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RIP Care Failure

Care Failure with Die Mannequin at Sound Academy, Toronto, Dec 12 2009. Kenzy Elbanna photo.

RIP Care Failure. Die Mannequin at Sound Academy, Toronto, Dec 12 2009. Kenzy Elbanna photo.

Toronto rock musician Care Failure dead at 36

We were saddened to hear of the passing last month of Care Failure, aka Caroline Kawa. Failure was the singer and songwriter behind the Toronto punk band Die Mannequin, and a force of nature in the Canadian music scene. She will be missed.

Among Failure’s accomplishments are four full-length albums and two EPs. She also starred in Hard Core Logo II, Bruce McDonald‘s 2010 follow-up to his 1996 film Hard Core Logo. The latter was based on a novel by Vancouver author Michael Turner.

“She fought bravely against infections that caused sudden organ and heart failure,” Kawa’s family told ET Canada. Kawa was 36.

According to an obituary published in the Toronto Star on March 31, donations may be made in her name to MusiCares.

When I interviewed Care by phone in 2009 before a Die Mannequin show in Vancouver, I asked about her tattoos, including the Sonic Youth Goo album cover on her arm:

“I’ve got to love the record and love the art and then it has to tell a story,” she said. “I started with the Melvins‘ Houdini cover and the two little kids. Then the Dinosaur Jr. image [from the cover of Green Mind], with the 11-year-old pulling up her panties and smoking a cigarette and who thinks she knows everything. And then Goo [Sonic Youth], like, me and my boyfriend killed my parents and we take off. And now what do I do? I love the cover of [Nirvana‘s] Bleach, it’s really simple. It’s just like hair everywhere. I know it’s completely cheesy but I guess that would be the next stage of my life.”

Care Failure with Die Mannequin at Venue, Vancouver, Nov 24 2009. Jessica Bardosh photo.

RIP Care Failure. Jessica Bardosh photo. Die Mannequin at Venue, Vancouver, Nov 24 2009.

In his review of a Die Mannequin in Winnipeg on the same tour, Eugene Osudar wrote:

so, i talk to the Park’s
sound man
what are they like?
he’s non-committal
offers a Marilyn Manson
comparison

i’m here for her
i hear she’s something
special
she’s so young
she’s the show

and he sparkles
he literally lights up
yes! she’s
nice (that’s a good thing)
she’s relaxed
cool
despite so many technical
problems
during sound check.

no prima donna.

she’s something special

and those tech probs
persisted
during the real set
that megaphone
never worked and i didn’t care!
her voice
her throbbing
screaming
roaring
and
singing
moved me just fine

right to the front of the stage
and though
i had no intention
to

i danced.

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