I last talked to Winona State University student Nick Elstad, guitarist and vocalist of the band Sleeping Jesus, almost a year ago.
He had just released an EP, "Perennial," and integrated it into his schoolwork as part of a capstone project for a degree in music business. He's now set to graduate this December.
Sleeping Jesus will be playing at Kathy's Pub on Saturday — the first show they've played in Rochester.
"I'm hoping we'll have quite a few friends come out, along with people who've heard of us over the last few months to just come hang out with us," Elstad said.
The other band members are drummer Tyler Steinley, bass player Ross Nixon and guitarist Chris Wehr. This spring they added a new member, Leah Nystuen on vocals.
"We are kind of in a reshaping stage right now, and adding some vocal harmonies in, and a lot of songwriting going on," Elstad said. "And then we are planning a double single release in December, and hopefully a full album in 2017." s
The CD release show the band played last year was the first they'd played as a band. Now they've had shows all over the Midwest. At the beginning of this month, Sleeping Jesus wrapped up a tour that had them playing in Chicago, Madison, Davenport, Iowa, and Minneapolis.
Elstad has been creating music for a long time. Self-taught on guitar, he actually started out on drums when he was in elementary school, really got into music in high school and played in a handful of bands. Then, about five years ago, he started writing his own music.
His band has been chosen as a top-10 finalist for The Current's "Music Exchange" contest, a cooperation with Manitoba Music-Winnepeg to swap two bands form each city.
"That's pretty exciting," Elstad said. "We made it past the submissions committtee and got picked as one of the finalists. We are currently in a public voting round, if we win, we would play a showcase in Minnesota and then another showcase a few weeks later in Canada." Voting is open until Sept. 5 at thecurrent.org.
If you are wondering about the story behind the band name, it came from Elstad's grandma. "That was a phrase that she said all the time," he said. "She owned her own restaurant, and people that she thought were kind of lazy, she gave that name to. I felt the music has a kind of lazy, dreamy feel to it, very relaxed and subdued, so I felt it just fit. Plus, it's kind of a shock or memorable to hear, so I like it for that value as well."
Get more on Nick at sleepingjesusmusic.com and make sure to check them out this Saturday at Kathy's!
Winge takes off
It's only been a little over eight months since she first came to our TV screens, but Minnesota native Katy Wingejust had her final day with Fox 47 and KTTC last week.
Originally from Eden Prairie, Winge went off to school in Illinois, where she played Division I basketball at Illinois state, then to a position as sports anchor on KXLT and delivering news and sports on KTTC.
She is now heading back to Illinois, this time to Northwestern University for her master's degree in sports broadcasting.
"It's the Medill School of Journalism, one of the best journalism schools in the country," she said. "They have a one-year sports journalism graduate program. I"m very fortunate, I still can't believe that I got it, but it's something that I've always wanted."
When I caught up with Winge, she was just arriving in Bristol, Conn., to shadow at ESPN for a few days. I spoke with her the night before her first day there.
"I'm really excited," she said. "It's a pretty cool opportunity that came about through grad school, so I got lucky. It's ESPN. I'm so lucky to be able to shadow some of the best people in this industry."
Though her time in Rochester was short, it was definitely quality time spent, she says.
"It was really sad to have to leave Rochester, I met so many incredible people in my short time there," Winge said. "It felt like I'd been there a lot longer. I jumped in quick and fit in so well so quickly that I felt like I'd known all of my friends and coworkers for so long, made such strong connections and relations both on the camera and behind the camera, it feels like I'm leaving my second family."