Sharp Notes December 11 2003

OutKast-o-rama: The Grammy nominations are in, and since members of the Recording Academy have yet to embrace the crunk hidden somewhere deep in their hearts, Atlanta artists were relatively underrepresented this year. TLC, Ludacris, Ann Nesby, Third Day, Blu Cantrell, Da Brat and comedian David Cross each got one nomination. That left OutKast to pick up the slack with six of its own, including all three of the biggies: Record of the Year ("Hey Ya!"), Album of the Year (Speakerboxxx/The Love Below) and Producer of the Year (for work on their own album as well as with Killer Mike).

Meanwhile, the Recording Academy's local chapter announced OutKast as one of the recipients of its 2004 Heroes Award (along with concert promoter Alex Cooley and producer Dallas Austin). The honors will be handed out at an event scheduled for April 1.

And just to bring home the point that it's now OutKast's world and we're all just visitors in it, last week the group became the first act to have two different songs at No. 1 in two separate genres: "Hey Ya!" on the pop chart and "The Way You Move" on the R&B/hip-hop chart.

This same week, OutKast got one more award, this one from no less an authority than the U.S. Supreme Court: Recipient of the Most Frivolous Lawsuit that Just Won't Go Away. The Supremes ruled that 90-year-old Civil Rights icon and professional playa hata Rosa Parks could go ahead with her suit that claims OutKast violated her publicity and trademark rights and defamed her with their 1998 song "Rosa Parks." While she has already lost in a federal court — after all, the song's lyrics don't even name her — earlier this year a federal appeals court reinstated part of the suit. And this week, the Supreme Court refused to stop the reinstatement.

And so this colossal waste of time and energy continues. Could there be a sadder symbol of the gap in understanding between the Civil Rights generation and the hip-hop generation?

Kevn's rising S.T.A.R.: Everyone's favorite creative speller, Kevn Kinney, unveils his new band Thursday, Dec. 18, at Jake's Toadhouse. He's calling it Kevn Kinney's Sun Tangled Angel Revival, or Kevn Kinney's S.T.A.R. for short; or The Revival for shorter; or Kevn Kinney's new band for anyone who doesn't care enough to remember all that. The group features bassist Bryan J. Howard (formerly of Slackdaddy) and drummer Dave V. Johnson (formerly of Kinney's other group, drivin n cryin). Kinney and band have recorded a self-titled album with producer David Barbe to be released in the spring. Guests on the record include Widespread Panic's Dave Schools and Edwin McCain.

Rock Soul surrender: After five years of working to make "rock/alternative music the norm in urban/multicultural areas," the Rock Soul-U-Tion Core cooperative is being dissolved, says founder __D-Rock Soul-Jah. D-Rock will continue to host his black-rock-oriented radio show, "Alternative Rock Soul-U-Tions," on WRFG, Saturdays from midnight to 2 a.m. He says, "Hopefully there will soon be a group of younger, fresher, more charismatic music lovers to step their 'AfroPunk' asses up and lead a stronger collective of artists to longer-lasting success."

Augusta knight: Following in the footsteps of Macon, which recently erected a statue of favorite son/soul-man Otis Redding, the city of Augusta has announced plans to create a statue of its own legendary resident, James Brown. No word yet on how the monument will depict Brown's government-engineered bull testicles.??