OTD Exclusive: Hilken Mancini & Chris Colbourn

Someday, Hilken Mancini and Chris Colbourn will be the answer to a trivia question: "Name the record played on by members of Dinosaur Jr [J Mascis], Buffalo Tom [obv.], and Fuzzy [obv., also drummer Nate Darden]." In the mid-'90s, those three bands were pretty much the heart and soul of what unfortunately became known as alternative rock. Go back and listen to any of their major-label albums and you'll hear songs laying the groundwork for what Avril Lavigne and Kelly Clarkson are playing now: really fucking great (occasionally really fucking depressing) power-pop, jangle-and-roar style.

In Fuzzy, who got signed to Atlantic while one of the Lemonheads was their drummer, Hilken sang the sour-patch harmonies and the geeky leads, but she's always had the dusky, really pretty voice she sings with on these songs. That role probably helped her relate to Colbourn, who somehow managed to be "the other guy" in Buffalo Tom even though his songs were almost always better.

This week in the Phoenix, Ted Drozdowski talks to both about the "new" album -- new being in quotation marks because some of these songs have been circulating on demos for a couple of years under a couple of different names, including the Mayflowers (that one inspiring the name of HMCC guitarist Pat McDonald's Mayflower Music shop, which opened and closed before this record saw the light of day) and the Mancini/Colburn Duo.

Knowing what most of Hilken's friends know, some of these songs are almost unbearably sad. "Wedding Cake" has been our favorite of these songs for a couple of years, and "I Will Die" is really good, too, but we just can't bring ourselves to post that shit right now. Not that this one is any less pretty, and it's only marginally less heartbreaking. It's also one of the two songs on the album with J Mascis playing guitar.

LISTEN: Hilken Mancini and Chris Colbourn, "Couple of Weeks" (OTD exclusive mp3)
LISTEN: Hilken Mancini and Chris Colbourn, Live on WMBR's Pipeline (mp3, full set)
BUY: the record from the Garment District.
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