Robert Lester Folsom Brings Lost Classics to CMJ
Had there been a CMJ Music Marathon in 1976, Robert Lester Folsom would have been all over it. He'd have played some big Saturday showcase, and performing before Bread, after Peter Frampton's special warm-up DJ set, the Georgia-born singer-songwriter would have justified his underground buzz and earned what folks in those days referred to as a "record contract."
This never happened. After his one professionally recorded album, 'Music and Dreams,' sold only in the triple digits, Folsom moved to Florida and became a house painter, his vocation ever since. Fortunately, everything old eventually becomes new again, and since there's evidently room at this year's CMJ for artists whose music references time periods other than the synth-pop '80s and girl-group '60s, Folsom was able to make up for lost time and perform his lost classics Thursday night at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Thursday's showcase was sponsored by Mexican Summer, the label that recently unearthed and reissued 'Music and Dreams,' and thanks to some late starts by the imprint's other acts, Folsom and his band made their New York City debut around 11PM -- a choice timeslot, considering the room was filled with folks there to see Tamaryn and get their CMJ-mandated daily dose of shoegaze.
In addition to the sonic archeologists at Mexican Summer, Folsom has a fan in Animal Collective's Panda Bear, with whom it's rumored he might collaborate. By the look of it, Folsom is ready for his indie-rock close-up. Thursday night, he wore black Chucks, skinny-enough jeans and a sparkly silver golf cap, an accessory one can imagine him rocking in any of Brooklyn's hipper neighborhoods.
So why should Panda Bear or anyone else care about a