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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Reactions to Cloud Cult's "No One Said It Would Be Easy DVD screening

I've just returned from the Varsity Theater and a press screening of Cloud Cult's forthcoming DVD, No One Said It Would Be Easy.  The film is first rate, informational and moving.  All bands should be so lucky to have this sort of documentary/concert film made about them.

Perhaps the most memorable part of the film for me was Cloud Cult founder and front man Craig Minowa playing guitar outside at the farm where he lives with his wife, painter Connie Minowa. Antiqued film footage accompanyied the music for "Transistor Radio."  I hope this bit is released on its own as a music video.  It was absolutely mesmerizing.

Included below are more details from the press release, the video trailer, and the reactions of 3 local music lumanaries, Rich Horton of Rift Magazine, Bill Mike of the Bill Mike Band and Barb Abney of 89.3 the Current, as well as an excerpt from the introduction to the screening from director John Paul Burgess.

Rich Horton just before the screening.

John Paul Burgess introduces the film.

Mike Michaels reacts after the screening.

Barb Abney outside the Varsity after the screening.

More about the film from the official press release:

No One Said It Would Be Easy is an intimate, inside look into the origin and development of the ethereal and epic Cloud Cult. The film envelops viewers into the story and people behind Cloud Cult. Serving as both an introduction and introspection meant for newcomers to the music and fans of the band alike, the film explores the emotional and philosophical underpinnings on which Cloud Cult was founded and continues to operate, namely those of love and hope. Revealed through interviews with the band and fans, the artwork of Scott West, as well as never- before-seen tour footage, concerts and recording sessions, No One Said It Would Be Easy encapsulates the whole story and epic journey of the band, from the establishment of Earthology Records, a one-of-its kind eco-friendly label through which Cloud Cult self-releases albums and records from within a small, home-built studio run on geothermal energy, to the inclusion of live painters as full-time members of the band. 


Offering an annotated history behind each of Cloud Cult’s seven official full-length releases, the film deconstructs the back story, including the recruitment and inclusion of band members, as well as the tragic loss of singer / songwriter Craig Minowa and wife and visual artist Connie Minowa’s son, Kaidin—the impetus for much of the early music and ongoing inspiration surrounding Cloud Cult’s drive and mission to exude a message of hope and transformative love through performance and art. Echoing the emotional catharsis required of a Cloud Cult performance, the film ebbs and flows, is filled with soaring highs and crushing lows, and is about what happens when a group of people commits to something much larger than themselves. 


No One Said It Was Easy was directed by John Paul Burgess with collaboration from Scott West, the artist behind the film’s original, animated illustrations.