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 biodiesel van.
In the year 2002, shortly after the unexpected death of his two year old son Kaidin, Minowa wrote over a hundred songs to deal with the loss. Another Cloud Cult album came in the summer of 2002, titled Lost Songs from the Lost Years, a ten-year anthology of previously unreleased work from Minowa. They Live on the Sun was finished in 2003 and went to #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 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 has 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 says 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 2009 they played on aegean air greece adcertisment in tv channel.
In the spring of 2009 Cloud Cult released "No One Said It Would Be Easy" a full length documentary about the band.
At Coachella 2009 Craig revealed that Connie would not be performing because she was "not feeling well.... she's pregnant." They continue to tour and recently appeared for the second year straight at the "St Johns Block Party" outdoors in front of over 7,000 fans in Rochester Minnesota. There are several other upcoming dates set for the summer of 2009. Connie continues to perform while very pregnant.
The band has announced a break beginning August 23 for Connie and Craig's baby. They will resume playing regionally in late spring 2010 and nationally in fall 2010. 
- Craig Minowa - lead vocals, keyboard, guitar, FX
- Sarah Young - cello, vocals, keyboard
- Shannon Frid - violin
- Shawn Neary - bass, trombone, keyboard
- Arlen Peiffer - drums, percussion
The group also features painters who create images while the band is playing:
- Dan Greenwood - drums, vocals
- Theresa Hanley - violin
- Mara Stemm - bass, vocals
- Matthew Freed - bass, keyboard, percussion
- Kjersten DeGaia - visual artist
They have also used performance artists in the past:
- Lost Songs from the Lost Years (Limited Re-Release) (2009)
- Feel Good Ghosts (Tea-Partying Through Tornadoes) (2008)
- The Meaning of 8 (2007)
- Advice from the Happy Hippopotamus (June 2005)
- Aurora Borealis (January 2004)
- They Live on the Sun (July 2003)
- Lost Songs from the Lost Years (compilation)(2002)
- Who Killed Puck? (2000)
- Fable: Live Studio Recordings of the Shade Project (1999)
- The Shade Project (1995)
- Cloud Cult performs "Pretty Voice" live on 89.3 the Current
- Cloud Cult performs "Chain Reaction" live on 89.3 the Current
Related Web sites
- The Wapsipinicon: Shawn Neary writes, sings, plays guitar; Arlen Peiffer plays drums; Shannon Frid plays violin; Scott West has painted during performances and done album artwork.
- Seymore Saves the World: Shawn Neary plays bass and sings.
- Caroline Smith and the Good Night Sleeps: Arlen Peiffer plays drums. Chosen as one of the best new Minneapolis bands of 2008.
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