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.)
“Oxford Comma” by Vampire Weekend
To the best of my knowledge, this is the only song in popular music that has ever cursed out a punctuation mark. If you’re ever going to slip up on grammar or the placement of commas, summer is the time to do it. So like Ezra Koenig sings, “Who gives a f*** about an Oxford comma?”
I love this song, album, and band (by the way, that comma following “album”—which is totally optional on your end—is an Oxford comma).
“True Believers” by The Bouncing Souls
Though the lyrics don’t include any references about school being out for the year, the title of the album more than makes up for it: How I Spent My Summer Vacation. Because The Bouncing Souls have been around since the late eighties, I’ve spent many summer vacations seeing them perform live (several times at the Vans Warped Tour, before I stopped going because I was the oldest kid there). Note: If you watch the official music video for this song, I’m the guy holding the “I Believe!” sign.