Chart Beat: New Albums

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UGK

  • UGK land at #1 on the Billboard album chart with their well-reviewed self-titled album on Jive, selling 160,000 copies on the strength of the Andre-3000-featuring (and Willie Hutch-sampling) “International Player’s Anthem.”

  • Teen pop sensation Jonas Brothers land at #5 with their second release, the first album to be issued in the “CDVU+” format, using 100% recycled paper for packaging and featuring a bunch of digital extras.

  • Austin’s Okkervil River had a surprisingly high debut for their album The Stage Names, landing at #62 after selling around 10,000 copies.

  • The Flight of the Conchords EP, featuring music from the show, sold 6,000 copies, good for #126 on Nielsen’s Soundscan charts.

  • Over in the UK, 20-year-old newcomer Kate Nash debuted at #1 on the album charts with her debut, Made of Bricks. Is all new UK pop music in the Lily Allen-style MySpace-phenomenon mold these days? Well, thankfully, it’s pretty good. Listen to some tracks here or, well, on her MySpace.
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    WHO DOESN’T LOVE A POSITIVE STORY—OR TWO?

    “Great journalism really does make a difference in this world: it can even save kids.”

    That’s what a civil rights lawyer wrote to Julia Lurie, the day after her major investigation into a psychiatric hospital chain that uses foster children as “cash cows” published, letting her know he was using her findings that same day in a hearing to keep a child out of one of the facilities we investigated.

    That’s awesome. As is the fact that Julia, who spent a full year reporting this challenging story, promptly heard from a Senate committee that will use her work in their own investigation of Universal Health Services. There’s no doubt her revelations will continue to have a big impact in the months and years to come.

    Like another story about Mother Jones’ real-world impact.

    This one, a multiyear investigation, published in 2021, exposed conditions in sugar work camps in the Dominican Republic owned by Central Romana—the conglomerate behind brands like C&H and Domino, whose product ends up in our Hershey bars and other sweets. A year ago, the Biden administration banned sugar imports from Central Romana. And just recently, we learned of a previously undisclosed investigation from the Department of Homeland Security, looking into working conditions at Central Romana. How big of a deal is this?

    “This could be the first time a corporation would be held criminally liable for forced labor in their own supply chains,” according to a retired special agent we talked to.

    Wow.

    And it is only because Mother Jones is funded primarily by donations from readers that we can mount ambitious, yearlong—or more—investigations like these two stories that are making waves.

    About that: It’s unfathomably hard in the news business right now, and we came up about $28,000 short during our recent fall fundraising campaign. We simply have to make that up soon to avoid falling further behind than can be made up for, or needing to somehow trim $1 million from our budget, like happened last year.

    If you can, please support the reporting you get from Mother Jones—that exists to make a difference, not a profit—with a donation of any amount today. We need more donations than normal to come in from this specific blurb to help close our funding gap before it gets any bigger.

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