Shearer’s Spotlight

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Shearer’s Spotlight: A Special Playlist Dedicated To The USA Women’s World Cup Team

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:

?Ridin? Solo,? Jason Derulo

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.

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Shearer’s Spotlight: An Appreciation Of 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. Be sure to tune into the Top 20 countdown when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT tomorrow morning.

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:

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Shearer’s Spotlight: Fireworks, Barbeques And The Fourth Of July

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?.

Anthems like Katy Perry?s “Firework,” Bruce Springsteen?s “Born In The U.S.A.,” or George Michael?s “Freedom! ’90″ are obvious boom-box picks, but if you want to get downright specific, here are my three favorite Fourth of July songs that actually mention the holiday by name:

?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.

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Shearer’s Spotlight: Remembering Clarence Clemons

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. Oh, and don’t forget, our brand new Top 20 site makes voting for your favorite videos easier than ever!

Last Saturday night, we lost rock n? roll icon Clarence Clemons. Immediately following his death, tributes from around the world poured forth on the Internet.

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:

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Shearer’s Spotlight: When Father’s Day Turns Sour

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 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:


?Cat?s In The Cradle? by Harry Chapin

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.

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

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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