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EW: It’s a grand day for indie rock, as Vampire Weekend have just debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Go ahead and hoist a refreshing glass of horchata in their honor. The preppy foursome sold 124,000 copies of their sophomore album Contra, according to Nielsen SoundScan — a nice number that, combined with weak retail competition, was enough to make them the biggest band in the nation for at least one week. Considering that the No. 1 spot generally belongs to major-label acts like Ke$ha and Susan Boyle, it’s impressive to see a scrappy young indie group pull this off. (Contra came out on XL Recordings.) In fact, this is only the 12th time an independent release has topped Billboard’s flagship chart since the SoundScan era began in 1991. MORE
NASTY LITTLE MAN: Plastic Beach the new album from Gorillaz, will be released by Virgin on 9 March, 2010. The album is preceded by first single Stylo (featuring Mos Def and Bobby Womack) which will receive its radio broadcast premiere tonight and will be available for download January 26. Five years on from the release of Demon Days, Murdoc and co. return with Plastic Beach. The band have taken up residence, recording on a secret floating island deep in the South Pacific, a Plastic Beach HQ, made up of the detritus, debris and washed up remnants of humanity. This Plastic Beach is the furthest point from any landmass on Earth; the most deserted spot on the planet.