Jim Shearer

by (@unclegrambo)

The VH1 Tuner Podcast, Episode 4: The Fray & Village Voice Music Editor Maura Johnston

The Fray‘s new album, Scars & Stories, just hit stores on Tuesday and is already flying off the shelves. Early projections have the band selling 90,000 to 100,000 copies of their third studio album, which should land them in the Top 5 of the Billboard charts next week. The guys were in our office earlier this week, where they performed “Heartbeats” on Big Morning Buzz Live. Our own Jim Shearer, host of VH1′s Top 20 Video Countdown, was able to grab some time with them for the latest episode of the VH1 Tuner Podcast, where they discussed a myriad of topics ranging from Yo Gabba Gabba to U2 to, um, shrinkage. (Thankfully for all parties involved, these were all separate incidents.)

Also, as a special bonus, Jim and Village Voice music editor Maura Johnston (@maura on Twitter) conclude the podcast by discussing some of the big storylines at this year’s 2012 Grammy Awards.

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by (@unclegrambo)

The VH1 Tuner Podcast, Episode 3: Kid Rock Talks The Care Tour, Nickelback Haters And His Refusal To Be On iTunes

Kid Rock has mellowed considerably since the days when his hard-partying ways and high-profile relationships with the likes of Pam Anderson and Jaime King made him a regular fixture in the tabloid media. In the latest edition of our VH1 Tuner Podcast, our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown host Jim Shearer got some time with the Son of Detroit and discussed a variety of topics that you might not necessarily expect someone with a such a reputation for being a hellraiser: The practical complexities of discovering exactly which charity organizations are on the level, his love for the all- female country group Pistol Annies, his dislike of the guy who started the anti-Nickelback campaign, his rationale for keeping his music off iTunes and much, much more!

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by (@unclegrambo)

Graffiti6 Win Themselves A Slew Of New Fans During Recent New York City Jaunt

You might not know the name Graffiti6 yet, but there’s a very good chance that you would recognize some of their tunes. Even though their debut album, Colours (listen to it on Spotify), has only been out a week, nine of the 12 songs on the album have already been licensed, appearing on television shows like VH1′s Basketball Wives, MTV’s Teen Wolf, NBC’s Parenthood and the FIFA 2012 video game. They were here in New York City this week promoting their new record, and in addition to a performance on the set of Big Morning Buzz Live (which you can see above), they opened for Augustana at a sold-out show at Manhattan’s Gramercy Theater on Wednesday night.

From our stage right vantage point, we overheard a couple of twentysomething girls talking about the group before the show. “I like Augustana, but I don’t know Graffiti6 at all,” one said to the other, but by the third song of Graffiti6′s set, they were bantering back and forth about how they couldn’t wait to see the group again. Lead singer Jamie Scott has leading man looks and a tenor voice that reminded us more than a little of Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, but the two band’s dynamics could not be more different. Whereas Maroon 5 specializes in disco-driven pop, Graffiti6 fuses hip hop inspired backbeats with widescreen sonic textures courtesy of producer/guitarist Tommy D. Songs like “Annie You Save Me” and “Stare Into The Sun” come off a bit more propulsive in a live setting than their more layered studio versions, which really served to engage the audience, most of whom didn’t seem to be familiar with this new act when the show began. Consequently, by the time Graffiti6 got to their set-closing new single, “Free” (the music video for which we told you about earlier this week), there’s no denying that the band had won themselves a couple of hundred new fans.
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by (@kat_george)

The VH1 Tuner Podcast, Episode 2: Christina Perri Talks Twilight, A Secret Single And New Album

Our You Oughta Know artist, Christina Perri, had a big year in 2011 with her song “A Thousand Years,” which was featured on The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 soundtrack. Perri, while on the promotional tour for the movie, chatted with VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown host Jim Shearer for the second installment of our VH1 Tuner podcast, which you can listen to in full here. In it, Perri says “A Thousand Years” was written specifically for Edward and Bella, and that she’s a self-proclaimed “Twi-hard”, getting “Bitten” tattooed to herself “[after] having read the books, and I felt as though I’d been bitten with the series, with the obsession of the love story.”

Aside from her love for Twilight and obvious excitement about being on the soundtrack, Perri revealed that she’ll be releasing one more single from her album lovestrong. According to Perri, the song will be an existing track from the album, re-recorded to include a duet with a male singer/songwriter. While she wont reveal who she’ll be pairing up with for the release, she says the artist is somewhere in the spectrum between Tony Bennett and Justin Bieber. But it doesn’t end there — Perri says she’s ready to start work on a new album and with 32 song ideas already in the vault, she says she just wants to come up with more: “I’m always writing… Writers should never stop writing.” Now 100% recovered from vocal surgery (fun fact: Perri’s doctor is the same doctor Adele used when she also underwent surgery last year), we’re excited to see what 2012 holds for Perri, and who the mystery duet will be with!

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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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by (@unclegrambo)

VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown For The Week Ending December 10, 2011

If you missed this week’s VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown, you’re in luck. Not only is it re-airing tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. on VH1, but we’ve got this week’s complete list of the week’s 20 hottest videos for you. After narrowly missing out on the top spot to Usher and David Guetta last week, Katy Perry‘s wistful “The One That Got Away” has snatched this week’s top spot. Check out the complete list of videos in the final Top 20 Video Countdown episode of 2011 below.

A reminder: VH1′s Top 40 videos of 2011 will be airing at a special time: Wednesday night, December 14, at 7 p.m. ET/PT. Watch this space for more details!

1. Katy Perry, “The One That Got Away” [WATCH]
2. Kelly Clarkson – “Mr Know It All” [WATCH]
3. Daughtry – “Crawling Back To You”
4. Bruno Mars, “It Will Rain” [WATCH]
5. David Guetta featuring Usher – “Without You” [WATCH]
6. Rihanna, “We Found Love”
7. Coldplay – “Paradise” [WATCH]
8. Safetysuit, “Let Go”
9. Adele – “Someone Like You” [WATCH]
10. The Fray, “Heartbeat” [WATCH]

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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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The VH1 Tuner Podcast Debuts With Special Guest Kelly Clarkson

If VH1 were to have its own zodiac, it would be the year of Kelly Clarkson. Tomorrow (November 17), we’re premiering VH1 Unplugged: Kelly Clarkson on VH1.com at 7 p.m. ET. In December, Kelly returns to VH1 for a performance on VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul. And today, we’re happy to present our first-ever weekly VH1 Tuner Podcast, hosted by Jim Shearer of VH1 Top 20 Countdown fame, with an all-Kelly Clarkson edition. In this episode, Jim chats with Kelly about Stronger, her relationship status, wanting to collaborate with Adele, her video for “Mr. Know It All,” and how she feels about being our very first podcast guest. Enjoy the audio now and look for us soon in iTunes.

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