Happy Ending was formed by songwriters Hank Hoffman and Jay Mundy. After getting together occasionally for a couple of years to play each others' lyrically dark but earthy rock 'n' roll--as well as classic 1960's covers and extended free-form abstract psychedelic jams--they recruited several friends to record an album.
"Have A Nice Day!" was recorded in the spring of 1983 in two day-long Sunday sessions. Jay and Hank both sang and played guitar, backed up by drummer John Columbus and alto saxophonist Richard "Doc Equis" Brown, with Radio Reptiles guitarist Jeff Fisher on bass. Wedding dark lyrics reflecting Reagan-era fears over nuclear war, environmental degradation
and unemployment with what reviewer John Morthland called "charging hard rock or folk rock with dueling guitars, psychedelic overtones and nods toward Chuck Berry and Bob Dylan," "Have A Nice Day!" was released as a vinyl LP with an accompanying 7-inch 45 and lyric/collage booklet. In Op magazine, editor John Foster termed it "a future cult item for the collectors...if there is a future."
Alas, there wasn't much of a future for the original lineup. After two shows at the legendary New Haven club The Grotto, bassist Jeff Fisher moved out of state and songwriter Jay chose the contemplative life of the hermit.
When not recording as his psychedelic pop alter ego The Alex Butterfield, Hank Hoffman has continued the Happy Ending brand with an evolving cast of musicians ever since, releasing the CD "Smile For The Camera" in 1996 and playing New Haven clubs like the Grotto, the Moon, Cape Codder, cafe nine, Tune Inn and the Best Video Performance Space. On May 27, 2006 the
original lineup--with special guests--played a reunion show in Wallingford CT.
The current lineup features original members Hank Hoffman and Richard Brown--the latter now playing guitar and flute as well as sax--along with drummer Tom Smith and bass player Randy Stone. While political songs are still part of the group's repertoire, the set also features many songs with more "pop-oriented" lyrics. Musically, the band's range spans melodic
pop to fuzzed-out psychedelic freak-outs. The group also throws cover songs into the mix, running the gamut from the Left Banke's "Walk Away Renee" to Iggy & the Stooges' "Search and Destroy." An occasional highlight is an incendiary version of The Beatles' "Helter Skelter."
daniprobably is two-piece indie rock with a pop edge, dreaming up songs about movies and quantum mechanics, the Kids in the Hall, falling in love on the dance floor and everything in between.
The longtime moniker for solo performances by Danielle Capalbo (vocals and guitar, ex-Quiet Giant), daniprobably expanded in summer 2018 to include Adam Benson, who plays drums and sings bass. Together they move deftly from riffy garage earworms and yawping, snarling vocals to lush-landscape ballads built on loops and soul melodies.
daniprobably has opened most recently for Thin Lips and Grace Vonderkuhn, and released their debut music video on February 1—a reimagining of The Little Mermaid’s “Part of Your World.” In 2017, Vanyaland premiered daniprobably's cover of "American Girl."
Dan Greene ( of Mountain Movers)
The Mountain Movers have, over the course of five albums and a decade’s worth of LPs, CDs, 7-inches, CDrs, and cassettes steadily become New Haven’s best kept secret; a band capable of lurching between melancholic indie rock, strident garage/psych and pummeling guitar freak-outs. Their earliest beginnings saw the band documenting bandleader Dan Greene’s vast catalog of songs, while displaying a rotating cast of New Haven musicians’ unique skills. Shortly after the bands fourth album (2011‘s “Apple Mountain”) constant members Greene and bassist Rick Omonte were joined by drummer Ross Menze and guitarist Kryssi Battelene, forming what is now the Mountain Mover’s longest running lineup. The band’s eponymous sixth album takes cues from everything before and coalesces the bands vision so succinctly and perfectly, it makes you wonder where they’ve been your whole life.