#BestNewBands profile: Fraea

Don’t miss dreamy shadow-pop duo @fraeafraea, one of our Best New Bands of 2016, in the Mainroom on Wednesday, January 18. Tickets available at first-avenue.com.

Flip Phone XXL: Get to Know Flip Phone

We’re hosting not one but TWO Flip Phone parties in the Mainroom in the coming weeks. Nasty Woman: Night b4 Inauguration happens next Thursday, January 19, and Flip Phone XXL ft. The Very Best of Flip Phone is on Friday, February 3. Ahead of these nights, DJ Fancy Restaurant of Flip Phone tells us a little more about the XXL parties. 

First Avenue: What make Flip Phone XXL parties different than other Flip Phone events? 

DJ Fancy Restaurant: These parties are definitely bigger! Everything is larger at XXL. The crowds. The drag acts. The sound system. The visuals. It’s like taking one of our smaller parties and multiplying it by five. There really is never a dull moment. 

FA: Is there a specific theme or musical inspiration that guides each XXL bash? Or is it a mash-up? 

FR: We take our most popular Flip Phone tribute parties and combine them to make one big bash. The artists we highlight make some of the best dance pop music out there. We like to pair them together to make a night of unstoppable diva hits. 

FA: What is your favorite part of throwing XXL parties? 

FR: The crowds! We get a great mix of all different types of people who want to come out and dance. they are fierce and fun! We created Flip Phone because we wanted to create a dance party with non-stop jams. If you come to an XXL, get ready to move.

#BestNewBands profile: Colin Campbell & The Shackletons

Catch Colin Campbell & The Shackletons (and many more) at First Avenue’s Best New Bands of 2016 on Wednesday! Tickets are still available at first-avenue.com.

Best New Bands of 2016 - Get to Know The Bands: Sleeping Jesus

Ahead of this year’s Best New Bands showcase in the Mainroom on January 18, we’re getting to know some of the bands performing that night. Here, we ask Nick Elstad of Sleeping Jesus a few questions. 

By Emily Hoar

Emily Hoar: You’re from Winona, MN…which has kind of a twin cities vibe with La Crosse, WI. Can you tell us a little bit more about what the music scene is like over there? What do you like? What would you change? 

Nick Elstad (Sleeping Jesus): I am from Winona! Winona has a really tight knit music scene, everybody is so lovingly supportive. There are so many great festivals that happen throughout the year that bring in musicians from across the nation. Folk and bluegrass are very much adored in the area but there is a love for all styles. I hope more and more college students decide to choose Winona as their place to create. It would be so great to see Winona’s scene become more and more diverse, which I think is happening now! It’s so exciting! 

EH: How long have you been the Booking Manager at Midwest Music Festival? Has that exposure to a variety of artists influenced your music in any way? 

NE: As I mentioned before, Mid West Music Fest is one of the great festivals in Winona. I have been working with the fest for the past few years but have been a fan since I moved to the city in 2011. I owe so much to the festival and those who have continued to build it. The diversity of the fest opened me up to some of my favorite acts. I saw Tapes n’ Tapes, Halloween Alaska, Zoo Animal, Carroll, and so many other amazing acts from the Twin Cities through the years. It has been so humbling to work for the fest. And now it is surreal for me to get to share the stage with so many amazing groups for the show at First Avenue. I feel so honored that we are apart of it, Minneapolis continues to feel like another home to me. 

EH: Who do you look to for an honest review of your work? 

NE: Leah, my partner, who also sings in Sleeping Jesus, is the one who always gets to hear the rough takes and trials. I love how honest she is, she isn’t afraid to say “I don’t like it” or “not my favorite”. It saves me a lot of time, as I can find my self dwelling on different versions of songs and melodies for months at a time. I still do plenty of dwelling though!



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