The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Minnesota-based band looking forward to third Eau Claire performance

Rock and roll meets professional wrestling. Pop meets a hippie. Classical meets Gwar.

These are a few of the ways the members of the band Moondawg choose to depict their particular brand of music. Eau Claire residents will have the opportunity Friday to decide for themselves how the eclectic sound of Moondawg can be described.

“We really have a diverse sound,” Moondawg guitarist/vocalist Jim Trouten said. “You’ll have to come to the show and pigeon-hole us yourself.”

The band will be playing at the Mousetrap Bar, 311 S. Barstow St., Friday at 10 p.m. Mousetrap owner Josh Prock said the band’s performance will be a 21-and-over show with no cover charge. He said the venue has a 99-person capacity.

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The Friday show will be the third time the band, based out of Winona (Minn.), has played the venue, Prock said. The band consists of Trouten, vocalist/guitarist Bryan Crigler, bassist Scott Lochner and drummer Al MacDonald. The band said they enjoyed their past visits to Eau Claire.

“Something about the beautiful people in Eau Claire,” Trouten said about the band’s return to the city. “Our girlfriends are jealous of our love for Eau Claire.”

The group, whose sound ranges from classic rock to jazz to pop, originally formed in November 2002. They changed their original lineup by adding Trouten in 2004 and MacDonald in 2006.

The band recorded and released their first album, titled AJAMA, in February 2005. In December 2005, they released “The Moondawg” EP, which they said outlines the evolution of their sound since their first album.

Moondawg attributes their diverse sound to their wide array of musical backgrounds. Trouten said MacDonald’s jazz and Latin musical roots and his own upbringings with classical music help create their style. He added Tool, NOFX, The Who and Phish as having given Moondawg influence for their music.

But the most important influence for the band comes from the members themselves, Trouten said.

“We’re influenced by each other and other friends (of the band) who play,” said Trouten.

Freshman Mark Miller considers himself a fan of Moondawg and their unique style.

“I’ve heard some of their stuff before,” Miller said, adding he discovered the band’s music on their Myspace page and quickly became a fan. “I’m looking forward to seeing them play live.”

That’s precisely the kind of reaction Moondawg has come to see after years of touring, Trouten said.

“We truly want to just play our music and make it better and better,” Trouten explained. “Hopefully people like it, and so far they have.”

Trouten invited more new-comers to check out the band this Friday.

“Please come on down and enjoy the music,” he said. “There are danceable beats and some loud-rockin’ tunes and even a sway-able ballad or two.”

The band is currently touring the Midwest and is working on a new album that is scheduled for release in the summer of 2007.

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