Every few years, it seems, we get a new William Shatner: Therewas the honest-cop Shatner as T.J. Hooker. TheTrekkies-get-a-life Shatner from Saturday Night Live. And thewinking, irony-and-karaoke Shatner pushing Priceline.com. Now,with the just-revamped online hub WilliamShatner.com and a rolein the comedy Showtime, there’s another Shatner in town: thestraightforward, open-book family guy. On his pumped-up site,the tireless captain, now 71, jumps on message boards, opens hisdatebook, and posts family portraits and home videos. He’s evengot daughter Lisabeth, 41, writing the site’s centerpiece, aweekly video/hypertext murder mystery called Ruby. We caught upwith the indefatigable dynamo and asked about his new website,the galactic allegiances of Larry King, and a naughty site witha familiar name…
— You’re in, what, four or five films this year? You have thisnew site. How much Shatner is too much Shatner?
I don’t know yet! I’ll get that feedback from the website.
— Why does the world need a bigger, better WilliamShatner.com?
It’s a traditional fan club taken to a technology level. Itprovides an intercommunication between fan and celebrity, thelikes of which have never been seen before. Their opinionimmediately conditions my behavior in some instances.
— Right. I hear you have an upcoming role in your daughter’s showRuby? What’s your character?
I’m in disguise. I think.
— You think?
Well, I think the disguise will be enough to make it so you’releft wondering ”Which part did he play?”
— Looking through your online calendar, where most appointmentsare Star Trek conventions, we notice you have something in Augustcalled the Shatner Big Scenario Game.
Huh? What’s that?
— That’s what we were asking. I wonder what that’s referring to.You got any other clues?
— It’s on August 31.
Ah! This will be the biggest paintball game in the history ofpaintball, which has become a very popular sport in America. I’mone of the generals — I invited Larry King to play. I’m invitingpeople to come and be one of the leaders of the three groups,which are the Klingons, the Romulans, and the Federation.
— So, is Larry King a Romulan or a Klingon?
I don’t know.
— Are you aware that tjhooker.com is actually the website for aTijuana escort service?
No, I had no idea. That’s hysterical. [Pauses] Maybe that’s toomuch Shatner.
LOSER OF THE WEEKIndie Hip-Hop
LOSER OF THE WEEKIndie Hip-Hop
Trailblazing label Tommy Boy has dropped its rap acts to focuson electronica; Loud will cede some of its functions to parentcompany Sony; Rawkus is in negotiations to merge with MCA.Suddenly, B-boys have no place to B.
The only ”B2K problem” retailers had was making sure the group’sCD was in stock. The young vocal quartet, which takes theboy-band trend back to its New Edition-style black roots, had aNo. 2 bow, selling 109,000 of their debut. That other boy band,the Soggy Bottom lads, ruled the roost again with O Brother,which you might think of as B1K, except the music only sounds athousand years old. The soundtrack’s sales dipped by 10,000units to 149,000 but still held a comfortable lead during amediocre sales week. With a paucity of must-have new releasesand 14 albums holding over from last week’s already-weak top 15,stores are praying Brother gets some best-selling brethren, andfast.
LAST WEEKSWEEK ON CHART 1 1 VARIOUS ARTISTSO Brother… soundtrack, Mercury Nashville 642 — B2KB2K, Epic 13 5 ALAN JACKSONDrive, Arista Nashville 94 3 ALANIS MORISSETTEUnder Rug Swept, Maverick 35 2 BRANDYFull Moon, Atlantic 26 4 LINKIN PARKHybrid Theory, Warner Bros. 737 6 LUDACRISWord of Mouf, Def Jam 168 10 PINKM!ssundaztood, Arista 179 9 KYLIE MINOGUEFever, Capitol 310 8 JENNIFER LOPEZJ to Tha L-O! The Remixes, Epic 611 11 NICKELBACKSilver Side Up, Roadrunner 2712 7 ALICIA KEYSSongs in A Minor, J 3813 13 PUDDLE OF MUDDCome Clean, Flawless/Geffen 2914 15 MARY J. BLIGENo More Drama, MCA 615 14 USHER8701, Arista 32
(C)2002 BPI COMMUNICATIONS INC./SOUNDSCAN INC. USED WITHPERMISSION FROM BILLBOARD, MARCH 30, 2002.
IN STORES APRIL 2
TWEET Southern Hummingbird (Elektra) With friends like MissyElliott, Bilal, and Timbaland — all of whom appear on the R&Brookie’s debut disc — no wonder radio is all over this.
XTC Coat of Many Cupboards (Caroline) Among the 60 tracks on theseminal Brit new-wavers’ four-CD boxed set are demo versions of”Dear God” and ”Mayor of Simpleton.”
THE APEX THEORY Topsy-Turvy (DreamWorks) Not anotherArmenian-American prog-metal band from L.A. Believe it or not,System of a Down won’t have that category locked up after thisquartet drops its full-length debut.
ASHANTI Foolish (Murder Inc./Def Jam) After singing hooks forBig Pun, Ja Rule, and Fat Joe, Ashanti, the first R&B act onrap-centric Murder Inc., aims to pull in some fans of her own.
PRINCE The artist formerly on top comes back with a series ofintimate shows featuring Maceo Parker on sax. Launched in earlyMarch, the tour continues through May 5 in Las Vegas.
INCUBUS The hippies of nu-metal get on the bus for the secondannual Civic Tour, which kicks off April 11 in Portland, Ore.,and wraps up July 3 in San Antonio.
THE WHITE STRIPES bring their boozy, bluesy rock out of thegarage for a 14-date tour starting in Cleveland on March 29,ending in East Lansing, Mich., on April 14, and including afour-night stay in New York City.