By Simon Vozick-Levinson
Updated January 20, 2010 at 04:28 PM EST
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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.

Speaking of Susan Boyle, I Dreamed a Dream stayed at No. 2 by selling 77,000 copies. Barring any surprises, her lengthy reign on this chart would seem to have reached a definitive end. Meanwhile, last week’s chart-topper, Ke$ha, slipped to No. 3 with 67,000 copies sold of Animal in its second week.

Aside from Vampire Weekend, it was a quiet week for new releases. R&B crooner Omarion’s alliteratively titled Ollusion landed at No. 19, with 19,000 copies sold; no other new albums made the Top 20.

What do you think of Vampire Weekend’s chart triumph? How far do you think they’ll drop next week? Sound off in the comments, below.

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