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Area 51: Barenaked Ladies return

'One Week' band's 'Men' lands at No. 102

Remember when Barenaked Ladies were inescapable? How “One Week” got under the skin and hard as anyone tried to resist, the tune’s middle section threw down the gauntlet and bellowed “Transcribe Me.!”

Barenaked Ladies have returned — 8½ years, seven singles, four albums, four DVDs, a greatest hits disc, a new label and zero lineup changes since “One Week.” “Barenaked Ladies are Men,” their well-reviewed third release for their Desperation label, sold 10,000 copies in its first week to debut at No. 102.

The album that “One Week” appeared on, “Stunt,” was a massive success and has sold 3.6 million units to date.  Their final disc for Warner Music’s Reprise, which released all their major label discs, “Everything to Everybody,” has sold 356,000. The band went back to the indie world with a holiday album before turning to a studio disc. Their 2006 effort, “Barenaked Ladies are Me,” posted first week sales of 37,000 (No. 17) and has gone on to move 124,000.

It is possible that “Men” is being perceived as a collection of lesser recordings from the “Me” sessions. The band divided the tracks last year with the intention of releasing both. “Me” acme out in September and here “Men” is just five months later. If anything, it indicates that some music fans truly desire a healthy window between releases.

Still, the act has been rather productive this year while simultaneously going the carbon neutral route. They held a BNL cruise, they got the song “Easy,” which appeared on their last album, featured on ABC’s “Brothers and Sisters” and they’re launching a tour of Canada and the U.K. They’re auctioning a chance to spend a day with the band in England on their Web site.

BNL, in existence for 18 years, has also contributed to Amnesty International’s musical venture “Make Some Noise,” contributing a recording of John Lennon’s “Oh Yoko.”

Band will perform Feb. 22 on “Late Show With David Letterman.”

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