Poi Dog Pondering

The Best of the Austin Years (Sony Legacy)

Phases and Stages

Poi Dog Pondering

The Best of the Austin Years (Sony Legacy)

Since their Hawaiian genesis two decades ago, Poi Dog Pondering's had one goal: to make "soul-buoyant" music. Mission accomplished. After busking through the mainland in the late Eighties, the multihued acoustic orchestra settled in Austin. Columbia put out the group's first three LPs – their eponymous debut, Wishing Like a Mountain and Thinking Like the Sea, and Volo Volo – before the label deal soured and the major-key collective moved to Chicago in 1992. Poi's lineup and instrumentation have since changed, but they remain vibrant, recently besting some Windy City attendance records. The Austin Years aims to capture Poi's springtime, their bubbling optimism energized by River City's deep well of talent (Adam Sultan, Abra Moore, et al.). Many early hits appear: "The Watermelon Song," New Order's "Love Vigilantes," and "Get Me On," and they hold up well over time. Yet record label mismanagement exists in the previously unreleased mixes of "Everybody's Trying" and "Bury Me Deep," which are virtually indistinguishable from their earlier incarnations. And where's "Lackluster," which, along with several band members, made its debut in Slacker? Poi's Austin tenure: fine idea, pale execution.

**

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Review: Holy Wave, <i>Five of Cups</i>
Review: Holy Wave, Five of Cups
Five of Cups (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Sept. 1, 2023

Review: The Bright Light Social Hour, <i>Emergency Leisure</i>
Review: The Bright Light Social Hour, Emergency Leisure
Emergency Leisure (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Aug. 4, 2023

More by David Lynch
Rock & Roll Summer Reading
How Can I Keep From Singing?: The Ballad of Pete Seeger

May 30, 2008

Texas Platters
That Damned Band
999 Surreal Eyes (Record Review)

Feb. 15, 2008

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle