Watch It Here First: “Flatline” by Todd Sarvies

If all it took to succeed in music was passion, Todd Sarvies should be a superstar. Unfortunately, life in the music biz is never quite that simple.

Fans of this site’s predecessor PLAYBACK:stl (and the many showcases it sponsored at Cicero’s circa 2007) should remember Sarvies under the nom de rock John Boy’s Courage, where his emotional lyrics and theatrical stage presence grabbed much more attention than your typical singer-songwriter. It was clear that the St. Louis-based Sarvies was destined for big things, but it was still somewhat unexpected just how big things got: not only did he score a spot on the P. Diddy/Mark Burnett-created 2009 reality show StarMaker, but the emo-tinged rocker with the red moptop battled his way to runner-up. Fame and fortune never quite arrived, though, and while a record deal was in the offing, an actual record was not, and Sarvies, disillusioned, gave up on music for nearly a decade.

Fortunately, that fallow period has finally ended and Sarvies, newly inspired, is back with his first release in eight years, 2018’s The Dead, The Dying, The Damned. Along with the barrage of new music is the return of an old favorite: “Flatline” made its first appearance on StarMaker, and it now returns in more fleshed out form with a video, featuring Jada Taline Foster, Pete Winfrey, and Sarvies himself, and directed by Whoa Thunder frontman Brian McClelland through his imprint Blip Blap Video. Watch the debut of the video below, then head over to to stream the new album in its entirety. | Jason Green

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