Folerio - "You're So Precious/Second Chance"
We're no strangers to mysterious and fascinatingly elusive personalities here at Weirdo Music Forever, but it must be said that Folerio warrants a special place on the roster of creative, exceptional eccentrics. Song credits and occasional references indicate his surname is Milano, but the complicated songwriter/recording artist/performer is most often known to the world simply as Folerio. Though Folerio is persistently associated in popular consciousness with Stones Throw Records founder/DJ/producer Peanut Butter Wolf, the business and creative partnership between the two was short-lived, and according to Stones Throw's website, the two are no longer are speaking terms. Oddly, there is no documentation of the two creatives ever being in the same place at the same time.
We became aware of Folerio's work some time ago through past sightings with Gary Wilson and Ariel Pink as well as his inclusion in the stellar Stones Throw documentary, Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton, so we were beyond excited to finally get our hands on one of Folerio's rare 45s. The first signed act to Peanut Butter Wolf's Good Time Records (apparently resulting from Folerio's stubborn insistence that he not be signed to Stones Throw), this limited release of 500 singles is - as far as we know - his sole released recording thus far.
Start With: The minimalist "You're So Precious" showcases not only Folerio's unorthodox lyrical sensibility (the lyrics resemble a list more from an awkward teenage love letter more than a work of spoken word), but also his peculiar delivery. It's worth noting that Folerio's signature accent (presumably Italian) is conspicuously missing in the song.
Why it's worth revisiting: Even Folerio's detractors would be hard-pressed to deny his role in the unfolding history of experimental music. Whether he himself sees the work as experimental or not remains shrouded in mystery, but his standing in the underground music community is intact and warrants recognition. Additionally, a recent mention in Forbes and rumors of an Egyptian Lover collaboration may signal an upcoming reemergence of this enigmatic and reclusive talent.
The Stones Throw website claims that the uncompromising Folerio characteristically rejected inclusion of "You're So Precious" in the Sacha Baron Cohen film Brüno, explaining in third-person that "Folerio is for the people and Brüno is not for the people." While the song doubtlessly would have reached a larger audience had it been included in the film, its integrity is perfectly preserved and presented here on the Good Times Records release. Ostensibly written sometime around 1984, it wasn't until the release of this rare record in 2009 that the songs found any audience at all.
The audio and video for "Second Chance" pair well with D'Angelo's "Untitled (How Does It Feel)", as either a companion or - more likely - polar opposite. But while D'Angelo's 2000 hit ballad was warmly received by an immense mainstream audience thanks to its radio-friendly accessible chorus and smooth production qualities, Folerio's bold counterpart throws down the proverbial gauntlet to his would-be audience, smashing previously-held music biz standards and expectations of vocal ability, production, and groove.
The B-side of this 7-inch offers the audacious "Heartbreaker", which is arguably the most musically cohesive and emotionally dynamic track of the three. Stones Throw appears ambivalent about this Folerio contribution, writing that the artist "straight rips off Prince's 'Do Me Baby''', but also cryptically adding that he "mumbles through the lyrics....in a powerful way."
As if it weren't special enough that there are only 500 copies of this mystifying gem, it appears that Folerio himself (or someone closely related to the release) added opaque slogans to the outer white sleeve of each 45. Variations reportedly include:
Meaningless Existance? No.
Folerio = Good Time
Good Times Good Equals Records
Its Not Worth It
This Aint Elvis
Hard Nights Day
Only Time For Good
I Don’t Care About Shit
You’re Corny, Sucker
No Such Thing As A Free Ride
That’s It. I Give Up.
This release delivers 7 inches of mystery and delight to anyone lucky enough come across it. Fans of Folerio can also download all three songs here.