The collective has also made a name for itself through its live performances. They generally avoid playing in nightclubs and bars (though they toured nationally for the release of Qvaris in 2005), opting instead to perform for free on wharves, in public parks, and on rooftops. They also host shows at their performance space in Harlem. As might be expected, these shows have been shut down frequently by police, but many have been recorded and released on the group's own label, Sound @ One, including 1996's Letters from the Earth, 1997's follow-up Letters from the Serth, and 2001's Birth of Both Worlds.
In early 1999, NNCK toured with guitar legend John Fahey, who dubbed them his favorite new band and signed them to his Revenant label. The resulting album, Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones But Names Will Never Hurt Me, was released in the fall of 2001. Elaborately and lovingly packaged in a wood and Plexiglass case, and recorded by Jerry Yester, the album raised the band's profile (and mystique) considerably. Released in 2003, Intonomancy lived up to its predecessor's reputation, providing another set of outstanding -- and optimistic -- musicianship. It was followed by the two-disc live set Parallel Easters in 2004 and the full-length Qvaris in 2005.