Mastodon guitarist/vocalist Brent Hinds is in a Las Vegas hospital with a severe head injury suffered following the band's Sunday (Sept. 9) performance as part of the MTV Video Music Awards. No additi

Mastodon guitarist/vocalist Brent Hinds is in a Las Vegas hospital with a severe head injury suffered following the band's Sunday (Sept. 9) performance as part of the MTV Video Music Awards. No additional information has been confirmed regarding how Hinds was injured or what his present condition is.

The group had performed in the Foo Fighters' suite with Queens Of The Stone Age frontman Josh Homme guesting, but only a few seconds of the pairing was broadcast during the VMAs. The full set can be viewed on MTV.com.

Mastodon is presently off the road; ironically, its lone upcoming show is in Las Vegas on Oct. 27 for the Vegoose festival.


-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.







The much-anticipated music service from Amazon could go live as early as Tuesday, Billboard.biz reports. The company has been testing the service internally for the last several weeks, and is presenting the results to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos for final approval. According to one well-placed source, his approval will mean an immediate launch on Tuesday. However, it could be delayed for weeks if he is not satisfied.

The pending service has generated high expectations for several reasons. For one, Amazon has taken the unique step of selling music only in unprotected MP3 format. While this means that only tracks from EMI and certain releases from Universal Music Group, not to mention a number of independents, will be available, they also will work with the iPod.


-- Antony Bruno, Denver







He may have been under the radar of late, but look for producer Rodney Jerkins to make some noise shortly. "You know if I'm quiet, that just means I'm getting ready to make a loud statement," Jerkins tells Billboard.com, ticking off a list of recent studio dates on his calendar, including Chris Brown, Mary J. Blige, Janet Jackson and Jennifer Hudson.

The now svelte Jerkins adds that this stealth bomber M.O. has always been his style. "I like to chill, spend time with my wife and family, play basketball, then go in the studio and hide out," he says. "Then I come back and say, 'Did you miss me?'"


-- Gail Mitchell, L.A.

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