Billboard Bits: Outkast, Craig David, TMBG

News on Outkast, Craig David, They Might Be Giants

In the wake of the recent shooting at San Diego County's Santee High School and other similar tragedies, hip-hop duo Outkast has joined forces with the Nike Youth Action program to assist kids in fostering positive change in their communities. Designed to eliminate the inherent fear youths have in speaking up to prevent tragic incidents, the program is distributing $1,000 grants to nonprofit youth organizations on nine of Outkast's 40 tour stops.

The group will visit the organizations, outlining the need for youth activism and moderating discussions about the recent high school shootings. In turn, participating kids receive free concert tickets. Outkast will present the grant to a designated youth rep onstage during each show. The group descends on Chicago tonight (March 16).

-- Gail Mitchell, L.A.

MTV will broadcast live Craig David's performance in Rotterdam Monday (March 19) across the network's nine European music channels. Delayed telecasts of the Wildstar/Telstar-signed R&B singer's performance are tipped for MTV2 in the U.S., MTV Australia, MTV Russia, and all eight affiliated channels in the Asia Pacific region.

MTV's European online services will also stream "Craig David MTV Live" the following day, followed by Webcasts on nine MTV International Web sites, including the U.S., Japan and China.

David's debut album "Born To Do It", which has sold more than 4.5 million copies worldwide, will be released in the U.S. this summer, according to the label.

-- Lars Brandle, London

They Might Be Giants kick off a brief club tour tonight (March 16) at Recher in Baltimore. With the exception of the Baltimore show and Saturday's Washington, D.C., stop at the 9:30 Club, the 14-date run is concentrated in the Southeast U.S.

Fronted by John Flansburgh and John Linnell, the group is touring in support of the Restless soundtrack to the Fox TV series "Malcolm In The Middle." A planned "rock album," the group's first full studio release under its recently signed deal with Restless, is due later this year.

Here are TMBG tour dates:
March 16: Baltimore (Recher)
March 17: Washington, D.C. (9:30 Club)
March 18: Raleigh, N.C. (the Ritz)
March 19: Charleston, S.C. (the Music Farm)
March 20: Panama City, Fla. (Spiniker's)
March 22: Tallahassee, Fla. (the Moon)
March 23: Orlando, Fla. (Hard Rock Cafe)
March 24: St. Petersburg, Fla. (Jannus Landing)
March 25: Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (Chili Pepper)
March 27: Jacksonville, Fla. (the Edge)
March 28: Atlanta (Roxy)
March 29: Winston-Salem, N.C. (Ziggy's)
March 30: Asheville, N.C. (the Music Zone)
March 31: Norfolk, Va. (the Boathouse)

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.