Shearer’s Spotlight: School’s (Almost) Out For The Summer!

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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; this week’s special guests are none other than Death Cab For Cutie and Nick Jonas!

Even though I?m out of school?sadly, for many years now?every year at this time I like to put myself in the mindset and sneakers of jubilant kids who are celebrating the end of another year of education.

If today was indeed my last day of school?after doing a few donuts in the high school parking lot?here are the first three songs I?d play at maximum volume in my powder-blue station wagon:


 
?School?s Out? by Alice Cooper
There is no better song to celebrate the end of a school year. This song was specifically written for mid-June, which Cooper claims?along with Christmas?is the best time of the year. Just think, before this song was released kids had to gather in a kumbaya-circle and sing along to the ?No More Pencils, No More Books? nursery rhyme, which is also conveniently referenced in this rock classic. (Ed. Note – This performance of “School’s Out” from the Muppet Show is my personal fave of this song.)

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Have A Question For One Of Our Big Morning Buzz Live Guests? Now’s Your Chance To Ask It!

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Have you ever thought of a question for a celebrity that you would love to ask if you ever got the chance? Well, here’s the perfect opportunity. VH1′s morning show, Big Morning Buzz Live, hosts a ton of amazing celebrities each week, and now we’re giving viewers the chance to submit a question online to them.

We’ve partnered with a new company called VYou to give viewers a chance to ask our guests anything you want. Just submit a question for either our lovely host Carrie Keagan or any of our upcoming guests through the widget above or by visiting our Big Morning Buzz Live page on VYou.com and wait for them to respond to you via our in-studio webcam.

This week?s list of Big Morning Buzz Live guests includes: Jordan Knight of New Kids On The Block, Twilight star Elizabeth Reaser, Drita D’avanzo of Mob Wives, Simon Pegg, and Foster the People

Natasha Bedingfield Reveals How Eminem Helped Out With Her Nicki Minaj Collaboration on Pink Friday

by (@unclegrambo)

In part two of our interview with international chart-topper Natasha Bedingfield (see part one here), we spoke to her about how her collaboration with Nicki Minaj, “Last Chance,” came about. Unbeknownst to us, it turns out that if it weren’t for her relationship with Eminem, the track might never have happened! Check out her video interview above –one in which she also charmingly chides Simon Cowell for not picking her to be a judge on X-Factor– for all this and more.

And below, we’ve got Natasha’s humdinger of a performance of her new potential summer jam, “Weightless,” live on the set of Big Morning Buzz Live!

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Who’s Been Sleeping In My Bed? Ray LaMontagne Discusses a Violent Intruder at Storytellers

by (@Lacezilla)

Imagine you’re a successful musician, returning home after being on tour for months. Groggy and wiped, you walk in your bedroom to find your most prized possession destroyed, and the blade of a 12-inch carving knife stuck, standing up, in the middle of your bed. Creepytown, right? For Ray LaMontagne, this was actually a reality, and on Wednesday morning, our friends at Rolling Stone?debuted a sneak from tonight’s episode of VH1 Storytellers wherein the talented singer explains how and why it all happened. After the deeply personal account that was a favorite of ours from the show’s taping, LaMontagne then performs new single “Repo Man,” giving us a taste of what’s to come on tonight’s incredible episode.

In case that’s not enough Ray for you to chew on before this evening’s show, we can now proudly present you with an online-only exclusive from the show, brought to you by the good folks at Bing. A bit less intense, “For The Summer” is the perfect, tender compliment to Wednesday’s “Repo Man”?sneak, whose lyrics perhaps offer a healing solution to the dramatic knife story he discussed. If you’re already a fan, you’ll get it, and if you’re not, it’s compelling enough to turn you into one.

To get the full scoop on Ray’s bedroom fiasco, watch both clips now, and don’t forget to set your DVRs for Storytellers: Ray LaMontagne, premiering tonight at 11 p.m. ET/PT on VH1.

Last Lap: Thursday’s Odds and Ends In Music News

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We try to cover all the music stories that matter here on the VH1 blog. Sometimes, though, we find too many stories to cover, stories that don’t exactly “matter” but are worth sharing, or even just good stuff from our peers. Here’s your Thursday roundup:

Flo Rida Arrested for DUI in Miami
TMZ reports that Flo Rida attempted to decline a walk-a-straight-line test: “Officer, I can?t do this. I don?t feel I can?t walk a straight line. I had a few drinks. Let?s try another test.” [Rap Radar]
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Kathleen Hanna And The Complicated Legacy Of Riot Grrrl

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On Sunday the New York Times reviewed a Kathleen Hanna tribute concert that took place six months ago, as an entry into a discussion of how the 1990s feminist movement of riot grrrl (which included, but was not limited to, music) has, and has not, been remembered. The article’s timing coincided with the DVD release of the documentary Who Took the Bomp? Le Tigre on Tour, which follows one of Hanna’s bands, Le Tigre, on their farewell tour in 2004 and 2005. The film is distributed by Oscilloscope, a company owned by Adam Yauch, whose fellow Beastie Boy Adam Horowitz is Hanna’s husband, and is one of several recent examples of riot grrrl veterans writing their own histories. The Times article also mentions Sara Marcus‘s recent book Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Movement, as well as NYU’s Riot Grrrl Archive.?
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Helping You Make The Tough Decisions At Bonnaroo 2011

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Festival season continues this weekend with Bonnaroo‘s 10th anniversary in Manchester, Tennessee, so we’re here again to help guide the 80,000 wristband holders through the tough choices of the weekend’s lineup. (Don’t have a ticket? You’re in luck! Some of the big-tent performances will be webcast at VEVO.) As always, we recommend checking out at least one band you haven?t heard before; might we recommend country-rocker Hayes Carll, (who plays one set each today and tomorrow)?

Jam-band and bluegrass aficionados have a plethora of options all weekend?perhaps too many tough choices. For the more pop-minded among us, here are five big intersection points to break down for you:

FRIDAY AFTERNOON
Choices: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals (3:15 p.m., What Stage) and Matt & Kim (3:15 p.m., This Tent)
Decision: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. Both groups are embarking on summer tours in midsize venues with reasonable ticket prices, but Matt & Kim, though they showed at the OMAs that they can play bigger, do have a certain energy that’s amplified when it’s contained in a club full of kids that are ridiculously hyped up. You Oughta Know artists Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, on the other hand, don’t lose any of their power from midday open-air big-tent staging.
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Top 10 Bonnaroo Acts With The Fastest Growing Fan Bases

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Previously in our “Bonnaroo By the Numbers” series, we discovered that hip-hop acts dominate Bonnaroo’s lineup in terms of sheer volume of social media fans. Now, we’ve compiled data from Next Big Sound to create a list of the bands that are growing their fan base (Facebook, Twitter, LastFM, MySpace, YouTube, etc.) the fastest. It’s based on month-over-month percentage change leading up to Bonnaroo. The list is topped with the always-animated, experimental band Man Man, presumably because their fourth album, Life Fantastic, was released last month. The Brooklyn-based, get-the-party-started band Matt & Kim are next on the list with a 209% increase in fans, including an enormous one-time spike of 35,000 fans on May 19 — the day after the duo announced their “Sidewalks” tour and the day they released their official video for “CAMERA” on their Facebook page.

Also on the list are some up-and-comers like Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside, a Portland rock quartet that’s as comfortable playing jazz and blues as it is rock. The foursome, ranked #3 on the list, increased their social media fan base by 151%. They’ve been around since 2008, but released their debut album last month. After the jump, see all 10 bands on our list.

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Natasha Bedingfield Spreads Well Wishes To Her Ailing Friend, Sean Kingston

by (@unclegrambo)

Sean Kingston nearly lost his life after he crashed his jet ski into a bridge over Memorial Day weekend. Thankfully, though, reports have surfaced that confirm that he has made it out of the woods, so much so that Kingston is now reportedly now walking on his own and he’s scheduled to make a full recovery.

Yesterday morning, we spoke with Big Morning Buzz Live guest Natasha Bedingfield after she got done performing and asked her if she had spoken to Kingston, her collaborator on one of the biggest hits of 2007, “Love Like This.” Natasha (who looks positively lovely up close and in person) told us that she hadn’t spoke to him yet, but she did offer up some really kind words about one of the gentle giants of R&B.

We’ll have more from our interview with Natasha Bedingfield tomorrow! Until then, be sure to tune into Big Morning Buzz Live each and every weekday at 9:30 a.m.!

Lady Antebellum Offer Prince Belated Birthday “Kiss” On CMT Awards

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With Kid Rock as host, it’s no surprise that the CMT Music Awards went pop last night. After a gag entrance in which Kid Rock tried to open the show with “Bawitdaba” only to be interrupted by Wynonna for a duet debut of her “Till My Dying Day.” Later in the show, The Band Perry introduced their performance of single “You Lie” with a snippet of “Love the Way You Lie.”

The undisputed crossover champions of the night were Lady Antebellum, who halfway through their performance of “Just a Kiss” switched over to a much funkier “Kiss”?the 1986 single from Prince and the Revolution‘s Parade. Lady A, who have showed their pop potential at the Grammys, on the charts, and, increasingly, in performance, turned out a great rendition (though admittedly, Prince songs are really hard to cover poorly). They didn’t explicitly mention Prince’s 53rd birthday the day before, but we’d like to think the performance was, in part, a birthday tribute.

Elsewhere on television?
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