There are narratives in my life that have quietly threaded along in the background, closely following me. Slowly parts of these stories have meshed into my "real life", and this morning another part intersected for the second time with my blog-life.
In the summer of 1999, I came across a french musician by the name of Philippe Katerine. He had become quite popular here in Montreal that summer with a song entitled "Je vous emmerde" ("I am annoying you"), which is about a drunk poet annoying a girl in a bar by trying to pick her up.
On the same album, "Les Créatures" ("The Creatures"), is a track entitled "Jamais je ne t'ai dit que je t'aimerais toujours, oh mon amour" ("I never told you I'd always love you, oh my love"). The song is a duet with a whispy, childish female voice. That is how I came across Kahimi Karie.
Kahimi Karie is a japanese songstress who sings in japanese, french, english and italian. She and Katerine had collaborated on a few projects. She sang with him, he produced an album, or some songs, for her, with her, etc...
So I started grabbing Kahimi Karie tracks. Turns out she'd collaborated with two other gentlemen (and more, but these two are significant to my story): Cornelius, her boyfriend at the time, and Momus. Both were unknown to me at the time but I grew to enjoy their work as well.
Here the story forks, frays actually. The Cornelius thread crossed over to my blog-life a few months ago, the Katerine thread during my recent jaunt to Tokyo, and the Momus thread this morning.
And the tie that binds all this together, believe it or not, is my friend Joi Ito...
Bear with me.
The Cornelius Thread
Cornelius's work quickly became some of my favorite music. Awesome stuff. Turns out, he is Joi's second cousin. What were the odds of that?
One night during my recent trip to Tokyo, Joi took me to a bar run by his old friend Ko and his wife NaNa: the Tera bar in Sangenjaya. Joi had also invited Cornelius to come by and hang out. Awesome. Joi showed him a little video project I am working on which uses a track Cornelius apparently had released using a Creative Commons license. He thought it was "sugoi" (cool). Double awesome.
Later that night, I noticed on the wall behind me a poster for a Jean-Luc Goddard film from 1965 called "Pierrot le fou", starring Jean-Paul Belmondo and Anna Karina...
The Katerine Thread
The next day, waking up on the futon I was sleeping on at Jim and Yuka's, I turn my head to see a stack of DVDs under the desk beside me.
In this stack of DVDs is a copy of "Pierrot le fou". Zoinks! A few nights later, with nothing else to do, I decide to watch it.
Twenty minutes into it, my jaw drops. Anna Karina and Jean-Paul Belmondo start to sing "Jamais je ne t'ai dit que je t'aimerais toujours, oh mon amour"... A bit of Googling and it turns out 1- Katerine is an Anna Karina fan and they even collaborated on an album: "Histoire D'Amour" ("Love Story"), 2000 and 2- the song had been written by one Rezvani for the Goddard movie.
The Momus Thread
The Momus Thread is ... weird... Perhaps because Momus is weird. Perhaps because his is the thread that has come closest to my real life a few times, without crossing over, and for the first time today crossed into my blog life. What makes this doubly strange is that Momus has kept an online journal for years, publishing insightful articles on a regular basis, posting picture collages of his travels, etc... He is a blogger sans a blog. And has been for a loooong time. Also, Momus was galavanting across Japan at the same time I was last year... we were in Kyoto, Hiroshima and Tokyo only days apart... It even went so far as him playing a show in the same venue, Super Deluxe, where I had attended the 1IMC (1st International Moblog Conference), where I had finally met and befriended Joi!
In the 70's, Momus briefly studied at McGill Univeristy (in Montreal). During Kahimi Karie's last North American tour, Momus appeared with her in Montreal where he recorded two tracks with local pop heros, Bran Van 3000. I know at least one Bran Van alumni personally, and have often often often crossed paths with three of the main Bran Van 3000 "celebrities": James DiSalvio (who in an interview in a local weekly once listed my favorite bar as his favorite bar... oooooo), Sahra (who for a while was a regular there too), Jean Leloup (a Quebecois rock god whom I admired much as a teenager and whom I've had numerous encounters with over the years). Oh and all three could be spotted on any given day at one of two popular Café's in Montreal's Mile End district... an area I too frequent quite often.
But I digress...
So, this morning... This morning, in my RSS aggregator, I read an entry by Seb Paquet on Corante's Many-to-many weblog, where he links to an article Momus published in 1991 with the sub-heading "In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 people". Seb's entry is about, roughly, some social implications of weblogging, while Momus' article seems to be about the future of the recording industry (haven't read it yet... heh...).
While I missed my chance to meet Seb face-to-face last week (my apologies to both Seb AND Mike...), we have chatted briefly, on #joiito, and he is a very respected voice in the blogosphere. He is also a friend of a dear friend of mine, Karl Dubost, who, it must be said is one of the originators of my blog-life...
This story could have been told from the perspective of my blog-life, as well as my real life. There are many many people, close and dear to me, who are also implicated in all this. I became friends with Karl during our trip to SxSW 2003, which I attended only because friend Warren's company, Plank Multimedia, had been nominated for their work on Michael Moore's websites, and they had an extra pass. Plank Multimedia is where I worked, along side one of my very best friends, Stevey, when this particular story started... I met Jim in Joi's IRC channel last year when he ever go graciously offered to let me stay at his place during my first trip to Japan. We became fast friends, and Jim now works for Six Apart Japan, a company Joi is an investor in.
The threads intertwine, and sometimes they connect...
That night at Tera Bar, Joi and John, another great new friend I've met because of all this blog stuff, chided me for having no "ochi": my stories have no clear ending, no punch line, no point.
Perhaps I am a bad story teller. I'd rather believe that stories have no end, and that what I do is point out observations of mine, narrative outakes from my lives... but that's another story.