My grandmother died this weekend. It's okay, really, don't pity me much. She and I weren't very close, the relationships that she forged with others in life seemed to me to be sometimes unfortunate. The most difficult part of the weekend was deciding whether or not to pay $800 to travel across the country to comfort my mother who is sure to ride some kind of rollercoaster of sorrow and relief. My silent decision years ago to steer guiltlessly clear of familial obligation tipped the scale and I decided that I'd rather stay in Seattle than go to a funeral in Ohio. Emily and I shopped for housewares at two Target locations and then headed to a Taco Bell drive-thru, where I ordered two bean burritos and two hard shell tacos. I can assure you that's double my usual order. It seems healthy to take note of death, but dwelling on it is entirely different for me. I'll always have the memories of my grandmother's vinegar and oil salad dressing and her insistance that a person eating at her dinner table couldn't drink until their meal entire meal was finished. She explained to me once that it's a terrible thing to wash food down your throat. I'm not sure if it's true, but my mother told me that my grandmother's last words to her were simply, "I hate you." The only way my brain could respond to that was to make a run for the border so I could think outside of the bun.
The soundtrack the whole weekend has been the new Comet Gain record, Howl Of The Lonely Crowd. I stumbled onto the tracklisting a few weeks ago and when I suspected that the fifth track, "Yoona Baines" was a reference to the keyboard player for the Fall & the Blue Orchids named Una Baines, that was enough to make me open the door and wander on in. Comet Gain's singles collection Broken Record Prayers consumed a month of my life, though I mostly just listened to "Love Without Lies" on repeat for days on end, and I was happy to have new material put my brain other places. I'll spare you the typical review techniques, which isn't something I excel at in the first place. I will say that if you read this column on a regular basis, you'll most likely enjoy this record. The first single released from the record is called “An Arcade From The Warm Rain That Falls" and it's rather wonderful. I was lucky enough to ask David Charlie Christian Feck some questions, though not really about the record, more just about everyday life. Somehow I prefer to know more about people's lives that what's it's like to eat a sandwich with the guy that sang Orange Juice's "Rip It Up." I haven't edited his responses, I've left them just as I received them. Do notice my typo regarding Northern Soul, I'm a real professional.
Caperin': Hello David. How are things today?
David Charlie Christian Feck: things today are crumpled,a dying star in my brain collapsing in on itself...weak in all ways...at work too trying hard not to be too misanthropic but failing.
What have you done with the day so far?
teeth,newspaper,salmon sandwich,bus thru north london,failed walkman,cold bones,5 minutes late-best yet this month,coffee and toothache,only 6 hours to go.
Do you usually eat breakfast? If so, what do you have?
no.i always forget.breakfast is coffee and these days some form of fruit juice.lunch is breakfast.i dont need breakfast.i am omnipotent in these belly ways.
How long do you usually sleep at night?
intermittent periods of dreams and uncomfort and listening out to the trees in fear of wolves,ghosts,aliens,disease and the tug of the void.and the cat goes bugfuck at around 6am-chases ghosts fer an hour and then decides my legs will make excellent pillow.best sleep comes around 11 o clock.siestas are good too.spanish are good fer something.
Do you sleep well, or is it fitfully?
Do you still live in London? Does it cost and arm and a leg to live there?
london yea...left fer 2 and half years but the magnet pulled me back-the carlitos ways of the world...north london is my beast of burden and we live in healthy green and treee populated bit full of hills and woods and posh librarians so yes it costs a lot of money but what can you do-tired of living on the wrong side of life.just means less expensive baubles and more work.such is life on planet earth.
Have you ever been to Seattle? If so, how do you like it? What do you remember about it?
yes seattle once many many years ago playing with c.gain and peechees in the afternoon ion some hall..i remeber the streets around the auditorium only —-and drinking some delightful local elixir from a brown paper bag like all the movies and all the craggy men opposite us on a windy bench.otherwise a punk rock blur descends.my diarys are crumpled somewhere in my head.unobtainable memorys.
Where did the name Comet Gain come from?
it came from a hat.from a joke and from a spell.we shoulda been called punk stuntmen of the english isles..then we would be famous.
You're a fan of Morthern Soul, yes? Are there any particular tracks that you like the most?
morthern soul?is that a wee bit MORE than soul?sounds good-i slightly prefer northern soul though.i like a multitude of tracks-there are millions of the fuckers..here are some doozies..actually ahrd to remember anything at the moment..gene chandler-nothing can stop me...gene mcdaniels-walk with a winner...spice-what about the music...crampton sisters-baby baby...irma and the fascinations-lost love...maxine brown-let me give you my loving...ah too many names crammed in head.check out most kent complilations from mid 80s..
Do you watch television? If so, what do you watch? What were your favorite programs as a youngster?
tv is an evening thing after work.a chance to shout spite at perceived morons.when i was a kiddiewink i dug the monkees,avengers,prisoner,banana splits and all those groovy shows that blew my funky lil mind and some weird surreal english kids shows like the clangers,chortle and the wheelies and pogles wood.nowadays a lot of mean comedy like seinfeld,peep show,black books, the mighty alan patridge and above all the sacred saturday nite MATCH OF THE DAY-the theme tune sends me aloft on clouds of love.
What are your favorite foods?
im a fussy fucker but i love mexican and indian and strawberrys and oranges and tree bark and unicorn meat.
Do you have any pets?
i have 3 pets-a dear cat called lily who loves all the boys and all the boys love lily,i have an imaginary pooch called wigwam and a pet ghost called saint ralph of rockville.
It seems that you have three names; David Feck, David Bower, David Charlie Christian Feck & David Christian. Why so many? Which do you like the best?
i hate all my names,i am curently conjuring up some new ones to go with all the life changes i am planning.groovy tony,the baron de delightfull,dr meinhoffer,the iron glove etc
What was your childhood like?
my childhood was playing football in fields and imaginary games and marvel comics and fear and running around a lotlike tom courtenay in lonelyness of long distance runner and fights with my brother on the sofa and colney hatch lane and being called cambodian at skool and fever dreams and climbing trees.melancholy and daydreams.
Do you have a favorite article of clothing? Something that you particularly wear more than other things?
i dig my brown courderoy 60s coat though it is near to death there are too many good times wrapped in its aura to discard though the holes expand.and my "chris loves pet sounds"yellow t-shirt me and chris apelgren made one sunny day in oakland.
You've been making music with Comet Gain for nearly 20 years, do you think you'll continue forever?
we will be like the rolling stones of schmindie pop-never die!thats our motto..and when we are all dead our children will carry it on singing the same old bollocks with the same E minor middle eights till the big bang reverses and we all shrink to the singular point of existence.we will be the final nail in humanitys coffin.ha!
Have you ever reached a moment in your career when you felt you'd arrived? One thing that you felt made the work worth it?
we made a fancy video which cost too much money once-i knew it was a waste of time and money so got drunk and burnt toast.we got picked up ina stretch limo once in new york.i still think they got the wrong band.downhill since then,thank god.we would make terrible popstars.thats not the point of comet gain..the point is glorious failure and longetivity.job done..
How do you feel about the state of the world today?
staring the void in the face as we hurtle to the supercontext at times end and that singular point where time collapses and we return to the one cell organism that is reality.
What is your opinion of today's youth?
todays youth are a fucking shower.no backbone.what is all this "like"in sentences?and those stupid 80s clothes?why arent they rioting more and overthrowing the spectacle-thats there JOB.im not doing it again you lazy bastards,and dont get me started on folk electronica..(.its ok-i was like this when i was YOUTH too).you should all be a fucking shamed.
What is your opinion of hip hop music?
i still have my KRS-1 cassette..does that count.ask dr dre what he thinks about dutch psych.
Would you consider yourself a hard worker? Do you give yourself a lot of breaks?
nobody works harder than me.not even spartacus.not even samson.is it time fer my nap yet?
Will you be playing any shows in the States to support Howl Of The Lonely Crowd?
no-leave me alone.(yes hopefully).
E MARTINEZ is not East Martinez.
FREE PAINTING GIVEAWAY: I came across this earlier today, I used to use it while selling paintings on the street and at art fairs, etc. It's on unstretched canvas and is approximately 48"x30". I'll send it to you in the mail if you want it, claim it in the comments section.
"Naked Weightlifting Nell Carter" 2006
Here's a conundrum. I recently came across this envelope in a box that I haven't opened in seven years. It's addressed to a friend and was given to me by another friend to deliver to the first friend. Obviously, I failed at making the delivery, and I recently learned that the letter writer ended his life by jumping off of the top story of a seven floor parking garage in 2006. I'm no longer in contact with the person for whom the letter was intended. I'm also not sure if that was a proper sentence.