Alive Summer Music Tour at Woodlands

  • Photo by Tim Johnson
    G. Finesse & the N.S.
  • Photo by Corey Fry
    The Saturday Giant
  • Photo by Jodi Miller
    Joshua P. James & the Paper Planes
  • Photo by Jeffry Konczal
    Wonder Twin Powers
  • Photo by Jeffry Konczal
    Forest & the Evergreens
  • Megan Leigh Barnard photo
    Matt Monta
  • Photo by Tessa Berg
    Deadwood Floats
By
From the August 23, 2012 edition

Alive’s seasonal expedition through Columbus music concludes with a bang Friday at Woodlands Tavern. We’ve rounded up seven great acts to play alternating sets in the Grandview bar’s front and back rooms, which means your $5 admission fee is an even better deal than usual.

What’s more, a portion of that door charge supports Columbus Music Co-op’s efforts to assist uninsured musicians. Some of the proceeds from locally distilled Middle West Spirits cocktails benefit the Co-op too, and Middle West will have free samples on site to whet your thirst.

Fostering a burning hunger for local music? Leave that to this lineup.

G. Finesse & the N.S.

Tony “G. Finesse” Haslett raps over funky instrumentals from a live band, instantly recalling The Roots at their jammiest. It’s a good look — danceable with room to follow the muse. It also explains why they take naturally to ’90s hip-hop tributes.

But originals are their specialty; they’ve got a batch coming Nov. 10 under the title “N.S.E.P.” Mixtapes called “N.S. Society Mixtapes Volume 1” and “Ear Drugs” will drop soon too.

Get a preview when they close out the main stage Friday.

The Saturday Giant

Not only does Phil Cogley account for all the music on stage at a Saturday Giant show, he also hustles in all the other ways bands have to hustle — recording, booking, promotion and every detail that comes with doing it DIY.

He’s getting better at all of it, and quickly. Months of touring are lined up for fall and winter, plus the recording and release of The Saturday Giant’s first full-length. Cogley’s approachable art-rock epics will sound splendid on the front stage Friday.

Joshua P. James & the Paper Planes

There’s a time and place for artsy pretension, but not when Joshua P. James is on stage. His hardscrabble roots rock digs deep into the kind of crises that are (to paraphrase Homer Simpson) often caused and sometimes solved by whiskey and women.

On debut album “Please, Please,” James and his trusty Paper Planes set those stories to rambunctious twang-stomp that recalls a time when country and rock were practically the same genre. Friday, they’ll blow you down.

Wonder Twin Powers

Jazz, soul, hip-hop, country and more bubble in the brew that Jenny Flory and Joshua Sheik have been stirring. Whether accompanied by myriad backing musicians or stripped down to a simple drums-and-guitar duo as they’ll be Friday at the front stage, they conjure an enviable musical chemistry while showing off their unique gifts. (That voice! Those ridiculous beats!)

Forest & the Evergreens

It’s a simple matter of supply and demand: Everybody wants a piece of Forest & the Evergreens, so they are everywhere, all the time.

At least it feels that way. The innovative combo (influences: James Brown, Feist, soul food) has played everything from Till’s tiny gallery space to LC Pavilion’s 5,000-capacity amphitheater this month. Their cannonball-like momentum continues with a stop at the Woodlands main stage for Friday’s showcase.

Matt Monta

As a solo guitar-slinger or with groups like the Smoking Guns, the Hot Coal Band and Righteous Buck & the Skull Scorchers, Matt Monta keeps Columbus rollicking. Friday night at the front stage, he’ll kick out the jams and (metaphorically) kick up the dirt all by his lonesome. It’ll be a hoot to hear him holler.

Deadwood Floats

Sometimes music is just beautiful. No matter how many scrapes, stomps and shouts Deadwood Floats weave into their songs, the most striking aspects are their subtle mastery of arrangement and a knack for melody that pierces even at a whisper.

Their forthcoming full-length will probably be among the year’s best; get in on the ground floor when they open Friday’s showcase.