It's not entirely rare for musicians to have unusual onstage accompaniments. Rob Zombie, for one, surrounds himself with spooky, kitschy ornaments. During Candy Claws' set at MidPoint, a small tiger totem stood by the drumkit. Avail brings along Beau Beau, a guy whose official capacity is “Cheerleader.”
Cloud Cult has an interesting addition of their own. The Minnesota-bred Indie Pop band performs as two painters create original works next to them.
Typically taking inspiration from the day's events, the energy of the crowd or a certain person or scene, Scott West and Connie Minowa's paintings have become vital to a Cloud Cult show. Once a concert's over, the freshly completed works are auctioned off.
Cloud Cult aren't the first musicians to do this (Neil Young has also taken a live painter on tour), but what makes their practice notable is how Craig Minowa, singer and guitarist, makes the painters' inclusion sound very matter-of-fact, as if bringing them along was the only right thing to do. In an early incarnation of the band, West manned an instrument, but painting began to captivate him more than music and Cloud Cult reconfigured itself to keep him in the fold.
Cloud Cult play the 20th Century Theater Wednesday. Go here to read Reyan Ali's full interview with the duo and to get show and club details.