Tag Archives: beatles

Cloud Cult

I attended a wedding a few weeks ago where I made a promise to write, once again, about one of the greatest bands that you’ve probably never listened to.  This band is Cloud Cult and they don’t get nearly the amount of attention, money, or acclaim that they deserve.  Part of this general malaise most likely stems from the fact that they self publish their albums on Earthology Records which was founded by lead singer Craig Minowa in 1997.  Although college radio stations and critics seem to find much to like about this group from Minneapolis more often than not people I have the privilege of meeting in person invariably have never heard of them.

My love for Cloud Cult began while I was living overseas and was mailed mix albums by an old college friend.  One such album contained the track Pretty Voice from their 2007 album The Meaning of 8 (amazon) (itunes).  Instantaneously I was hooked.  The layered vocals, the slow build, and the energy and narrative in this one song seemed to be tailor made to make me pay attention.  The Meaning of 8 has a haunting quality smothered in beauty, discovery, and joy that has proven to be timeless in appeal.

mp3 : Cloud Cult – Pretty Voice

From there I took a small step back in time and I found the rougher, raw gemstone that is their 2005 release Advice From The Happy Hippopotamus (amazon) (itunes).  Although this album doesn’t have the melodies and polish of their later efforts the songwriting and energy are just as apparent this effort as those that were still to come.

mp3 : Cloud Cult – Transistor Radio

At this point in my life it was still 2007 and I was already hooked deeply on anything I could find by Cloud Cult.  I was routinely putting them in compilations and featuring them on Best of the Year lists.  When their 2008 album was released, Feel Good Ghosts (Tea Partying Through Tornadoes) (amazon) (itunes) it seemed that their musical abilities had matured at the same pace as my musical taste.  This album is immaculate from start to finish and contains some wonderful lyrical vignettes.  I was also helped along during this time by being blessed with a live show that took place a mere 25 miles from my home at the time.  I was blown away during their set with the energy and personable nature with which the band took the stage.  And I was not prepared to watch two people paint, on stage, throughout the set.  If I could have afforded the post show auction for the artwork I most definitely would have walked home with a painting (the art auction profits helps finance their live tours).

mp3 : Cloud Cult – No One Said It Would Be Easy
mp3 : Cloud Cult – Journey of the Featherless

In 2010 the band released an EP entitled Running With the Wolves in which they proved that a group of modern musicians can take a masterful song from the likes of Bob Dylan and translate it enough that it becomes their own.  They still play this song live and it is wonderful to hear.

mp3 : Cloud Cult – Tamborine Man (Bob Dylan Cover)

Their most recent studio album was released in autumn of 2010 (although they will have a new album out later this year).  Again Cloud Cult did not disappoint.  With the album Light Chasers (amazon) (itunes) the band creates a single narrative piece that is woven throughout all sixteen tracks.  Although some artists would label this a gimmick “concept album” or some other classification I think this album transcends that identity.  Yes there is a meta story going on throughout the album, but each track both furthers that narrative while presenting its own individual identity.  In the end you’re left with a great album that encourages a listener to enjoy the full experience of listening to all of the tracks from start to finish (an increasingly rare attempt in the day of digital single song downloads).

mp3 : Cloud Cult – The Lessons – Exploding People
mp3 : Cloud Cult – The Arrival – There’s So Much Energy In Us

And just recently, as a bonus for those of us who check their website routinely (hoping they will play another show near our home) they posted a masterful cover of the Beatles.

mp3 : Cloud Cult – Help (Beatles Cover)

I still stand by my assertion that Cloud Cult is one of the greatest bands that you’ve never heard of.  They are under appreciated and undoubtedly underpaid.  It’s bands like this that inspire me to write again on this aging blog.  It’s bands like this that deserve to still be written about.

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Cloud Cult covers The Beatles

A charity project organized by Vega Productions has a slew of artists covering classic Beatles tracks.  You can buy the entire compilation, Minnesota Beatle Project Vol. 3, on their website.  One of my favorite artists, Cloud Cult, covered the Beatles classic song Help.  It’s recognizable as the original, but  it is also entirely a Cloud Cult concoction.   Quite simply, it is a great cover.

mp3 : Cloud Cult – Help (Beatles Cover)

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Wedding Music vol 08 : Reception

I have been married almost a full year now (almost) and yet I’m only half way through the reception portion of my wedding music.  In lieu of that, and an impending anniversary, I thought it would be best to dump a lot more on you in one batch instead of doling out four measly tracks at a time.

For those just joining these fair proceedings this is the list of songs that I played at my wedding.  If you’d like to see all the posts with all of the songs posted so far simply follow the link.  This continues the track list for songs played during cocktails and dinner.

mp3 : Jon McLaughlin – Indiana
mp3 : Sufjan Stevens – Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, IL
mp3 : Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers – Learning To Fly
mp3 : The Strokes – I’ll Try Anything Once (You Only Live Once Demo)
mp3 : Dooley Wilson/Warner Brothers Orchestra – It Had To Be You/Shine
mp3 : Josh Garrels – Going Home
mp3 : Bob Dylan – The Times They Are A-Changin’
mp3 : Josh Ritter – The Curse
mp3 : The Beatles – Eleanor Rigby

Enjoy the music.  I still can’t believe my wife let me have carte blanche when it came to the dinner portion of music.

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Wedding Music vol 01 : Ceremony

I have now been married almost four months. And as evidence that married life directly affects the amount of free time a person has I submit this blog post. It has been four months and I am just now getting around to posting the music that I played at my wedding.

As with almost every decision that surrounds a wedding (and a healthy marriage) a great deal of compromise went into this list of songs. At certain points in the list (and I will make sure to point them out) I was given free reign over the music we selected. At other (most) points, it was a compromise between my wife and I and as such not every carefully selected track will seamlessly fit into the pages of The World Forgot. Such is life.

This will be a series of posts. Possibly taking most of this month to finish. Most of this series will involve more music and less words. Get excited.

Before the ceremony, while the guests were being seated, we decided that we wanted to play some background music. These are the six songs that were chosen (mostly by my wife).

mp3 : Alexi Murdoch – Orange Sky
mp3 : Shawn McDonald – Beautiful
mp3 : The Beatles – Let It Be
mp3 : Israel K – Somewhere Over the Rainbow
mp3 : Lior – This Old Love
mp3 : Peter Gabriel – Book of Love

You can argue in the comments as to which songs I was thrilled about and as to which songs I went along with because I love my wife and I wanted her to be happy. You can read the entire series here.

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Zach Williams, Josh Moore, Anthony Raneri, Dustin Kensrue, Aaron Gillespie, and Jon Foreman cover The Beatles

A few months back a musician I admire and utmost respect for contacted me to say that he was going to be playing a show hosted by the group To Write Love On Her Arms.  I didn’t really think much of it at the time, largely due to the fact that I wasn’t able to physically attend the show, but I was very excited to hear that my friend Zach Williams was finally getting a little recognition.

For those of you who have missed out I honestly think Zach Williams has a brilliant career ahead of him as a singer and songwriter.  His stories are intimate and classic and his style feels effortless.  Undoubtedly he puts a lot of thought, life, sweat, and tears into each of his creations and at the end of the day his art is better for it.  There have recently been rumours that Zach is possibly working on releasing a proper album and I must add that that upcoming day cannot come soon enough.  For now, I presume, we will try and remain content with what little offerings we can find.

mp3 : Zach Williams, Josh Moore, Anthony Raneri, Dustin Kensrue, Aaron Gillespie, Jon Foreman – With A Little Help From My Friends (Beatles Cover)

If you’ve listened to anything by Zach before you’ll easily be able to hear his voice on this track.  I’m glad he was able to play with a great group or artists and I’m proud that they, in turn, played with him.

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BOTR vol 08

Well another month has come and gone.  Another thirty or so odd days and another slew of blog posts, emails, and other various forms of communication have brought to my attention enough new tracks to compile a new volume of Best of the Remix.  For those of you who are new here let me explain a bit.  Each month I compile two separate lists here on The World Forgot.  One list contains the thirteen best remixes I’ve heard in the previous month {BOTR}.  The other list which usually appears around this time of the month is a mix of the best tracks I’ve heard which aren’t classified as remixes {BOTM}.  Today I bring to you volume 8 of the series.  Enjoy the music.

All the tracks in one zip file : here {zshare = left click}

mp3 : Black Kids – I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boy Friend How To Dance With You (The Twelves Remix)
Easily one of the best remixes I’ve heard yet this year.  The original track is already outstanding, but this remix takes the song to new heights.  Such great heights even.  Simple brilliance.

mp3 : Britney Spears – Gimme More (Gordon Gonzola Remix)
If more of Brit’s original tracks were this beefed up I’m sure her career wouldn’t be so much in the crapper as of late.  This remix pops and adds just the right amount of edge to little Ms. Spears.

mp3 : Digitalism – Pogo (CSS Remix)
This remix goes in a different direction from the first two tracks.  Where they were bass heavy this remix is loopy, psychedelic, and pop infused.  It’s a different tack on the standard remix and I like it.

mp3 : Katy Perry – I Kissed a Girl (Mr Gaspar Remix)
Does anyone remember the sensationalism that surrounded the old group tATu?  I doubt it.  Do you think anyone will remember Katy Perry after the bounce/scandal apparent in this song wears off?  I doubt it.  At least we have the remix.

mp3 : KylieMinogue – Wow (CSS Remix)
Kylie was awesome when she was playing the part of a {hot} scientist in Biodome.  Since then she’s gone on to make a name for herself in the pop world.  And to be honest the remixes of her tracks have been brilliant as well.

mp3 : Metro Station – Control (Steve Aoki Remix)
This remix by Steve Aoki takes this little ditty by Metro Station and freaks it out, gives it some amphetamines, and leaves the listener slightly more ADD than they were before.

mp3 : Metro Station – Wish We Were Older (Phrenzy Remix)
This track is a bit different than the remix of Control.  It would fit more in line with Thin White Duke’s remix of The Killers and less in the ADD category of glitchy technological remixes.  Classic.

mp3 : MGMT – Electric Feel (James Rutledge Remix)
Is there any remix master out there who has yet to weigh in on this track by MGMT?  I reckon we’re approaching full saturation for Electric Feel, but month after month I stumble upon yet another great remix.

mp3 : MGMT vs Justice – Kids Are Your Friends (Japattack Pitbull Remix)
Ok, this is one remix/mashup that I’m not entirely sure about.  In fact I don’t really know what the heck is going on for most of the five minutes.  MGMT is definitely apparent {or at least their keyboard melody}, but as for the rest of it, well, it’s a remix.  And there’s some Ying Yang lyrics thrown in as well.

mp3 : MSTRKRFT – Easy Love (Hydroz Remix)
MSTRKRFT comes in a close third as the most remixed band currently on the market {only being beat out by Daft Punk and MGMT}.  This remix is a clean slice of synth and drum kit, and I like it.

mp3 : Santogold, MIA, and Gorilla Zoe – Get it Up (Radioclit Remix)
This is an excellent mashup/remix.  Excellent.  And although the entire song is well done the absolute best moment takes place over the first ten seconds as sound effects from Street Fighter {notably Ryu’s “hadou-ken” and “tatsumaki-senpuu-kyaku”} are mixed with police sirens.  Brilliant indeed {and kudos to any nerds who recognized these sound effects along with me}.

mp3 : The Beatles – Eleanor Rigby (Soulwax Remix)
My favorite Beatles song gets a little rework from Soulwax.  Granted this remix only uses the instrumental parts of Eleanor Rigby, but it’s still a great remix.  Definitely worth a listen.

mp3 : Tiga – Sunglasses At Night (Yuksek & Brodinski Remix)
Why there haven’t been more covers of this Corey Hart classic is beyond me.  Wakey!Wakey! could probably smash this hit out of the block.  Until then we’ll just have to make do with this remix of a cover.

mp3 : Snoop Dogg – Drop it Like it’s Hot (dAta Remix)
Normally I stop at thirteen tracks for the Best of the Remix series.  Today I’m feeling generous, and a little nostalgic for when Snoop was one of the kings of hip hop, so I decided to give a fourteenth track this month just to honor the D oh double g.

That is all kids.  Next month I’ll make sure to have another thirteen tracks for your listening pleasure.  Enjoy the music.  Tell your friends.

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