Inspired by Das Racist?s latest single, here are my three favorite songs that mention the late-great King of Pop in its title:
Das Racist, ?Michael Jackson?
When Michael Jackson was the world?s biggest pop star, he was an easy target for cheap shots. When he passed away a couple years ago, all mockery was replaced by reverence. In their lead single/music video off their first commercially released album, Relax, I can?t tell if Das Racist is doing the former, the latter, or a little bit of both. Either way I can?t get the hook out of my head.
Next Wednesday, Sept. 14, the Big 4 Festival will descend upon Yankee Stadium in New York City. The participants will include the ?big four? bands (i.e., pillars, staples, torch bearers, etc.) of thrash metal music: Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax. Here are some other acts that could pull off a Big 4 Festival of their own:
1) Big 4 of Millennial Pop: Britney Spears, *NSYNC, Christina Aguilera, Backstreet Boys
This past summer, the Backstreet Boys created some buzz when they toured with their boy-band predecessors, New Kids On The Block, as NKOTBSB; but could you imagine the pandemonium they could create by teaming up with late ?90s peer/rival, *NSYNC? The reunions alone would sell tickets on this tour: Justin and *NSYNC, Justin and Britney, Britney and Christina, and three old Mouseketeers back together again.
The arrival of Labor Day Weekend marks the unofficial end of summer. With that, here are three things I never expected from the Summer of ?11:
1) ?Party Rock Anthem? to be Summer Anthem of 2011
At the beginning of the summer there wasn?t a clear-cut favorite for the summertime jam of 2011, but I never expected LMFAO?s ?Party Rock Anthem? to dominate the mainstream airwaves like it did. Club hit? Yes. Pop radio hit? Never would?ve thunk it. Sing it together now kids: Everyday I?m shufflin?.
No lie, I haven?t missed a live viewing of the MTV Video Music Awards in 21 years. In college, when our dormitory only carried three television stations, I even managed to squat out the TV-set in student union for four consecutive years.
As someone who takes their VMA?s very seriously, here are three things I?m hoping will not happen this Sunday night:
1) We Don?t Lose Power in NYC
Not only am I missing two of my favorite shows for the VMA?s this Sunday night?Curb Your Enthusiasm and Breaking Bad?but I?m hoping to keep my VMA streak intact by actually getting to watch them live. If Hurricane Irene hits NYC hard on Sunday, electricity may be at a minimum, which would even negate a DVR viewing of the VMA?s. Yes, MTV will re-air the show, but I want to see it before it?s edited down into a TV-friendly, two-hour chunk.
This week my glass is half empty. Here are three great things that kind of bum me out:
1) Krist Novoselic Performing Nevermind From Beginning to End
To pay homage to the 20th Anniversary of Nirvana?s Nevermind, founding member Krist Novoselic will be joining a collection of Seattle bands, in Seattle (Sept. 20), to play the stone classic in its entirety.
Why I?m Bummed: I won?t be there, and since the Foo Fighters will be playing in Cleveland that night, Dave Grohl won?t be there either. It also would have been cool if Kurt Cobain were around to perform these generation-forging tunes.
Were it not for MTV I can guarantee you that I wouldn?t be holding a microphone in my hand every Saturday morning on the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown. Prior to the Internet, and before I was able to find my way to hole-in-the-wall record stores, MTV was my primary music source?well, I should say it became my primary source of music, when my religiously firm parents eased up on their secular restrictions and let me watch regularly.
Anyway, here are my three favorite MTV moments:
1.) Watching ?So What?cha Want?? For the Very First Time
It?s a well-known fact that I might be slightly obsessed with the Beastie Boys. The fascination began when I came home from school one afternoon in 1992, turned on MTV, and saw their video for ?So What?cha Want?? That?s the day I became a full-fledged fanatic. Twelve years later?in a pinch-me-if-I?m-dreaming moment?I got to host a live special on MTV where I introduced the Beastie Boys? performance of this very song.
1.) VIDEO OF THE YEAR
?Rolling In The Deep,? Adele
?Yonkers,? Tyler The Creator
?Firework,? Katy Perry
?Grenade,? Bruno Mars
?Make Some Noise,? Beastie Boys
If you?re going to hand out an award based purely on song alone, than Adele?s ?Rolling In The Deep? will have no problem winning. Video-wise, ?Make Some Noise? seems to be the most eye-catching clip of the bunch. I?m not thrilled with the other three nominees: the poignancy of Katy Perry?s ?Firework? evaporates once sparklers start exploding from her bosoms; Tyler The Creator?s ?Yonkers? video is Nine Inch Nails-lite, and Bruno Mars? ?Grenade? lacks the bigness to be distinguished as Video of the Year (although I do give him props for dragging that piano all around town).
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, when the Top 20 Spotlight will be shining on none other than Beyoncé!
If you?re not watching the USA vs. Japan Women?s World Cup finals match this Sunday at 2 p.m., I don?t think we can be friends (unless, of course, you have a really good excuse).
Here are three songs that will be included on my pre-game playlist:
I?m sending this one out to USA?s Hope Solo. I decided to go with this Jason Derulo tune, because in sports, you always pin your hopes on your star player, and ?ride? them through the finals. And because Solo plays the lonely position of goalkeeper, she is ?ridin? solo? in many ways. For any of you taking this song title out of a sports context and bringing it into, say, the bedroom; shame on you, what a dirty mind you have.
This week I?m being spoiled. Over a course of four days?tonight being the fourth?punk rock veterans and one of my favorite bands ever, the Bouncing Souls, will be playing their entire album catalog (two albums per night) at the Highline Ballroom in New York City.
If you?re not familiar with the Jersey punks, here?s a quick history:
The Bouncing Souls formed in 1987 and built an underground following by playing punk rock music infused with a humorous pop sensibility. In the mid-90?s, when punk bands like Green Day and Blink-182 were inking major label record deals, the Bouncing Souls decided to stay independent, even banning themselves from MTV.
Over 20 years later, the Bouncing Souls?who don?t look much different than they did when I first saw them perform live?are usually out on tour, playing packed-beyond-capacity venues around the world.
Here are three things a younger band could learn from the Bouncing Souls:
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. This feature will include three things —sometimes related, sometimes not!— that Jim is obsessing over this week. Be sure to tune into the Top 20 countdown when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT tomorrow morning, coming at you from the lovely environs of Long Branch, New Jersey.
For years I?ve been compiling Fourth of July mixtapes and playlists. Sometimes I keep them thematic, and sometimes it?s just about choosing tracks that will keep the backyard barbeque rockin?.
?Good? by Better Than Ezra
Depending on how you listen to this classic ?90s modern rock ditty, you could either take it as joyous song of freedom, or a sad breakup tune. Either way, Better Than Ezra?s Kevin Griffin points out that the only time he?ll possibly call or write his ex is on?you got it?the Fourth of July.