This Ain’t No Disco: Distant Locust – I Feel Love (Magick Edit)

Distant Locust folded in 1996 but not before leaving behind this all-too-jaded cover of the Donna Summers’ classic that sounds too much like “now” to be safely ignored. One of the few bands from Australia that allowed itself to use more than four letters in its name, Distant Locust toured with such other CLT favorites as white soul tech-heads (no. srsly.) Clock DVA and the original death of rock and roll, Christian Death. Bowie was a fan, or so the bio says. (This is probably true. Bowie has been known to like stuff.)

To the business at hand: DL’s cover goes pretty much as note-for-note as a three-piece band can without the studio enhancements of Sir Giorgio Moroder. Oddly enough, this is the so-called “edit” of their cover, which runs nearly twice as long as the unedited original. While the instrumentation is respectful enough, the vocals undermine any sort of ‘tribute,” sounding like a seen-it-all vocalist playing his 200th show in 200 days. “World weary” would be a nice way of putting it. (“Arch” would be the not-so-nice way of putting it.) The front Locust sounds like he’s about a half-beat away from saying “fuck it” and exiting stage whatever. Sort of the way Radiohead’s Thom Yorke has sounded for the last 15 years when singing “Creep,” assuming he can even be bothered to sing at all.

Distant Locust doesn’t “feel love.” They probably feel nothing at all. (But! … They are giving away their back catalog. Just visit the DL Discography.)

/s/CLT

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4 Comments

Filed under Covers, Rock

4 responses to “This Ain’t No Disco: Distant Locust – I Feel Love (Magick Edit)

  1. Cool! Someone mentioned my singing – usually people talk about ‘the music’ and that’s it. Yep, sometimes I did feel like that. And sure, I saw Mr Bowie clapping and smiling as we played – he was at our gig – but I might be lying. And lastly – we did do some originals too. Cheers, Brian P, DL singer

    • I’m slowly making my way through some of your originals at this point. Not because they’re hard to listen to, far from it, but because I have decided to over-extend myself in various directions, leaving me more stuff to do than actual hours in the day permits.

      And I’m more than willing to believe the Bowie bit. He seems like the sort of guy who would both show up in unexpected places and enjoy the music of others. That’s part of what makes him the enigma he is. Accessibility + marrying supermodels + the whole Mick-in-bed thing + covering the Pixies out of the blue. He’s like a regular down-to-earth guy who happens to be an alien.

      All and all, “I Feel Love” is one of my all-time favorite songs (no, seriously) and I thought the edge-of-piss-take vocals were just the extra touch it needed to make its way thru my ears and onto the blog.

      Thanks for the visit and comment, Brian. I’d love to hear more about touring with Clock DVA and Christian Death, both bands I admire and love but would probably hate to have crashing with me for a couple of weeks in a row.

      • When we were in Europe in ’91, we were booked in to support the Pixies in Pisa! But like so much else in rock’n roll, it didn’t happen, thanks to the inhibitedly bureaucratic nature of Italian life. But I loved Italy.
        We started out as really just a few guys fooling around with music in our bedrooms, and as you kind of discerned, we had a dada approach to things. That can be seen in this early clip on utube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eho5XY1OyUQ. It’s supposedly the Sleeping Psychics, but really it’s an early lineup of Distant Locust, playing in a factory garage. I was surprised that we got to play live, so you can imagine how surprised I was when we were signed internationally. Quite a trip! We played in everything from converted nuclear bunkers in east Germany, to Berlin amphitheatres.
        No, I don’t think you would enjoy having Christian Death crash at your house. We played with them at the antifeatro de Cascine in Florence. They were having technical problems, so we managed to steal the show that day. By that time we were a pretty tight live act.
        If you’re interested, give me a PO box or some kind of address and I’ll send you some interesting stuff – some other recordings and part of a novel I’ve written on those times. And thanks for the article!

      • Brian –

        It’s too bad things didn’t work out with the Pixies, easily my all-time favorite band. It’s too bad Italy got involved and broke the whole thing up. At some point in its past, it had trains running on time (and plenty of fascism). So, I guess your choices are either a well-oiled government machine that forbids you to tour due to its fascist nature or a bumbling facsimile of a “working” government in which you get to tour, but not with the Pixies. Kind of a mixed curse.

        That early clip reminds me of the moments when We Are Wolves sort of just let things distend and play out. Normally, they play a blistering form of stripped-down Death from Above 1979-esque rock, but in this clip (he said like a talk show host), they kind of slip into a Suicide-esque suit made of echoes and abrasive noises.

        A converted bomb shelter seems like the ideal gig spot. Between the imagery and the layers of concrete, it would be like existing inside a concussion, one likely brought on by the collapsing debris that formerly represented civilization. It might also just be incredibly fucking loud and entirely free of overly-wordy, badly-distended metaphors. 😉

        Thanks for confirming that Christian Death make lousy house guests. I always suspected as much. Between their lack of respect for pretty much everything and their endless infighting about who the “real” Christian Death is, it would be like living with “separated” parents who sue each other over possession of the monogrammed towels.

        I am interested, Brian. I will be shooting you an email with that very info in a matter of moments. Thanks for the addition information, links and in general, for being willing to stop in and drop some history on all of us.