The Cutout Bin

A collection of discarded or otherwise forgotten music.

-My fileserver is free, and you get what you pay for... so try rightclicking the mp3s and selecting "save link target as". You may have to do it more than once.

-Please see post #1 "Begin the begin" (3/24/06) for the raison d'etre for this blog. If you object to your music being posted here, email me and I will remove it.

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Saturday, July 15, 2006


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clockwise from top left:

Clint Conley: Guitar, Vocals
Matt Kadane: Drums
Winston Bramen: Bass
Chris Brokaw: Guitar

Hometown: Boston, Mass

By the time Consonant released their first album in 2002, the four members already had lengthy resumes from playing in Boston-based bands over the last 20+ years. Band leader Conley had achieved cult stardom playing bass for indie rock legends Mission Of Burma in the early '80s, but had essentially given up music when Burma split in 1983. Although not as prolific a writer as Burma guitarist Roger Miller, I always liked Conley's songs best- "Peking Spring", "Academy Fight Song", "That's When I Reach For My Revolver", etc. I was understandably stoked to hear that Conley was forming a band of his own with former Come guitarist Chris Brokaw (another favorite of mine- he'll appear here later both solo and with Come).

2002's "Consonant" is a little quieter and more well-mannered than one would expect from someone with Conley's past (the band name refers to the opposite of "dissonant"), but the material is far from sedate. The album bases itself around edgy melodies and fluid guitar playing- the overall effect being a kind of off-kilter guitar pop. Lyrically, Conley enlists the help of poet Holly Anderson (his co-writer for one of my favorite Burma songs, "Mica")- actually setting several of her poems to music. It isn't easy to create melodies for material that was never meant to be sung, although Conley proves adept at making the odd lyrical meters work.

"Love And Affliction" came out the following year and showed a more sure-footed band. The first album had been recorded before Consonant had ever played live, but by now they had gelled into a more cohesive unit. Musically the album is in the same vein as before, but the playing is more aggressive and the overall sound is denser and less tentative.

All four band members have multiple other projects (and Conley keeps his day job as a video producer for public TV), and Consonant seems to have been on the back burner since the release of "Love And Affliction" in 2003. I hope it's a project Conley returns to, because this is no side project ego trip- Consonant is a unique, fully realized band. It also provides an interesting counterpoint to his work with Burma (who have reformed and issued two excellent albums of new material since 2004).

Consonant band website

That Boston Life.mp3
From "Consonant", 2002
Click here to buy "Consonant" from Amazon

Are You Done-.mp3
From "Love & Affliction", 2003
Click here to buy "Love And Afflcition" from Amazon


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The MIsison of Burma Documentary, Not A Photograph, will be screening at the Coolidge Corner Theatre on Tuesday, November 21 at 7PM. The band will be on hand, probably armed with sharpies for a signing. Tickets are now available online or at the Coolidge Corner box office.

The Coolidge Corner Theatre is located at 290 Harvard Ave. in Brookline, MA. More info about the Coolidge can be found at


Not A Photograph DVD Bonus Features

Here are the bonus features that will be included on the DVD release of Not A Photograph:

- Linear notes written by Michael Azerrad ("Our Band Could Be Your Life")

- Archival footage of The Moving Parts - 3 full songs

- Full versions of "Peking Spring" @ The Space, 1979 and "This Is Not A Photograph" @ The Paradise, 1980

- Mission of Burma - Archival footage, WBZ-TV Boston local news segment, 1983. Includes rare footage, MOB performing on soundstage and WBCN radio interview footage.

- 6 full live performances from the "Inexplicable" reunion, 2002. "Secrets" @ 608 Club, "Trem Two" @ Irving Plaza, "Einstein's Day" @ The Paradise, "Academy Fight Song" @ Irving Plaza, "All World's Cowboy Romance" @ Irving Plaza and "Wounded World" @ Avalon.

- ONoffON recording footage.


For more information (purchasing and other details), please go to:

(note: there is an amusing "cocktail piano version" of Academy Fight Song in the soundbytes section, performed by Mr.Miller.)

7:15 PM  

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