Who Said It: Theory Of A Deadman Or Jean-Paul Sartre?

Theory Of A Deadman's Tyler Connolly and Jean-Paul Sartre.

Theory Of A Deadman’s Tyler Connolly and Jean-Paul Sartre.

It would be easy to pigeonhole Theory Of A Deadman — the guys that once covered Vince McMahon’s theme song “No Chance In Hell” and whose song “Got It Made” appeared on the Nascar 09 video game soundtrack — as that band active rock radio stations use to fill the empty spaces Nickelback leaves behind when they’re out of album cycle.

That, however, would be a disservice which fails to capture the sheer magnitude of the soul crushing angst found on Theory Of A Deadman’s just released fifth album, Savages. Like Ingmar Bergman’s sonic familiar, on Savages lead singer Tyler Connolly navigates a cruel, bleak world full of despair, betrayal and the heartsick realization that humanity, given the opportunity, will often choose to do the exact worst thing.

Connolly’s anguish is so deep we went so far as to compare the suffering found in the lyrics of Savages‘ 13 songs to various quotes from existentialist French writer and philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre.

Go through all 10 lines and ask yourself, “Who said it, Theory Of A Deadman or Jean-Paul Sartre?”

1. “I give up. I give in. I surrender.”

2. “It’s all a bad dream. Who can we trust?”

3. “I exist, that is all, and I find it nauseating.”

4. “You took it all and you moved away and I’m living in a trailer by the interstate.”

5. “Nothingness haunts being.”

6. “Life begins on the other side of despair.”

7. “Will I never find peace?I look into the mirror and I hate what I’ve become, because I’m the only casualty from damage I have done.”

8. “Hell is other people.”

9. “I’m adjusting to the dark. Forget about the pain. Am I really that afraid or just insane?”

10. “It is certain that we cannot escape anguish, for we are anguish.”

Answer key is below the video.

1. Theory Of A Deadman “In Ruins”
2. Theory Of A Deadman “Misery Of Mankind”
3. Jean-Paul Sartre
4. Theory Of A Deadman “Livin’ My Life Like A Country Song feat. Don Rooney of Rascal Flatts”
5. Jean-Paul Sartre
6. Jean-Paul Sartre
7. Theory Of A Deadman “World War Me”
8. Jean-Paul Sartre
9. Theory Of A Deadman”Panic Room”
10. Jean-Paul Sartre

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Jenny Lewis Talks Insomnia, The Wizard, Ryan Adams And ‘Wonderwall’

Jenny Lewis

Jenny Lewis

At the recent TURF festival in Toronto I got to speak with former Rilo Kiley/current solo star Jenny Lewis about her newest album, The Voyager.

Some of the topics discussed: ’80s Nintendo promo movie The Wizard, Zach Galifianakis, Ryan Adams, insomnia, Beck and Oasis’ song “Wonderwall.”

To read the story head over to Huffington Post Music Canada by going here.

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Worst Canadian Songs Ever



It could be argued that if you wanted to track down the worst Canadian songs ever created you could never succeed because there’s a shimmering, evil force endlessly churning out new and horrible variants of hoser songs.

Sarah, however, considered this a challenge and attempted to determine the 50 Worst Canadian Songs.

To read the list head over to Huffington Post Music Canada by going here.

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There’s A Mike Tyson Cartoon And It Looks Amazing

Cartoon Mike Tyson

Cartoon Mike Tyson

There’s apparently going to be a new cartoon called Mike Tyson Mysteries this fall on Adult Swim.

Judging from the trailer it’s going to be the best show ever.

Sarah wrote about it for Fightland.

To read what she said, go here.

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Elvis Presley’s Boxing Past

Elvis Presley's boxing past

Elvis Presley’s boxing past

Elvis Presley’s enthusiasm for karate is pretty well-known, but the King also had a flirtation with another fighting art — boxing.

Sarah tracked some of his pugilistic adventures for Fightland.

To read the full story go here.

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TIFF 2014’s Must-See Music Films

John Cusack in Love & Mercy

John Cusack in Love & Mercy

The Toronto International Film Festival has announced its initial lineup for the 2014 edition and, like always, there were a number of films of particular interest to music fans.

Sarah talked about them for Huffington Post Music Canada.

To read the post go here.

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Reliving Woodstock ’99 From The Couch

Woodstock '99 poster and bill

Woodstock ’99 poster and bill

Inspired by writer friend Josh Ostroff’s very good I-was-there piece reliving the horrors of what it was like being at Woodstock ’99 exactly 15 years ago I went and unearthed the review I wrote about it at the time for Chart.

It’s not the best piece of writing ever (why did I swear so much?), and because I wrote it from the comfort of my couch, watching it on TV while flipping between the pay-per-view feed and MuchMusic, it has a decided backseat driver vibe, but whatever. At the time I was really irritated by the whole event and embarrassed for both my generation and humanity in general.

Here it is:

I wasn’t there — and thank fuckin’ god for that.

Sure, the idea sounded pretty good, celebrate the 30th anniversary of Woodstock, relive peace, happiness and such, and enjoy a bunch of great bands. Problem is, most of the bands sucked and the kids ain’t about “the groovy trip” and shit these days, they’re about trying to grope that chick’s tits over yonder and “fuckin’ shit up, know what I mean?”

Well and comfy on my sofa and switching from Much to pay-per-view obsessively, one thing became clear — you get a bunch of young middle-class white kids together and boy do they ever get stupid.

Case in point, the now infamous Limp Bizkit set. I don’t have a problem with the way they incited the crowd to riot — it was all very Jim Morrison-esque and breathed a bit of truly historic air into what had been an otherwise mundane affair. It was truly rock ‘n’ roll, and a spectacle to behold, even from the couch. But the fact it took Limp Bizkit — a band who, when it comes down to it, are a horribly shitty one-and-a-half hit wonder — to cause a riot, reflects badly on this generation.

When the Much and PPV cameras would pan across the violent circle pits, looters ripping apart light tower rigging and moshing up a storm, it was actually kinda cool visually. But think about it. The kids tearing were tearing apart the light tower! I mean, it’s O.K. not to understand the mechanics of rock concert equipment, but it takes real glueheads not to be able to figure out that if you trash a tower, the show won’t continue. And it’s funny that just when I came to this realization, the PPV cameras zoomed in on some guys tipping over the portapotties reserved for the light tower crew, then started jumping on top of them. When one of the toilets collapsed under the weight of one of these jumpers I started howling. This kid’s pissed-off-at-his-Burger King-job-rage left him lying in a literal pool of piss and shit from the toilet he just destroyed. Fucking idiot.

The music of anger seemed contrived too. Korn just sucked, despite the crowd’s gleeful declaration that “Korn rocked, maan!” As far as muddy wonders go, I guess they were alright, but I can’t help but pencil in mid-October as the date for the Korn records to start flooding into the delete bins of used record stores worldwide. Rage Against The Machine sounded good playing their one song over and over again. But their burn-the-American-flag bit was the anti-climax to Fred Durst singing “Faith” from atop a scavenged piece of plywood. Godsmack, Sevendust, Buckcherry, Lit. Why the fuck did you even get invited? You’re at 14:58, baby.

The best barometer for the whole show was likely watching the MuchMusic throws from Ed The Sock and Sook Yin Lee. With each progressive throw, their nervous vitriol became more and more apparent, what with Sook calling the crowd “loogans” and Ed insulting all comers. They did after all have to abandon their camera tower during Limp Bizkit because of the semi-rioters.  Sure insulting the audience was something of a music-snob elitist reaction, but it was entirely justified by just flipping channels to the PPV footage that would zoom in on a topless woman riding a guy’s shoulders and seeing numerous anonymous hands grabbing at her tits to cop a cheap feel. Classy.

In fact, the nudity was so rampant that Much’s Bill and Rick took to calling the show “Boobfest” and “Boobstock” in honour of the spring break-style moral deterioration going on around them. A moral deterioration best exemplified by confessionals from concertgoers pointing out to Rick or Bill where they had fucked the night before, or the best, jerked off behind some portapotties while watching some girls wrestling.

As for the music, there were a few actual highlights (none of which included Alanis, Jewel, Bruce Hornsby, Megadeth, Guster or Rusted Roots). The Tragically Hip opening up the proceedings on the main stage on Saturday was absolutely astounding. There was a sea of Canadian flags churning in such vast numbers that not even Canada Day shows can compare.

It was a truly surreal moment and one of those rare festival show instances that I’ve not seen since U2’s performance at Live Aid, where it felt like a band instantaneously arrives. Metallica were surprisingly great. After Rage and Limp Bizkit they had to do something, and what that was was literally a greatest hits marathon that seemed to never stop. It almost, almost redeemed the night.

But for every highlight there were numerous musical lows. Kid Rock playing for an hour was right up there, so was Everlast. And in what will likely be hailed as the most fractured performance ever in front of 250,000 people, Wyclef Jean let his sister Melky Sedeck hack apart “Raw” for 15 minutes before finally hitting the stage himself to hack apart his own songs. Although we will give him credit for shutting up and letting his DJ play House Of Pain and Naughty By Nature for 10 minutes.

So yeah, there you go, historic moment and all that crap, blah, blah. I’m glad I stayed home.



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