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Poi Dog Pondering

Thursday, July 17; Blueberry Hill's Duck Room


"Eclectic" is a lousy word to describe a band. It implies that the band defies definition, and if that is indeed the case, what the hell are we talking about? Beware music articles that use the word "eclectic."

Poi Dog Pondering is an eclectic band. In this case, the word refers to a band with a wily fluctuating roster (only vocalist/guitarist Frank Orrell, vocalist/violinist Susan Voelz and multi-instrumentalist Dave Crawford have been with the band since its inception in 1986) and an even more wild selection of instruments (you name it, they've played it). Really, though, PDP isn't all that eclectic. There are plenty of things you won't get at a Poi Dog Pondering show: gangsta rap, Mötörhead covers, mosh pits. On the other hand, you're pretty much guaranteed upbeat melodies, nonthreatening pop and lots of Caucasian-friendly dance numbers.

Another annoying word used to describe PDP is "world beat," which basically means that their rhythm section is as eclectic as the rest of the band. Recent years have seen PDP experimenting with electronic beats, pitting them against more characteristic Pacific rhythms with mixed results. It is possible to be too damn eclectic.