Billboard Bits: Pearl Jam, Shaggy, Proclaimers, Sawhney

Pearl Jam, MTV2, MTV,, Shaggy, Rayvon, Rik Rok Ducent, the Proclaimers, Nitin Sawhney

Fans can get a sneak peek at Pearl Jam's forthcoming DVD/VHS "Touring Band 2000" all weekend long on MTV2. As part of a "weekend of rock" that also extends to MTV and, song clips from "Touring Band" will air at the top of each hour beginning 9 p.m. ET on Friday (March 16). As previously reported, "Touring Band" collects more than two hours worth of performances from Pearl Jam's summer tour of North America. It will be available to members of the band's Ten Club beginning April 3 and hits traditional retail a week later.

Among the other shows due for broadcast this weekend on the MTV networks include "Most Played Rock Videos," specials on up-and-coming rock artists and guitar gods, and a look back at classic moments from MTV's "Headbangers Ball" series.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

Hoping to further capitalize on the runaway success of Shaggy's "Hotshot," MCA has struck a distribution deal with Big Yard Music Group, the production company headed by Shaggy and his manager/producer Robert Livingston, Billboard Bulletin reports. Under the deal, Big Yard/MCA will release albums from recent Shaggy collaborators Ricardo "Rik Rok" Ducent and Rayvon, with Shaggy guesting on both records. Ducent's album is nearly completed, and due in late summer, while Rayvon's album is set to drop in June, preceded by first single "Chronic." Other artists on the Big Yard/MCA roster will include Prince Midas, Craaft, and Marsha.

Scotland's the Proclaimers will on May 22 release their first album in seven years. Titled "Persevere," the Nettwerk America set will be led by first single "There's A Touch." Fronted by bespectacled twin brothers Craig and Charlie Reid, the Proclaimers are perhaps best known for the 1988 song "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)," from the Chrysalis album "Sunshine On Leigh." Although critically acclaimed, the album received little attention, and initially failed to reach higher than No. 125 on The Billboard 200. It wasn't until the song was featured in the 1993 Johnny Depp/Mary Stuart Masterson film "Benny & Joon," at Masterson's insistence, that the group gained any mass popularity. The film propelled the song to a 1993 peak of No. 3 on The Billboard Hot 100. "Sunshine On Leigh" was also given new life, peaking at No. 31 on The Billboard 200 that August. In support of "Perseverance," the group will tour the U.S. in August with the Barenaked Ladies. Exact dates for the trek have not yet been confirmed.

That V2 Records has inked a global deal with Nitin Sawhney, widely regarded as one of the most talented electronica artists in the U.K., Billboard Bulletin reports. The first album under the new deal is expected to be released in June. In addition, Sawhney's fourth album, "Beyond Skin," which was nominated for the U.K.'s Mercury Music Prize 2000, is to be licensed for release in North America. Sawhney was previously signed to Outcaste Records in the U.K.