Posts By Jim Shearer

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Shearer’s Spotlight: A Farewell To Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream

Each week here on VH1 Tuner, our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown host Jim Shearer (@jimshearer on Twitter) will be sharing his Shearer’s Spotlight with us. Be sure to tune into the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown tomorrow morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT.

Last week’s theatrical release of Katy Perry’s 3D documentary Part of Me seemingly brings to an end her Teenage Dream era, which officially began on May 11, 2010—the release date of the album’s first single, “California Gurls.” (The full-length came out a few months later on August 24).

Though Adele’s 21 is still hovering around the top of the albums chart, not to mention winning six Grammy Awards; in recent memory I don’t recall a more memorable and productive album cycle than that of Teenage Dream.

Sales-wise (over 2 million albums sold domestically and over 5.5 million worldwide) the numbers don’t support this claim, but as you know—and as Katy Perry might’ve sung in her contemporary Christian past—man does not live on bread alone.

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Shearer’s Spotlight: On the Road


Each week here on VH1 Tuner, our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown host Jim Shearer (@jimshearer on Twitter) will be sharing his Shearer’s Spotlight with us. Be sure to tune into the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown tomorrow morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT.

As I’m sure you know, summertime is a great occasion for music-filled road trips.

I’ve already gone on a couple, and while enjoying music on CDs (yes, I still represent the format), an overstocked iPod, and FM radio; I observed the following:

Hit Song/Bad Lyrics
Though I respect Sia as an artist and songwriter, every time I hear her following lyrics on Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones,” I wince in agony: If I took you home, it’d be a home run. Ouch.

(A few weeks ago I was on a 1970s music kick, so the next four observations will reflect that era. Groovy?)

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Shearer’s Spotlight: Madonna’s Top 10 Titillating Moments

Madonna's Top 10 Titillating Moments

Each week here on VH1 Tuner, our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown host Jim Shearer (@jimshearer on Twitter) will be sharing his Shearer’s Spotlight with us. Be sure to tune into the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown Saturday morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT.

Every time Madonna releases a new album and subsequently tours in support of it, the following is sure to happen:

Somewhere in the world, a Madonna video is banned; a political/religious statement made by Madonna is denounced by a political/religious organization; Madonna’s age and/or overly fit arms are critiqued by a blogger who was still in grade school when Ray Of Light was released; and Madonna’s breasts will cause some type of uproar.

In honor of the latter, here are the Top 10 moments when Madonna’s boobs made news:

10. Desperately Seeking Susan (1985)
Just because the film was tamed down to cater towards Madonna’s teenage fan-base doesn’t mean the kids weren’t given a glimpse of Madonna’s soon-to-be-headline-grabbing breasts. While eating cheese curls on the pool-deck, Madonna wears a see-through bra.

9. Body Of Evidence (1993)
Madonna’s breasts star in this erotic rip-off of Basic Instinct as fans uneasily watch their favorite pop-star pour candle wax on William Dafoe’s nether regions.

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Jim Shearer Shares His Memories Of Adam “MCA” Yauch

Jim Shearer Interviews The Beastie Boys On MTV's "Live To The 5 Boroughs"

Jim Shearer interviewing the Beastie Boys in 2004 for MTV's "Live to the 5 Boroughs" special.

As a teenager in high school—one who obsessed over music and the Beastie Boys (not necessarily in that order)—I began to seriously think about what I’d do for a career when I got older. As stupid and/or as awesome as it sounds now, I chose my future profession based solely on getting to meet the Beastie Boys.

I figured being an on-air VJ was my best shot.

In late 2001, my high school aspirations didn’t seem so lofty when I began hosting music video segments for MTV2. In 2003, the dream was in reach as I was scheduled to interview the Beastie Boys at the Field Day Music Festival.

Long story short, certain residents of Long Island protested, the promoters could not secure a permit, and the festival was moved up a day and a state away, inside of Giants Stadium in New Jersey. Sadly, my brother’s wedding was on the same day and I missed making my teenage dream a reality.

Fortunately, a year later the Beastie Boys were on the verge of releasing their new album, To The Five Boroughs, and had signed on to do an MTV2 $2 Bill concert in Las Vegas, which was going to be hosted by guess who?

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Shearer’s Spotlight: The 10 Greatest (Non-Hip-Hop) White-Male Rhymers

Each week here on VH1 Tuner, our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown host Jim Shearer (@jimshearer on Twitter) will be sharing his Shearer’s Spotlight with us. Be sure to tune into the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown tomorrow morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT.

Although I try to be colorblind in both my life and musical travels, I can’t help but notice when people applaud a Caucasian dude—especially one outside of the hip-hop genre—when they’re able to deliver rhymes at breakneck speeds. If “white men can’t jump,” I guess they’re not supposed to be able to rhyme either, huh?

In hip-hop, Caucasian MC’s are called “white rappers,” as documented on VH1′s 2007 reality venture The White Rapper Show, but what do you call a white boy who can spit fire on the microphone, one whose music comes from another genre altogether?

For the sake of this list, let’s call them the 10 Greatest (Non-Hip-Hop) White-Male Rhymers of the last quarter century:

10. Andy Grammer
Try singing Andy Grammer’s “Keep Your Head” the next time you’re at a karaoke bar and you’ll realize how nimble he is on the microphone.

9. Billy Joel
The Piano Man makes this list solely on the merit of “We Didn’t Start The Fire,” not to mention that the Beastie Boys once named Billy Joel as The Fifth Beastie Boy.

8. Pat Monahan
We all know Pat Monahan can croon, but lately, especially on Train‘s last two albums, he shows agility with his rhyme-flow as well.

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Shearer’s Spotlight: Jim’s Top 5 Favorite Rock/Rap Pairings

Jim Shearer

Each week here on VH1 Tuner, our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown host Jim Shearer (@jimshearer on Twitter) will be sharing his Shearer’s Spotlight with us. Be sure to tune into the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown tomorrow morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT.

It was recently announced that Cash Money Records latest recruit, Limp Bizkit, will release a collaborative single next week with label mate Lil’ Wayne. As you may know, the fusion of a mainstream rock and hip-hop act is nothing new in music.

Here are my five all-time favorite rock/rap pairings:

5. “Airplanes,” B.o.B & Hayley Williams of Paramore
This song helped spread Hayley Williams’ wings — at least for me — as more than a front-person in an emo band. Her vocals on the chorus blend superbly with B.o.B’s rhyme flow. This track, about the downsides of fame, was inescapable during the summer of 2010.

4. “Clint Eastwood,” Gorillaz & Del tha Funkee Homosapien
Though we were lead to believe an animated band played this gem in the early ‘00s, it was a genius collaboration between real human beings: Blur’s Damon Albarn, producer Dan The Automator and rapper Del tha Funkee Homosapien. It wasn’t hard for the public to latch on to this one; it clicked on so many levels.

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Shearer’s Spotlight: 5 Whitney Houston Songs That Are Significant In My Musical Journey

Each week here on VH1 Tuner, our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown host Jim Shearer (@jimshearer on Twitter) will be sharing his Shearer’s Spotlight with us. Be sure to tune into the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown tomorrow morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT.

I’ve been on television a few times this week discussing the many chart and sales records held by the late Whitney Houston. There is no denying that numerical accolades help define an artist’s legacy, but so does the way their music affects people as they go about their every day lives. Here are five Whitney Houston songs that are significant in my musical journey:

5. “Million Dollar Bill”
Though I’ve been introducing music videos on television for over 10 years, up until a couple years ago I had never introduced a clip from Whitney Houston (my past VJ duties were mostly in the genre of rock). When Houston released I Look To You in 2009, her music video, “Million Dollar Bill,” was featured on the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown. I remember giving Whitney an abundance of praise, although at the time it was popular to take jabs at her “train-wreck” lifestyle. A rep from Houston’s record label got in contact with me the following week and complimented my segment. I’m proud of the fact that I never took a cheap shot at either Michael Jackson or Whitney Houston during my time on television. When you get to their level, there is a certain amount of respect that’s earned, no matter what may unfold in their private lives.

4. “I Will Always Love You”
Though pop music was not my genre of choice in the ‘90s — especially since there was a band called Nirvana making its mark on pop-culture — I still wasn’t able to ignore the greatness of “I Will Always Love You.” As I entered college, I found it a testament to Houston’s one-of-a-kind voice, that many jocks, college-radio geeks, and hip-hop diehards proudly had The Bodyguard soundtrack on display in their dormitory CD racks.

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Shearer’s Spotlight: Three Surprises To Look Out For At The Grammys

Each week here on VH1 Tuner, our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown host Jim Shearer (@jimshearer on Twitter) will be sharing his Shearer’s Spotlight with us. Be sure to tune into the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown tomorrow morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT.

Jim Shearer

As I peer into my crystal ball, here are three surprises to look out for at the Grammy Awards this Sunday night:

1. Nicki Minaj Won’t Win Best New Artist
Does she deserve it? Probably, but voters are prone to give the award to an act they think of as a potential career artist, more so than what they deem as a current mainstream phenomenon. Look for The Band Perry to win.

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Shearer’s Spotlight: In Defense of Steven Tyler

Each week here on VH1 Tuner, our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown host Jim Shearer (@jimshearer on Twitter) will be sharing his Shearer’s Spotlight with us. Be sure to tune into the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown tomorrow morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT.

As I’m sure you’ve literally heard, Steven Tyler sang the National Anthem at last week’s AFC Championship game in New England. Because the internet has perfected the art of making mountains out of molehills, pop-culture and sports-related blogs teed off on Tyler, making it seem like William Hung sung the National Anthem.

Here’s why it wasn’t as bad as you’ve been told:

It Was a Perfect Length
Before Game 5 of the 1968 World Series, Puerto Rican singing sensation, Jose Feliciano, delivered a lengthy improvisational version of the “Star-Spangled Banner,” which not only irked various fans, but made Detroit’s starting pitcher, Mickey Lolich, get cold in the bullpen, causing him to give up three runs in the first inning (Detroit, however, ended up winning the game and eventually the series). Steven Tyler’s version of the anthem caused no players on either team a disruption in their pre-game rituals.

Sound Bounces
Why do musicians record albums in a studio? Because live sound in a stadium sucks. When Steven Tyler was singing the anthem, I’m sure he not only heard his voice, but 17 different echoed versions of it, which makes it impossible to deliver a pitch-perfect performance.

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Shearer’s Spotlight: Words Of Caution For The New Season Of American Idol

Each week here on VH1 Tuner, our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown host Jim Shearer (@jimshearer on Twitter) will be sharing his Shearer’s Spotlight with us. Be sure to tune into the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown tomorrow morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT.

The eleventh season of American Idol kicked off this week and here are a few words of caution to everyone involved:

1. Don’t Just Dream About It
How many times have we heard someone give a mediocre vocal performance, then immediately break into tears saying how badly they want it and how it’s their “dream” to become an American Idol? Chasing down a dream takes a lot more work than riding on a bus and waiting in line all day long.

2. It’s Not Make Or Break
Madonna never won American Idol. Neither did Lady Gaga. Neither did The Beatles for that matter. There are ways to make it in the music industry (albeit a weakened one) without getting approval from Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler and J-Lo.

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