Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

Noise for the Needy

If you haven’t heard the news already, we hate to be the ones to break it to you. But here it goes – Noise for the Needy is ending. Not for the month or this year, like FOREVER. This Friday and Saturday will be the 10th and final installment of this epically generous and wonderful charity music fest that has continuously chosen to feature local music across all genres. 10 years, 350 artists, $125,000 raised, 20 + beneficiaries. Forget baseball, those are some impressive stats.

NFTN is going balls-out into retirement, giving Seattle one of their best lineups as a goodbye present. And Ballard is lucky enough to play host this go 'round with shows spread around several venues, including the Tractor and Conor Byrne. I’m overwhelmed just thinking about the list of talent participating in NFTN 2014, so I’m gonna simplify and focus on some of my favorites:

The Helio Sequence makes reliable, nice, pretty music. That is not a bad thing. Their 2012 album, Negotiations, is a go-to for a variety of clutch situations – first date, housewarming dinner party, or Sunday afternoon parent brunch. I, for one, appreciate consistency of form and the comfort of delicate alt-pop surrounding me like a warm hug. Big and glittery and stuffed full with soaring choruses, their songs have more mesmerizing appeal than Sharknado.

Falling hard for Ivan & Alyosha is easy. This is a boy band for Russian literature majors — their name comes from Dostoevsky, but their sound is derived from pure American folk music. Sweet harmonies and lyrical guitar riffs set up lyrics like “I wanna be the man who gets you all the presents underneath of your Christmas tree…” ummm, yes please!  Indie radio and NPR alike have been loving the heck out these guys since they formed in 2007, and the energy of their live shows is off the charts.

The Horde and the Harem are not exactly as the name describes, but moreso a collective of NW musicians coming together to create lushly weird songs indicative of our geographic mood. Their latest EP, Fairweather Friends, just came out in April and was recorded almost entirely live in the band’s rehearsal space. The tracks are simple yet varied, ranging from plodding melancholy to a ukulele tune about kindness. Not knowing what to expect gives infinite potential for the live performance.

So don’t miss out on NFTN’s farewell — rock out for a good cause and say a grand goodbye!

Here is the full weekend lineup:

Friday, September 12th

Tractor Tavern:

Helio Sequence
Ravenna Woods
Prisim Tats
Black Nite Crash

9pm / $20 / 21+


Black Whales
Hand Of The Hills
Goodbye Heart

8pm / FREE / all ages

Saturday, September 13th

Tractor Tavern:

Ivan and Alyosha
Horde and The Harem
Special Guests

9pm / $15 / 21+

Conor Byrne:

Sebastian and The Deep Blue
Special Guests

9pm / $10 / 21+


Ryan Caraveo
Future Shock
Special Guests

8pm / FREE / all ages