CLOUD CULT | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Finally, after nearly a dozen years and seven albums, this Minneapolis entity is nearing an exposure level the Arcade Fire--a not entirely dissimilar band--seemed to reach in about ten minutes. But leader Craig Minowa has chosen his own circuitous, borderline obsessive path--one that's required him, for instance, to plant trees and buy wind-power credits to offset the energy used in recording and touring. Early on Minowa's activist lyrics were a bit too stridently concrete for his fragile psych-pop to support, but gradually he's found balance: his vision has grown more mystical, while his production style has gotten more rigorously detailed. (I won't speculate too long on how the sudden death of his two-year-old son in 2002 affected his move toward spirituality, but it hardly seems negligible.) Cloud Cult's new The Meaning of 8 (on the group's own Earthology label) takes to the air bumblebee-style, a long record supporting its improbable weight on wobbly wings. And yet: it flies. Light Pollution and Roommate open. a 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $8.

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