May 18, 2004 14:24 | Bits / Stories / Travel / WebBlogging

Meshing storylines from my life

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.



Mahahaa!! No I'm noooot... ;)
But you know... you and Mie are part of this thread too, what with being at the 1IMC, us hooking up at ETech, then in San Fran (where you totally by fluke took me to a bar which a Cornelius-loving friend of mine from the bar I always hang out here told me to go), then Mie taking me out to her favorite bars which happen to be located a stone's throw from where Cornelius lives...

Ok now we're reaching... ;)

Crimminy! Fascinating series of connections, but it made my brain hurt!

Interesting coincidences! :)

Hey did you know that Momus now writes a real blog (well, assuming LiveJournal counts ;)) since recently?

Also, that may be old news to you, but a few days ago I just found out this new Bran Van 3000 unofficial site which revived my faith in a new album! Yeah!!

Oh and also, Kahimi Karie's new album Montage comes out in Japan on May 21, and it will contain a track produced by OYAMADA Keigo (Cornelius)! :)

Patrick! I was going to write an addendum to this post and mention you! Because you are a part of all this as well! (What with being the man behind Tokyo Recohan, being from Quebec, having taken me to that show in Shibuya, etc...)

Hey, plodding though Momus' site I noticed he refers to your Recohan as a source for some of his work! Hah!


So, what's the ochi man...

I'm dizzy. And all these links and music to explore and discover!

Perhaps you have now permanently switched to this weird mode where "real life" is just one big blogroll and everything you encounter, people, things, seem to be a link towards something else. The Boris twilight zone. Fascinating.

Hello Boris,
Really amazing story. The odd thing is that I know a Jim who works at Six Apart and Yuka. So now should I see the movie or just track down the music?
Maybe I should just visit Jim.
Best wishes,

9- Nadja Productions Inc.


ANNA KARINA, the legendary star of Godard films, and the Muse of the French New Wave (Nouvelle Vague), will sing on December 3, 2004 at the Outremont Theatre in Montreal and on December 5 in Theatre Petit Champlain in Quebec City.

ANNA KARINA will present numbers from her CD : Une Histoire d’Amour (produced by Universal). The songs of ANNA KARINA are composed by the talented musician Philippe Katerine who will perform with her on stage. ANNA KARINA has already completed a successful international tour.


NADJA PRODUCTIONS INC. specializes in the production of art-auteur films and concerts that are at the crossroads between cinema and music.

The Anna Karina event is the first realisation of this new concept of our young company. NADJA PRODUCTIONS INC. has already produced the long feature film LES PASSEURS which will soon be released in Quebec.

Hejer Charf , producer and director, will be available for interviews to talk about ANNA KARINA EVENT and to explain our new production concept.


A press kit about the two artists is available.

We wish to thank you warmly for your interest and invite you to contact us about any information you might require about the Anna Karina and Philippe Katerine shows and about the activities of our company.

You can reach us at : 514-282-3371 or email us at:
More info on our web site:

I'm Katy,
from Singapore,
and I'm 15 y.o

Hi, Girl and Boy
I've studied English sinse Spring .
It's so hard Language!
I would like like to meet boys and practisice My English with them.