It’s a good week to be Dave Matthews. His band’s album “Big Whiskey & the GrooGrux King” makes a grand entrance at the top of the Billboard charts this week. DMB scores the 3rd biggest first week of the year (behind Eminem and U2), with over 424,000 folks picking the album up last week. It’s DMB’s fifth consecutive album to debut at #1 on the charts. Interesting to note that the three biggest sales weeks of the year have come from veterans, all with over 10 years in the industry. Are newer artists just not coming with good music, or is there just a different concept of fan loyalty with the newer generation?

It’s a pretty big week for debuts, with 311’s new “Uplifter” coming in at #3, the supergroup Chickenfoot at #6, and the new one from Taking Back Sunday right behind at #7. Rancid’s return to the indie label world nets them a #11 debut, Elvis Costello pops in at #13, and Mitchel Musso (I don’t know who he is, but I guess I’ll find out) enters at #19.

At this time last year, only one album had crossed the million-selling threshold (Jack Johnson’s “Sleep Through the Static”). In what must be good news for the ailing indistry, two albums have passed the million mark so far (Taylor Swift & the “Hannah Montana” movie soundtrack), and Eminem will jump past the million-sold mark next week.

Speaking of Slim Shady, his much discussed incident with Sasha Baron Cohen wasn’t the only highlight of the MTV Movie Awards. Kings of Leon’s performance catapults them from #15 to #12 on a 50% increase in sales. This is the highest chart position yet for “Only by the Night”, which is already the band’s best selling album. Multiple award winner “Twilight”‘s soundtrack also shows some life, jumping two places to #15 on a 19% increase.

Kings of Leon have the third biggest increase of the week, following singer-songwriter Matt Nathanson (with a 69% increase) and British soul singer James Morrison, whose sales jump a whopping 232% to send him back onto the chart for the first time in a couple of months.

Is it too early to consider Green Day’s “21st Century Breakdown” a flop? I mean, in this day and age any album that crosses Gold territory in four weeks can’t be a total failure, but I think the general consensus is that better sales out of the gate were expected following the success of “American Idiot”. New single “21 Guns” is right in the pocket of pop and rock radio, so I wouldn’t count these guys out yet.