Bill Whitten knows what he’s talking about when it comes to bad timing: with his early-90s band St. Johnny, the Grand Mal leader got a couple toes in the door as part of the post-Nirvana alterna-signing sweepstakes, arriving too late to cash in on the opportunity. Where that might be enough to discourage an average rocker, inviting the certain state of laziness that so often results from near-successes, Whitten reinvented himself as glam-rock savior well ahead of the current revivalist trend– except now that he’s perfected the style, it’s already a casualty of overexposure and style-over-substance bandwagon-jumpers.
That quote above comes from none other than Pitchfork, the granddaddy (or Big Bad Wolf, depending on one’s point of view) of online music journalism, which gave Bad Timing by Grand Mal nearly a perfect rating back in 2003. Now, fast forward to 2019…
We’re all sold out of Burn My Letters, brilliant solo debut by GM (and St Johnny) mastermind Bill Whitten aka William Carlos Whitten. And through a sheer intervention of fate (and Twitter) we suddenly had plans set in motion for a reissue of Grand Mal’s material (on vinyl, no less) with our Norwegian friends in Asura Revolver. Fate works in mysterious ways, indeed.
Anyhoo…what we’re inviting you to watch today is a video for Black Aura – first single off of upcoming reissue of Bad Timing. Directed by legendary Alan Smithee, it continues to expand on the subject of femme fatale, also explored in the earlier videos he made for Poor Thing and the title track off of Burn My Letters. Cherchez la femme, my friends, cherchez la femme.
And last, but not least – the song features Steven Drozd (Flaming Lips), Suzanne Thorpe (Harmony Rockets / Mercury Rev) and Jonathan Toubin (New York Night Train).