Happy Ending plays semi-unplugged show Fri., June 18

Rock band Happy Ending—which features current and former BVFCC executive directors Hank Hoffman and Richard Brown—plays the Best Video Film & Cultural Center deck on Fri., June 18, with music starting around 5:30 PM. (A limited edition handmade silkscreen poster for this show lists the start as 5 PM; that time has been changed.)

The quartet will be playing semi-unplugged—while Richard Brown will be on electric guitar and saxophone and Randy Stone will play electric bass, vocalist Hank Hoffman will play acoustic guitar throughout the show and drummer Tom Smith will work a stripped-down kit. This will be a quieter version of Happy Ending but with 100% of the energy.

Happy Ending has released three albums. The most recent, “Electricity for the Youth of Today,” was recorded live at Best Video Performance Space in December of 2013. The vinyl LP and 45 “Have A Nice Day” came out in 1984 and the compact disc “Smile for the Camera” in 1996. John Foster, editor of Op Magazine, described “Have A Nice Day” as a “future cult item for the collectors.” Happy Ending’s music is influenced by 1960s pop, garage rock and psychedelia as well as punk and free jazz.

The group will play six songs they’ve never done live before, including two new songs, two songs from Hank Hoffman’s solo project released last year under the name The Alex Butter Field, and two cover songs.

Writing about a Happy Ending show at Lyric Hall in June, 2017, New Haven Independent arts editor Brian Slattery observed, “With kaleidoscopic projections of faces, hands, drawings, and landscapes swirling behind the band, Happy Ending was at its best during its guitar freakouts, when [guest keyboardist Scott] Amore, Stone, and Smith created tossing waves of rhythm and Hoffman and Brown traded off solos and rhythm work seamlessly, giving the music a chance to fly.”

We ask respect for social distancing, please, and conscientiousness on masks. Not everybody is vaccinated yet and our venue wants to advise caution and consideration for others. Masks are optional outside but required if you go inside Best Video.

No cover charge but please bring cash for the musicians’ tip jar. This has been a real hard time for musicians, almost all of whom have seen their live performance income dry up. (There will also be a Best Video tip jar for donations.)

Parking available behind Best Video and on Thornton Street.