a biodiesel van and putting on organic indie spectacles that consist of live painters, video work, and performance artists… maybe they’re more like KISS as an artist collective (… not that there wasn’t some great, shared, political ideology of Space Ace, The Demon, Starchild, and The Catman…).
Oh yeah, and then there’s the music. Aside from being an art rock band in possibly the most literal sense of the phrase of all-time, their sound is something along the lines of postmodern, space age, folky indie pop. It’s progressively organic and electronically-anti-pretty-much-everything-associated-with-the-phrase-“electronic.” I would say it’s something that needs to be experienced to be understood but, like the work of William S. Burroughs and David Lynch, there’s a good chance that even after experiencing it you won’t entirely understand it… but that doesn’t mean that it won’t rock your socks.