You Were Born ~ Cloud Cult

Bullshit

eggCloud Cult is an experimental indie rock band from Duluth, Minnesota led by singer/songwriter Craig Minowa. The name originated from the ancient prophecies of indigenous North Americans.

Cloud Cult developed in 1995 as Craig Minowa recruited several other artists to contribute to his solo recordings. The band’s early work earned Cloud Cult several offers from record labels, but all were rejected in favor of self-publishing. As they began to play live, one of their show’s most distinctive features was the live painting by Connie Minowa and Scott West: over the course of a show they each completed a painting to be auctioned off at the end.

In 1997, lead singer Craig Minowa formed Earthology Records on his organic farm, powered by geothermal energy and built partially from reclaimed wood and recycled plastic. This nonprofit label uses only recycled materials and donates all profits to environmental charities. The band also tours in a bio diesel van.

In 2002, shortly after the unexpected death of his two year old son Kaidin, Minowa wrote songs to deal with the loss. They Live on the Sun was finished in 2003 and went to No. 1 on college radio station charts across the country. In January 2004, Cloud Cult added Mara Stemm on bass and released Aurora Borealis just six months later. The album was nominated by the Minnesota Music Awards as “Album of the Year” along with Prince and Paul Westerberg. With a van covered in solar panels, the band began touring nationally. In 2006 Cloud Cult released Advice from the Happy Hippopotamus, which Pitchfork Media called “insane genius” and rated the album with an 8.3. The Denver Post ranked the 2007 release The Meaning of 8 as one of the top ten albums of the past decade, along with bands like Modest Mouse, The Flaming Lips and Radiohead.

Cloud Cult released a new album entitled Feel Good Ghosts (Tea-Partying Through Tornadoes) on April 8, 2008. The album was recorded and produced at Minowa’s small organic farm in Northern Minnesota. “The place is so far out in the boonies, you can barely find it, because it’s not on the maps,” said Dan Montalto, an MTV Producer who brought a camera crew to the farm to film a short MTV feature on the band.

Craig said that this might be the final Cloud Cult album: “I don’t think there’s going to be another Cloud Cult album for a while. It could be never, I don’t know.” The band’s website said that “the band plans to take a short respite to focus on family in the latter part of 2008 and into 2009.” In October 2008, Cloud Cult was featured in an animated Esurance commercial. The band is shown playing the song “Lucky Today” while floating on clouds. This and other songs are available for free downloads on the Esurance website.

In the spring of 2009, Cloud Cult released “No One Said It Would Be Easy” a full length documentary about the band, on DVD. The film was later released as a direct download.

At Coachella 2009, Craig revealed that Connie would not be performing because she was “not feeling well…. she’s pregnant.” They continued to tour and appeared for the second year straight at the “St Johns Block Party” outdoors in front of over 7,000 fans in Rochester, Minnesota.

The band announced a break beginning August 23, 2009 for Connie and Craig’s baby. They resumed playing regionally in late spring 2010 and nationally in fall 2010.

In the spring of 2010, Cloud Cult became a contributing artist to Think Out Loud, a compilation album serving the homeless in the Twin Cities.In early 2010, the band announced that it would release a new album entitled Light Chasers, with the intended release date being September 14, 2010. Despite these plans, the album in its entirety leaked to the internet in early July 2010. The lead single for the album, “Running With The Wolves” was released in April 2010 and received local and national radio play. The band toured nationally in support of the album.

In spring 2011, Cloud Cult music was featured in a commercial on BBC America for Petrobras,  a Brazilian energy company.

In summer 2011, Cloud Cult played at the St. John’s Block Party in Rochester, MN; the first band to play three times at the St. John’s Block Party. There Craig announced he and Connie were expecting.

On May 4, 2012 after an 8 month hiatus, Cloud Cult announced a surprise show at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls campus, about 40 minutes away from the Twin Cities. This was the start of a stream of shows following the birth of Craig and Connie’s baby. Another Cloud Cult album came in the summer of 2012, titled Lost Songs from the Lost Years, a ten-year anthology of previously unreleased work from Minowa.

On April 25, 2012 on their Facebook Cloud Cult said, “Working on the new album. About 9 songs in so far…”

Their song, You Were Born, was played on the How I Met Your Mother Season 7, Part 1 Finale.

On April 25, 2012 Cloud Cult said, “Working on the new album. About 9 songs in so far…”

On October 1, 2012 they said, “We’ve been hammering on the new album for a couple of years now, but we’re getting to the final phases of recording the project.”

November 17, 2012 Cloud Cult said, “Thanks to Greg Calbi for mastering Cloud Cult’s new full length album this week out in NYC. The album is now finished, and this final touch is exactly what it needed.”

One new song is called, “Good Good Friend” that will be on the new album. The lyrics go, “We are not broken ones, just shattered pieces of the same bright sun, trying to figure out which way to run and we can’t do this alone”.

On December 7, Cloud Cult announced that their ninth studio album, ‘Love,’ would be released on March 5, 2013. In addition to this announcement, the band also premiered a video for the first single from the album, ‘All the Things We Couldn’t See,’ which will be the 5th track on the 13-song album.

You Were Born

Also known as “The Baby – You Were Born”,  it is the fifth track on Cloud Cult’s Light Chasers album released in 2010.

[jwplayer mediaid=”14319″]

The Baby – You Were Born – Craig Minowa

You were born into a strange world.
Like a candle, you were meant to share the fire.
I don’t know where we come from, and I don’t know where we go.
But my arms were made to hold you, so I will never let you go.
Cuz you were born to change this life.
You were born to chase the light.
You were born…

Love your mother, yeah she’s a good one.
She’ll build you armor; keep you warm as a hen.
The stars may fall and the rains may pour,
But I will love you evermore.
You were born to make this right.
You were born to chase the light.
You were born…

Oh my precious, oh my love, when they come to take me,
I will hold you from above.
I don’t know why we’re here, and I don’t know how,
But I’m here with you now, I am here with you now.
Cuz you were born to change this life.
Cuz you were born to make this right.
Cuz you were born to chase the light.

[mp3t track=”You Were Born@cloud-cult-you-were-born.mp3″ caption=”by Cloud Cult” ind=”n” vol=”100″ style=”bigger3″ bold=”n”]

  • Audio from the 2010 album, Light Chasers:

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Purchase-Music The Baby – You Were Born – $0.99

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The Egg Theory

By Andy Weir

eggYou were on your way home when you died.

It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.

And that’s when you met me.

“What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”

“You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.

“There was a… a truck and it was skidding…”

“Yup,” I said.

“I… I died?”

“Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.

You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”

“More or less,” I said.

“Are you god?” You asked.

“Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.”

“My kids… my wife,” you said.

“What about them?”

“Will they be all right?”

“That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.”

You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.

“Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”

“Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”

“Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”

“Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right,”

“All religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.”

You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?”

“Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.”

“So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”

“Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.”

I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had.

“You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.”

“How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”

“Oh lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”

“Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”

“Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”

“Where you come from?” You said.

“Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.”

“Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”

“Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”

“So what’s the point of it all?”

“Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”

“Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted.

I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”

“You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”

“No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.”

“Just me? What about everyone else?”

“There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”

You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”

“All you. Different incarnations of you.”

“Wait. I’m everyone!?”

“Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.

“I’m every human being who ever lived?”

“Or who will ever live, yes.”

“I’m Abraham Lincoln?”

“And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added.

“I’m Hitler?” You said, appalled.

“And you’re the millions he killed.”

“I’m Jesus?”

“And you’re everyone who followed him.”

You fell silent.

“Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”

You thought for a long time.

“Why?” You asked me. “Why do all this?”

“Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”

“Whoa,” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”

“No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”

“So the whole universe,” you said, “it’s just…”

“An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.”

And I sent you on your way.

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Baker Street ~ Gerry Rafferty

gerry-raffertyGerry Rafferty is a Scottish singer and songwriter. He is the son of a Scottish mother and an Irish father.

In his early years, Gerry Rafferty earned money by the formerly illegal practice of busking on the London Underground. Poetically, his biggest hit “Baker Street” was about busking at a tube station. After working with Billy Connolly (now better known as a comedian) in a band called the Humblebums, he recorded a first solo album, Can I Have My Money Back. In 1972 Rafferty and his old school friend Joe Egan formed Stealers Wheel, a group beset by legal wranglings but which did have a huge hit “Stuck in the Middle With You” (made famous for a new generation in the movie Reservoir Dogs) and the smaller top 40 hit “Star” ten months later. The duo disbanded in 1975.

In 1978, Rafferty cut a solo album, City to City, which included the song with which he remains most identified, “Baker Street”. The single reached No. 3 in the UK and No. 2 in the U.S. The album sold over 5.5 million copies, toppling the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack in the U.S. on 8 July 1978, while “Baker Street” remains a mainstay of radio airplay. It was his first release following the legal battles surrounding the separation of the band Stealers Wheel. Rafferty was supposedly banned from the recording studio after the 1975 break up for a period of three years while the lawyers ironed out the disputes with the band’s recording contract remaining obligations.

Baker Street

Named after the famous London street of the same name, the song was included on Rafferty’s second solo album, City to City, which was Rafferty’s first release after the resolution of legal problems surrounding the formal break-up of his old band, Stealers Wheel, in 1975. In the intervening three years, Rafferty had been unable to release any material due to disputes about the band’s remaining contractual recording obligations.

Rafferty wrote the song during a period when he was trying to extricate himself from his Stealers Wheel contracts, and was regularly traveling between his family home near Glasgow and London, where he often stayed at a friend’s flat in Baker Street. As Rafferty put it, “everybody was suing each other, so I spent a lot of time on the overnight train from Glasgow to London for meetings with lawyers. I knew a guy who lived in a little flat off Baker Street. We’d sit and chat or play guitar there through the night.” The resolution of his legal and financial frustrations accounted for the exhilaration of the song’s last verse: “When you wake up it’s a new morning/ The sun is shining, it’s a new morning/ You’re going, you’re going home.” Rafferty’s daughter Martha has said the book that inspired the song more than any other was Colin Wilson’s The Outsider. Rafferty was reading the book, which explores ideas of alienation and of creativity, born out of a longing to be connected, at this time of traveling between Glasgow and London.

Some interesting facts about this song:

Raphael Ravenscroft, who has died aged 60, received only £27 (or $43.35 in today’s exchange) for his great saxophone solo on Gerry Rafferty’s song Baker Street – and the check bounced.

Baker Street, Gerry Rafferty’s masterpiece from the album City To City, sold more than four million copies worldwide and hung on to the number two spot in the US Billboard Chart for six weeks in 1978.

More than 30 years later, the song was still earning Rafferty, who died in January 2011, royalties of nearly £80,000 per year.

The distinctive saxophone riff was the subject in Britain of an urban myth created in the Eighties by writer and broadcaster Stuart Maconie.

As a spoof contrived for the ‘Would You Believe It?’ column in The New Musical Express, Maconie claimed that the late Bob Holness – bespectacled presenter of TV gameshow Blockbusters – had played the saxophone solo on the recording.

The myth spread and Maconie said in 2011: “My personal and silly part in a sad story is that as an NME writer I invented the urban myth claiming that Bob played the sax solo on Gerry’s 1978 hit Baker Street. That’s not true. What is, is that Gerry’s enigmatic, wry songcraft and his way with a nagging melody made him a reluctant star in successive eras of Seventies pop.”

In fact, the solo was played by Scottish musician Raphael Ravenscroft, who was in the studio to record a brief soprano saxophone part and, when he heard that the guitarist would not be available to play the solo, suggested that Rafferty record it using the alto saxophone he had in his car. Ravenscroft died on Octopber 19, 2014 following a suspected heart attack.

Rafferty later said that he composed the saxophone melody but Ravenscroft – the author of The Complete Saxophone Player and a former tutor of music at York College – claimed he was presented with a song that contained “several gaps”.

Ravenscroft said: “In fact, most of what I played was an old blues riff. If you’re asking me: ‘Did Gerry hand me a piece of music to play?’ then no, he didn’t.”

Ravenscroft’s fee was, reportedly, a check for £27, which he said bounced anyway and was framed and hung on his solicitor’s wall. He received no further payment for his session-playing, adding: “If I had received pots of money, I wouldn’t have known what to do. It might have destroyed me.”

Former busker Rafferty said the legal problems following his acrimonious departure from Stealer’s Wheel helped him write Baker Street, which featured the lyrics:

He’s got this dream about buyin’ some land
He’s gonna give up the booze and the one night stands
And then he’ll settle down, there’s a quiet little town
And forget about everything

Rafferty said: “Everybody was suing each other, so I spent a lot of time on the overnight train from Glasgow to London for meetings with lawyers. I knew a guy who lived in a little flat off Baker Street. We’d sit and chat or play guitar there through the night.”

The original album version is 6:01 minutes long. The single version released in America is 4:08 minutes long with an accelerated tempo to suit commercial radio time needs.

In 1992, Undercover reached number 2 in the UK charts with a cover of the song. Cover versions have also been recorded by Foo Fighters, Waylon Jennings, Rick Springfield, The Shadows, Livingston Taylor, Maynard Ferguson, The London Symphony Orchestra and Ali Campbell.

The song was performed at the end of The Simpsons episode Lisa’s Sax, when Homer’s daughter receives a new saxophone.
Movie director Gus Van Sant used the song for a key scene in Good Will Hunting.

In 2011, Ravenscroft recorded a tribute for Rafferty’s funeral, called Forgiveness, which blended his saxophone with the voices of Grammy-nominated choir Tenebrae. He also said that year that hearing Baker Street still annoyed him. He said: “I’m irritated because it’s out of tune. Yeah, it’s flat. By enough of a degree that it irritates me at best.”

[jwplayer mediaid=”14306″]

Baker Street Gerry Rafferty

Winding your way down on Baker Street
Light in your head and dead on your feet
Well, another crazy day
You’ll drink the night away
And forget about everything
This city desert makes you feel so cold
It’s got so many people, but it’s got no soul
And it’s taken you so long
To find out you were wrong
When you thought it held everything

You used to think that it was so easy
You used to say that it was so easy
But you’re trying, you’re trying now
Another year and then you’d be happy
Just one more year and then you’d be happy
But you’re crying, you’re crying now

Way down the street there’s a light in his place
He opens the door, he’s got that look on his face
And he asks you where you’ve been
You tell him who you’ve seen
And you talk about anything
He’s got this dream about buying some land
He’s gonna give up the booze and the one-night stands
And then he’ll settle down
In some quiet little town
And forget about everything

But you know he’ll always keep moving
You know he’s never gonna stop moving
‘Cause he’s rolling, he’s the rolling stone
And when you wake up, it’s a new morning
The sun is shining, it’s a new morning
And you’re going, you’re going home

[mp3t track=”Baker Street@gerry-rafferty-baker-street.mp3″ caption=”by Gerry Rafferty” ind=”n” vol=”100″ style=”bigger3″ bold=”n”]

  • Audio from the 1978 album, City to City:

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Purchase-Music Album Only – $9.49

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