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AFI ditches Chicks to take top spot

MTV gig boosts rock act to No. 1

AFI, a Northern California rock act with seven albums under its belt, bumped the Dixie Chicks out of pole position by selling 182,000 copies of its Tiny Evil/Interscope disc “Decemberunderground.”

Band, whose last album, “Sing the Sorrow,” sold 96,000 in its opening sesh to debut at No. 3, performed “Miss Murder” last week on the MTV Movie Awards. AFI is among the many new bands driving interest through MySpace.com; label reported that the band recently received 500,000 single-day plays on the site.

Nielsen Soundscan reported three other debuts in the top 10. Yung Joc’s “New Joc City” (Bad Boy South), driven by the top-five single “It’s Goin’ Down,” opened at No. 3 on sales of 148,000.

Ice Cube’s first album in six years, “Laugh Now, Cry Later,” sold 144,000 to open at No. 4. Disc was self-financed and issued through his Lench Mob Records for which the Firm is handling all back-office functions.

Soundtrack to Disney’s Pixar pic “Cars,” featuring tracks by John Mayer, Sheryl Crow and Chuck Berry and parts of Randy Newman’s score, came in at No. 7 on its first lap, selling 68,000 copies.

Other top 40 debuts were DJ Khaled’s Terror Squad debut “Listennn: The Album,” which sold 44,000 copies (No. 12); “Blue Collar Comedy Tour: One for the Road” (Warner Bros.), with 35,000 (No. 19); “Vans Warped Tour 2006 Compilation” (SideOneDummy), 30,000 (No. 27); and Kottonmouth Kings’ “Koast II Koast” (Suburban Noize), 21,000 (No. 39).

Dixie Chicks disc dipped only one slot as “Taking the Long Way” (Columbia) sold 175,000 units. Disney’s “High School Musical” slid three slots to No. 5, while Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Stadium Arcadium” came in one slot lower.

Among the albums that saw sales spikes were Gnarls Barkley’s “St. Elsewhere,” up 11,000 to 48,000 (No. 11); Andrea Bocelli’s “Amore,” up 13,000 to 32,000 (No. 25); Alan Jackson’s “Precious Memories,” up 5,000 to 29,000; and Blue October’s “Foiled,” up 4,000 to 24,000 (No. 34).

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