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, ourVH1 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. Oh, and don’t forget, our brand new Top 20 site makes voting for your favorite videos easier than ever!
If you really think about it, the mark he left on popular music is somewhat unbelievable; Clemons was best known for his work in Bruce Springsteen?s E Street Band, where he wasn?t a frontman, didn?t play lead guitar, pluck a bass, or even sit on a throne behind a drum kit. He was a saxophonist.
Let me say that again: He was a saxophonist!
Unless you?re hanging out with fans of smooth jazz or ska music, saxophone players usually aren?t revered as music royalty?especially in mainstream rock n? roll?but Clarence Clemons was, and always will be.
Here are three reasons why I think the (appropriately nicknamed) ?Big Man? was the man:
Good news, VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown fans! Earlier this afternoon, we launched a brand new site which makes both watching and voting for your favorite videos easier than ever. Just head over to top20.vh1.com and check it out our new digs.
Not only can you now cast up to 20 votes for your favorite videos per week, you can also share your votes with your followers on Twitter and your Facebook friends. This makes it easier than ever to rally support for your fave videos and, hopefully, propel them up our weekly chart.
Don’t forget to tune in to VH1 each and every Saturday morning at 9 a.m. ET/PT to catch host Jim Shearer count down what’s topping the chart that week.
When it comes to embracing new artists, The Big Apple is notorious for being standoffish. Countless acts come through this town feeling intense pressure to perform, and like a picky suitor at a speed-dating event, New York and its sometimes-jaded tastemaker underbelly can often?discard a group within minutes. This premature blow to the ego, however, did not happen at the Lower East Side’s Bowery Ballroom last night. Performing their second sold out show in the concrete jungle in as many nights?—the first of which was held Monday night in Brooklyn— indie pop rockers Foster The People managed to create an atmosphere that was full of wild, supportive energy, and not a heckler was in sight.
Each Friday here on the VH1 Blog, ourVH1 Top 20 Video Countdownhost 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 is none other than American Idol Season 7 winner David Cook!
Father?s Day weekend is almost upon us, and while popular music has given us goodies like ?Papa Was a Rolling Stone? and ?Papa Has a Brand New Bag??surely inspiring musical monikers like Big Daddy Kane, Daddy Yankee and even Kris Kross? Mack Daddy & Daddy Mack?Father?s Day can sometimes be a sore subject with musicians.
If you?re looking to put a smile on your dad?s face this weekend, please DO NOT include these tracks on your Father?s Day mix:
The mother?or, I guess the father?of deadbeat dad anthems. It?s a classic tale of what goes around comes around, teaching us all that if you don?t play catch with your young son, he won?t want to hang out with you when he gets older.
Ironically, most of your fathers probably enjoy this classic tune, so if you?re thinking of incorporating it into a playlist for him, just make sure you don?t accidentally download the cover version from Ugly Kid Joe.
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.)
It might not be officially “summer” until June 21, but that’s not stopping us from starting our 2011 Song of the Summer Countdown. All day today, we’ll be highlighting Song of the Summer contenders as chosen by people who not only work here, but those that live and breathe music. Up first, we’ve got three picks from Jim Shearer, host of the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown, which airs each and every Saturday morning. Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments!
NOMINATION:Beastie Boys feat. Santigold, “Don?t Play No Game That I Can?t Win? EXPLANATION: To the naked ear it sounds like a Santigold song featuring the Beastie Boys, but don?t be fooled. When MCA, Mike D, and Ad-Rock were crafting the instrumental for this beachside-reggae delight, they were having trouble piecing it into a proper song until they got on the bat-phone and rang Santigold. ?Don?t Play No Game? is pop enough for mainstream radio, but will Katy Perry, Beyoncé, and Ke$ha fans open their ears to listen?