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Black Happy Plays Its Swan Song

Coeur d’Alene’s Black Happy will take the stage for the final time tonight at The Met. And, what better way to go out than in front of a capacity crowd in the intimacy of the 750-seat theater - a venue the band has sold out three times.

In December, Black Happy announced that once it honored three months of already booked concert dates, it was disbanding due to artistic differences. That way, the band could use the remaining shows as sort of a farewell tour.

After the breakup, four members of Black Happy, singer/guitarist Paul Hemenway, bassist Mark Hemenway (Paul’s brother), guitarist Greg Hjort and drummer Jim Bruce, will resurface in a new band, which has yet to be named.

Black Happy’s performance should take us through high points of the material from two landmark albums, “Friendly Dog Salad” and “Peghead.” The band will also likely include two other crowd favorites “Dry and Confused” and “Mambo Jawambo” in the set.

Black Happy evolved from the Coeur d’Alene metal band Sacrament in 1990, when, as a joke, it added a horn section before a gig.

The group’s albums sold well. To date, they’ve sold well over a combined 50,000 copies, an impressive feat for a band on an independent label.

Black Happy tried to continue its musical conquest outside of the Pacific Northwest by touring and playing two industry seminars: The College Music Journal Seminar and South-by-Southwest.

But the band never quite reached the pinnacle of national acclaim.

Fans can expect a Black Happy swan song album, entitled “The Last Polka,” to be released in early March. The album encompasses live songs recorded at a 1993 New Year’s Eve show in Seattle, acoustic songs recorded for KNND “The End” and studio out-takes.

xxxx Time, location: The Met, tonight at 8 Tickets: Sold out

A second sidebar ran with this story under the headline: A Happy Life