IDK if you guys know this or not, but I am pure Gonzo when it comes to my music reporting. Occasionally, riding shotgun with the artists will get a little bit crazy. A few times, I’ve gotten too close to my subjects. That was mostly fun, but then there was this one time…holy fuck I can’t believe I’m about to tell this story.
OK – there was this one time with Past Life Billionaires from Marfa, Texas where the true weirdness of life turned back on itself and stared me down til I wept at it’s feet. I was left with a faux broken heart and my favorite record of 2013. In retrospect, it was pretty fucking awesome.
It all started where everything else does these days, on the goddamned Facebook. That’s where my not-cousin Tavahn found me, I say not cousin cause he’s some kind of one deeper West Coast family friend but we’re not actually related and until December 2013 we’d never met. He’s one of the Past Life Billionaires.
His dad owns a bar in my San Francisco neighborhood, he was spending a weird month there and wanted to hang out IRL. I thought he seemed thirsty and bizarre so I blew it off, that is, until I listened to the Past Life Billionaires Soundcloud. Later, he would go on to tell me that my favorite record of last year was recorded in Garage Band. They were literally holding the fucking laptop up next to the drums, and they made this stunning album, a perfect analog breakup record for the digital age.
And how convenient to have the boy who’s destined to break my heart write and record these songs in advance! As I said before, it was faux heartbreak cause I didn’t even know him that well. At least not in this life anyway.
Warning: it’s about to get extremely weird.
I’ll spare you the sappy details of Tavahn blowing my mind, making me feel like he’d known me for 1,000 years, and the glory of our uniquely innocent first date on New Year’s Eve at the Kink.com Armory castle-party. Turns out he’s known me closer to 1200 years at least. The first time we were together it was glaringly apparent that it wasn’t the first time. I told y’all I got in way too deep.
Anyway, on his way out the door we decided we needed to figure out where we knew each other from in the spirit of Past Life Billionaires. I had recently become interested in past lives and I have a great deal of experience with hypnosis, so I just decided to go exploring in my subconscious records to see if I could find him.
Warning again: if you’re interested in this shit, use a past life regression Youtube video or a professional. At the very least, tell yourself to not take personally anything you experience, just watch it like a movie. I didn’t know what I was doing so I really freaked myself out. Last warning: everything I believe is a product of my own instinct and direct experience. If it’s too much for you, just pretend it’s fiction.
In the regression session, I went back to around 800 AD to feudal Scotland where Tavahn and I were slaves. It was horrible, we were separated, unspeakable things happened and I felt and heard and saw them all. When I came out of it, I was crying hysterically. But there was a moment at the very beginning where I became aware of something really beautiful – I was able to feel just for a little while what it was like to live a life of unmitigated misery, to literally have nothing, and how those conditions made it impossible to take love for granted.
Becoming aware of that state of being, pure love experienced just by knowing the joy of someone else’s existence, made the whole horror show of doing the regression worth it. It’s a love that vibrates so high it can lift you out of your body and all the way away from physical life just by thinking about that person. I’ve never loved someone like that in this life, but I’ve loved pieces of music that much. It was all very fitting that I should fall so hard for the Past Life Billionaires record.
But Molly, why? Why is it so great? Because the songs transcend time, melodically they could have been written and relevant 40 years ago, but the lyrics distinctly reflect the modern, digital condition. Because it’s part emo, part country, part electronic, and all dramatic vocals. It’s a softcore mashup of every genre I grew up loving woven into truly original tracks. And now they’re attached to this whole thing I’m trying to explain to y’all about my past life love finding me on Facebook, this really is as weird as it gets. It’s so weird I don’t fully believe it and I’m the one who got run over by the whole experience.
After our time was up and tons of things were said that couldn’t be taken back, Tavahn disappeared and left me feeling like the biggest turkey ever. I was so pissed it nearly ruined the album for me, but it’s too great for me to be able to stay mad at it. It took me this long to write the story because otherwise it would have come out all bitter, and this is an experience worth honoring. Now that I’ve revealed the depths of my weirdness and over-hyped a very down tempo record, here it is!