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In this week’s Rock Report, Candy Hearts give heads something sweet and Wilco goes cuckoo for iTunes! Dropkick Murphys and Death Cab For Cutie decide to expand, and also, an exclusive with indie rockers Moon Taxi. This, and much more, in the Rock Report!

Wilco's iTunes Session

The Chicago-based troupe will drop their exclusive “iTunes Sessions” on January 24th. It’ll be an 8-track offering with new renditions of songs from their recently released Grammy-nominated album “The Whole Love,” as well as classic material including “War On War” and “Passenger Side.” Additionally, Wilco teams with Nick Lowe for special version of the Brit’s hit “Cruel To Be Kind.”

The alternative rock group launches their 2012 North American road campaign on January 19th at the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver, Colorado and the trek concludes February 10th at the Arlington Theater in Santa Barbara, California. Then, they head to Europe.

Dropkick Murphys Going Deluxe

The Celtic-tinged entourage will release “Going Out In Style: Fenway Park Bonus Edition” on March 6th. The collection features an expanded version of their recent studio offering “Going Out In Style,” as well as a bonus “Live From Fenway” audio recording from the band’s sold out show in Boston’s famed Fenway Park from last September. A free download of the filmed concert will also be included.

The punk rockers will support it all throughout their North American St. Patrick’s Day Tour. It kicks off February 22nd at the Sound Academy in Toronto, Ontario and wraps up Sunday March 18th at Brighton Music Hall in Boston, Massachusetts. Frank Turner And The Sleeping Souls will open.

Warped Tour is on a Roll

The summer festival already has 31 bands on the bill thus far and, apparently, tour organizer Kevin Lyman is just getting started! Seven more groups have just been added to the concert series including After The Burial, Dead Sara, Echo Movement, The Ghost Inside, It Boys, Mighty Mongo and Senses Fail. Expect another round of seven to be announced next week.

Catch a Death Cab

Death Cab For Cutie are about to embark on a unique and intimate Spring tour with members of the San Francisco, California-based Magik*Magik Orchestra, with whom the troupe recently collaborated with for an installment of “VH1 Storytellers.” The tour kicks off April 10th at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver Colorado and wraps up May 13th at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle, Washington.

Free Toothaches via Candy Hearts

The New Jersey collective are supplying music heads with a free download of their acoustic-flavored track “I Want You.” It’ll appear on a future EP with the full band in tow.

The female-fronted quartet will hit the road with fellow Garden State talents Man Overboard for a quick trek beginning February 15th at the Ottobar in Baltimore, Maryland and ending February 26th at Pine Box in Midland, Texas. As always, Man Overboard continues to find artists to help “defend pop-punk.”

Tennessee Group on the Rise

Step aside, cabbies, because Moon Taxi have arrived! The Nashville, Tennessee-based group will release their third studio album “Cabaret” on February 7th and it is unquestionably their best effort to date. All throughout the well-rounded 12-track collection, which features “Hypnus” and “Gunflower,” the quintet effortlessly blends rock with a roots and folksy vibe. In the process, they prove to be multi-dimensional.

“We set out to make a cohesive studio record,” lead singer Trevor Terndrup explains. “In the past, Moon Taxi have been known for their live performances, not their recorded music. We took quite a while with each of the songs and really thought about how they would turn out in a studio setting. If nothing else, we proved to ourselves that this band is not one sided. We called the record ‘Cabaret’ because we are performers, the world is the stage and the album is the show.”

While a single has yet to be named, one of the highlights is “Square Circles” featuring alternative hip-hop phenom Matisyahu. Serving as the lone collaboration on the album, “Square Circles” is an emotional indie rock banger with a spice of reggae. The style perfectly compliments Matisyahu’s signature razor sharp flow and harmonious vocals.

“Matisyahu is a great performer,” Terndrup says. “We had the opportunity to support him on tour and developed a common music bond. Moon Taxi and Matis both played the Hangout Music Fest last year and he threw down a verse after his performance. We recorded it on the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus. ‘Square Circles’ is a track where the lyrics are nothing but oxymorons. I wanted to write something that defied making sense. I always loved David Byrne's ‘Stop Making Sense.’ But as I put these oxymorons together, something happened and it started to make sense.”

For more from Bear Frazer, follow him on Twitter.

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