Blaming Panda Bear for chillwave is like blaming Faith No More for Limp Bizkit. The cuddly mush-merchant truly had the best intentions in 2007 when he released Person Pitch, an album of ultra-reverby, suffocatingly smushy, harmony-soaked comfort music so thick that it came packaged with a list of more than 100 artists that inspired it (though the most important names are still Beach Boys, Spacemen 3, and Ariel Pink). Follow-up Tomboy adds a funky-ish layer of rhythm that sounds like the “Impeach The President” break underwater, managing to still set Panda apart in a time when even Billboard-storming mersh bands like Foster the People are succeeding on the back of his unique sense of melody and hazy glazegaze. Though Panda’s live presence mainly involves obscuring himself behind spasmodic projections and a torture-table of gear, his rare trips from hibernation are still treated as massive events by the Panda faithful—and, hey, tonight’s event at Webster Hall and tomorrow’s at Masonic Temple are at least two times you won’t be kvetching about the “echoey” sound in New York venues.
Sat., Oct. 1, 8 p.m., 2011