Posts By Jim Shearer

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Shearer’s Spotlight: 5 Things That Need To Happen In To Make 2012 A Great Year For Music

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.

As you know, 2012 is still an infant — yes, just like Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s baby girl — so while January welcomes us with open arms, here is a list of things that need to happen in the next 12 months to help ensure a high-quality year of music:

1. Adele Needs To Sing
No word yet if Adele will be performing at the Grammys, but she will be singing at the Brit Awards in March. You can’t have an album as big as 21 and not tour. And because Adele’s sophomore album was so huge, she may have to play arenas, the type of venue she fears playing (ironically, her voice is made for such big places).

2. Buy A Ticket To See Madonna
Every young pop star needs to buy a ticket to see Madonna when she inevitably goes out on tour this year in support of her forthcoming album, MDNA. Yes, there are pop stars younger, sexier and more talented than Madonna, but this is a lesson in longevity and consistency. Madonna is 53 years old and is going to put on a high-energy, non-stop show that will humble the artists who drive on the pop-highway she paved.

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Shearer’s Spotlight: Jim’s Top 10 Albums Of 2011

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. Your regularly scheduled Top 20 Video Countdown show is on a break until 2012, but be sure to tune into the Top 40 Videos of 2011 tomorrow evening when it airs on VH1 at 7 p.m. ET/PT. This week Jim gives us his top 10 albums of 2011.

10.) Love & Rockets, Vol. 1: The Transformation, Murs
Sometimes Murs’ albums have the propensity of being too laid back, but on Love & Rockets he strikes a nice balance, weaving between more chilled out tracks like “Remember 2 Forget” and heavier callouts like “Let’s Go.” The highlight of the album though is its closing track “Animal Style,” the boldest hip-hop song I’ve heard about homosexuality (which sadly, is traditionally never discussed in hip-hop).

9.) The Road From Memphis, Booker T. Jones
Indeed, this is the same Booker T. from Booker T. & the MG’s, an outfit responsible for making one of the greatest instrumentals in modern music: “Green Onions.” Jones’ trademark Hammond organ licks backed by The Roots’ rhythm section and legendary funk/soul guitarist, Dennis Coffey, play out splendidly on the all-too-fun covers of Lauryn Hill’s “Everything Is Everything,” Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy,” and Biz Markie’s “Just A Friend.” And not to diss, but Lou Reed’s collaboration with Jones on “The Bronx” sounds better than anything he did with Metallica this year.

8.) Watch The Throne, Kanye West & Jay Z
At the beginning of 2011 word on the street was that Kanye West & Jay Z were going to release an album together, while Dr. Dre was set to put out the final recording of his stellar career. I was skeptical of both, but at year’s end I’m happy to say we did get a solid debut from hip-hop’s premiere super-group, although I’m still waiting for Dre’s Detox, which is quickly, or slowly, becoming hip-hop’s version of Chinese Democracy.

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Shearer’s Spotlight: Jim’s Favorite Singles Of 2011

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 Top 20 Countdown tomorrow morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT.

Because December is a month full of year-end lists, for your blog-viewing pleasure, today I give you my favorite singles of 2011:

10.) “Blow,” Ke$ha
Yes, this single was featured on Ke$ha’s 2010 mini-LP, Cannibal, but the track didn’t fully explode (or blow-ow-ow) until the beginning of this year. Because “Blow” stayed away from Ke$ha’s polarizing sing-annunciate-rap formula, it became her first single that I couldn’t stop listening to.

9.) “Michael Jackson,” Das Racist
For some reason, underground/indie-minded hip-hoppers tend to shy away from slick production and repetitive hooks, but on “Michael Jackson” Das Racist embrace these elements with fantastic results.

8.) “Lonely Boy,” The Black Keys
Dan and Pat of The Black Keys add bass and keys to their two-man sound, creating one of the most fun rock tracks of the year (which will surely still be in heavy rotation come 2012).

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Shearer’s Spotlight: Jim’s Favorite Non-Holiday Songs For The Holiday Season

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 Top 20 Countdown tomorrow morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT.

Jim ShearerIf you’re already sick of holiday music—especially since department stores have been holding Muzak systems hostage since Halloween—here is a list of non-Christmas songs that still give an essence of the holiday season. (Rest assured, this list was not complied by doing a quick Google search; all of the following tracks are quality tested and in rotation on my iPod.)

1.) “Starlight,” Muse
One of the best “big-rock” love songs of the 2000’s.

2.) “Fake Plastic Trees,” Radiohead
A tune that always comes to mind whenever I zigzag through a plastic tree display at a department store.

3.) “Toys Go Winding Down,” Primus
Behooves me that this song has yet to be exploited on various Christmas music compilations.

4.) “Walking With A Ghost,” Tegan & Sara
Ebenezer Scrooge can totally relate.

5.) “Snowflake,” Malachai
Malachai’s The Ugly Side of Love was my sleeper-hit album of last year, and this is my favorite track from it.

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Shearer’s Spotlight: Top 10 Musicians Who Namechecked Their Music Idols In 2011

Drake and Marvin Gaye

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 Top 20 Countdown tomorrow morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT.

Jim Shearer

Besides whistling, shouting-out famous musicians in song titles seems to be all the rage this year.

Here’s how they rank:

10.) “Marvin’s Room,” Drake
This dizzying, chilled-out tune seemingly has nothing to do with Marvin Gaye, except when you discover that the song was apparently recorded in a studio used by the late-great singer, aptly named “Marvin’s Room.”

9.) “Marvin & Chardonnay,” Big Sean (feat. Kanye West & Roscoe Dash)
Another ode to Marvin Gaye, this one, however, mentions him by name in the song’s lyrics.

8.) “The Lisa Lisa/Full Force Routine,” Beastie Boys
Not so much a song as it as an outro for the Beastie’s latest album, Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 2. Regardless, both musical acts from the 1980’s (Full Force and Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam) are curiously shouted out.

7.) “I Need A Doctor,” Dr. Dre (feat. Eminem & Skylar Grey)
Don’t call Dr. Dre conceited for name-dropping himself in his own song title; he appears in less than a minute of the actual track.

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Shearer’s Spotlight: On National Metal Day, We Reveal Jim Shearer’s Top 4 Metal Moments

Jim Shearer Celebrates National Metal Day

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 Top 20 Countdown tomorrow morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT.

Jim Shearer's Spotlight

Jim Shearer

If you haven’t heard—or haven’t tuned into VH1 Classic today—today is National Metal Day. I may not strike you as a headbanger, but let it be known, I fancy all genres of music.

So keeping in theme with the day, here are my Big 4 Metal Moments:

4.) Headbanging With Anthrax
In 2003 when MTV2 revived the metal franchise Headbanger’s Ball, a kickoff concert was held in Cleveland where I got to give a rousing introduction to thrash metal legends, Anthrax. Since we we’re in Cleveland—home of the Browns—I decided to get everyone’s blood boiling early by coming out on stage dressed in Pittsburgh Steelers colors and waving a Terrible Towel. It worked to perfection!

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Shearer’s Spotlight: The Top 10 Videos To Get You In The Trick-or-Treating Mood

Each week here on the VH1 Blog, 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 Top 20 Countdown on Saturday morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT.

Jim Shearer

Jim Shearer

Halloween is tonight, but if you’re not an adolescent kid daydreaming of packing your pillowcase full of Snickers bars, you’ll probably be out and about looking to celebrate. While you’re stepping into your costume, click on these music videos that will surely entertain the ghoulish music fan within you:

10) Peaches, “Trick Or Treat”
If you’re familiar with Peaches, then you know this trick-or-treating party is for adults only.

9) Lady Gaga, “Telephone”
It’s always Halloween in Gaga’s world; soda cans in her hair only confirms it!

8) Michael Jackson, “Thriller”
I guess I had to include this one, huh?

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Shearer’s Spotlight: The Top Five Music Videos Set Inside A Restaurant

Each Friday here on the VH1 Blog, 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 Top 20 Countdown tomorrow morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT.

Jim Shearer

To provide a decent and affordable dine-in meal experience for his home peeps of New Jersey, this week Jon Bon Jovi opened up The Soul Kitchen: A ?pay-what-you-can? restaurant that also doubles as a volunteer-based community project.

In celebration of its grand opening, here are my favorite music videos set inside a restaurant:

5) Cee Lo, “F*** You”
Usually when a man screams ?F? YOU!? inside a diner, he is asked to leave; Cee Lo was asked to play the Grammys.

4) Radiohead, “High And Dry”
Back in the day when Radiohead made music for the masses, they also crafted some really good music videos. This classic includes a brief case, a time bomb, a key hidden inside a cup of mayonnaise, and Thom Yorke impatiently shuffling around the restaurant because he couldn?t fit into a booth with the rest of his band mates.

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Shearer’s Spotlight: 10 Reasons The Foo Fighters Are The Best Live Band Around

We dare you to think of a band that puts on a better show!

Each Friday here on the VH1 Blog, 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 Top 20 Countdown tomorrow morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT.

In conversation–because of my profession–people usually ask me if I’ve seen any good shows lately. Without hesitation, I tell them that they must see the Foo Fighters, who are currently putting on a rock show for the ages (and that’s not me speaking in hyperbole).

I’ve seen two performances from their current tour, and I can tell you for a fact that no other band is putting on a better show than the Foo Fighters right now.??You need more reasons to see them? Good, here goes:

1.) Grohl on Drums
Cage The Elephant are currently opening up for the Foo Fighters, and after their drummer Jared Champion’s appendix burst, Dave Grohl said he’d fill in on drums so the band wouldn’t have to drop off the bill.?As you know, Dave Grohl has played drums before, but whenever he steps behind a kit, its met with the same astonishment as if he’s walking on water. It’s not that miraculous, but it is still pretty freakin’ cool (especially since Cage The Elephant’s music is inspired by the decade in which Dave Grohl was a full-time drummer)!

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Shearer’s Spotlight: The Top 3 Ways That Nirvana’s Nevermind Impacted The Music World

Each Friday here on the VH1 Blog, 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 Top 20 Countdown tomorrow morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT. Also, don’t forget to tune into VH1 Classic tonight at 11 p.m. to see the never-before-seen footage of Nirvana: Live At The Paramount, shot in Seattle way back in 1991.

This Tuesday, Sept. 27, the 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of Nirvana?s breakthrough album, Nevermind, will be released. For a band that took pride in appearing to be normal everyday schmoes, a multi-CD/DVD deluxe package feels a tad extravagant, but considering the impact the album made on the music industry, it also feels very appropriate, if not long overdue.

For those too young to remember, here are three ways Nevermind impacted the world of mainstream music:

1) Made Mainstream Rock Less Homophobic
In one of the most confusing paradoxes in music history, mainstream rock n? roll in the 1980s was dominated by misogynistic guys who liked to wear makeup. Nirvana?with its Pacific Northwest feminist sensibilities?helped put a halt to this way of thinking, especially when Kurt Cobain mockingly appeared on MTV?s Headbanger?s Ball wearing an evening gown. Interviews with openly gay magazines and really dressing like girls for their ?In Bloom? music video?while Kurt and Krist playfully grinded on one another?helped prove that mainstream rock didn?t need to be macho, to be good.

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