Dan Condon: Sick Tunes, April 30, 2012

30 April 2012 | 12:01 pm | Dan Condon

New releases from Nas, OFF!, Straightjacket Nation and Mia Dyson.

Hi everyone, I'm Dan and I like music a lot. I hate people who say they listen to “everything, really” (they fucking don't) and while music is without a doubt the most important thing in my life, I hate it when people take it so seriously they can't have a friendly argument about it. I also don't care about the music industry very much; who manages who, what artist is having their campaign pumped up with whatever label's new heavy financial focus on indie rock and I don't even care who is popular, hot, cool or hip. All I care about is music.

With that said and done, here are a few (mainly) new songs that have cropped up online that I think are just bloody fantastic.


Late last year Australia was treated to the insane breakneck old-school punk rock of California's OFF! for the very first time. Their First Four EPs collection came out at the end of 2010 and blew many punk rock fans' minds; after all these years (and frankly, a couple of questionable Circle Jerks records) Keith Morris, who was the original vocalist in a little band called Black Flag, was still singing and writing really fucking well. Perhaps even more surprising was that this was what you can't help labeling a “super group”, what with members of Redd Kross, Rocket From The Crypt and Burning Brides, and they didn't suck one iota. Truly shocking.

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This track, Cracked, is the second taste we've had from what is technically the band's debut record, released in the States early next month and hopefully over here at around the same time. It's not far removed from what was on those first four EPs; both the lyrics and the music are short, angry and brash

Pitchfork, who Keith Morris credited for the band's early success when I spoke with him last year, have it available for download right now.

As for another Australian tour, guitarist Dimitri Coats told me yesterday that they'll be here next year.


Straightjacket Nation are possibly the best Australian punk rock band I've ever seen and news that they have a new LP due in a couple of months makes me tingle with excitement. Nice Talk is the first song I've heard from it; I played it about ten times over and smiled the entire time. They're playing a few shows around the place again which is also very good news and if you miss them then you're a fucking idiot.


Anyone who may have thought that Nas was losing his relevance should already have been put in their place with the incredible Nasty and The Don tracks that he has dropped in the past couple of months. Daughters is the third track from his new record Life Is Good (which is apparently dropping in July) that has gone public and, while it's the weakest, it's not too shabby. Lyrically Nas is dealing with his daughter growing up, meeting guys, using Twitter (I wish rappers would stop mentioning Twitter in their songs) and you kinda feel for the guy, but let's hope when the record is released it doesn't get much more sentimental than this.


Taking things down several notches now, Victorian blues guitarist and singer-songwriter Mia Dyson has been living in the US for a while now and, frankly, she's been pretty quiet. Quiet enough for me to forget that she had some great tunes on the three records she released last decade and for me to be surprised that her new material, from a fan funded fourth album set for release very, very soon, was simply stunning. She actually premiered the video for Tell Me on this very site a couple of weeks back, but you can download the track for use on the next creepy mix CD you make for the guy or girl at the video store that you secretly know they'll never actually listen to. I have no idea what this song is about, but it's a nice, perhaps slightly middle-of-the-road leaning song that shows Dyson for the dynamite songwriter that she is.

You can download it by signing up to Mia's email list here:

You can help her make the record here:


The Splendour line up was announced last week and I reckon it was pretty tidy all in all. Truth be told, the act I'm most excited about checking out in 2012 is British soul singer Michael Kiwanuka. Kiwanuka is massive in his UK homeland and blowing up all across Europe and the States as well, but Australia has only just had the chance to pick up his stunning debut record Home Again (out through Polydor/Universal) in the past few weeks.

I won't lie to you, there's nothing really “new” about this track. But I figure that he's one of the names on this year's Splendour bill that some Australian people might not have had the chance to become acquainted with, so here you go. This song is a b-side from his very popular Home Again single, which was released in the UK in January.

If, for some crazy reason, you want to send me your music or someone else's music that you think should be here, you can email or tweet me about it.