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The Decemberists Have the No. 1 Album in the Country

The Decemberists' new album, The King Is Dead, sold 94,000 copies in its first week, sending it straight to the top of the Billboard charts, a cozy spot usually reserved for pop tarts and various incarnations of Now That's What I Call Music. It's easily the best-selling week in the band's career, and even "a much healthier number than any album has had lately." The Portland-based indie crew were followed by the acclaimed albums Kidz Bop 19, Script's Science & Faith, Social Distortion's Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes, and Gregg Allman’s Low Country Blues, respectively. At this time last year, Vampire Weekend's Contra hit the No. 1 spot, selling 124,000 copies in its first week. January smiles upon indie bands. [ArtsBeat/NYT]