Noise For the Needy purchased the right to post on Slog for a week in Strangercrombie, our annual charity auction. More info about our charity auction here.

We’re going to need a bigger boat, Seattle Rep presents Bruce.
A world premiere musical that you can really sink your teeth into Get your tickets HERE!

Holy cow, Seattle’s NFTN is going on 6 years! So you have an idea of why Jeff’s hair is falling out and why our cell phone bills are paying someone’s salary, the Directors have a few anecdotes for you.


Answer the following question in the comments first, and you will be the proud new owner of a limited edition Art Brut screen printed poster designed by local designer Jon Smith. The poster is signed by the members of Art Brut and Miike Snow.

What American Idol runner-up performed at The Showbox during NFTN 2008?

Winner to be announced in tomorrow’s post.

Talib Kweli live at the Showbox, NFTN 2008
  • Talib Kweli live at the Showbox, NFTN 2008

Rich Green, Director:
"Let me Finish...." The year Kanye West almost stopped Noise for the Needy
Not many people are fond of Kanye West these days; he has developed a pretty bad reputation for interrupting folks and pushing back his set times with his live performances. In June of 2008, he had his infamous Bonnaroo performance, where he pushed his set time back by hours. No one knew why. I read somewhere it was because there were technical issues with his stage setup. So when Kanye got on stage hours later then he was supposed to, people were furious. In doing so, he pushed back other performers set times, completely messing up other artists’ travel arrangements and other gigs.

Talib Kweli and I had discussed his NFTN performance for a couple of years prior to the 2008 Noise for the Needy. Talib’s schedule was tight, but he was determined to make it work. His sound engineer managed to make it out on a direct flight, but he and his manager got stuck somewhere near Manchester, Tennessee. They scrambled to try and find a way to make it up to Seattle. A woman at the Continental terminal told them that she would do what she could to get them up here. At first, we just knew they did not get their flight and that they were stuck (my cell phone was crap and kept dying so I missed the vmail and texts from his manager). I started to freak out. All our volunteers were at the Showbox setting up for the show. Talib’s sound engineer had arrived early with plenty of time and got everything ready to go. How would we make this work? It was a little chaotic that night. Common Market, Greyskul, Gabriel Teodros, DJ Introcut and the other Fourth City DJ’s were really good sports about it. Glen Rinzler at the Showbox was incredible and made us feel like royalty. But there was a moment I didn't think the show was going to happen. At that point, we were on day five of the festival and I was operating only on a few hours of sleep (my daughter was a year old at the time, so I was relatively used to not operating on much sleep). But the long nights were wearing me down, and I started to think of the impact of the canceled show and how Urban Rest Stop and LIHI might not receive the exposure that they deserved.

Talib somehow managed to grab a flight to Portland from Tennessee. As Common Market was finishing up their set and we had publicly recognized URS, the artists and our sponsors, security called to let me know Talib was walking into the Showbox. And then he was ready to go.

Jeff Henry, Artistic Director:
My favorite moment of NFTN was after the all-ages Rock & Roll Soldiers show at the old Crocodile. We went to our after party at Vito's and drank champagne in a seedy back room with The Blakes and Mark Pickerel. I was exhausted from working the festival but everything seemed so appropriate with the low watt bulb and dark wood paneling; a wonderful blend of dirty Vegas and my father’s CPA office circa 1982.

The Handsome Family live at Tractor Tavern, NFTN 2007
  • The Handsome Family live at Tractor Tavern, NFTN 2007

My second favorite moment was watching my favorite band, The Handsome Family, play at the Tractor. I had never seen them live before and I am quite the gushing fan.

Grand Hallway live at the High Dive, 2008 Festival

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