1. Hey Marseilles, 12:45, Broad Street Stage
A local group with numerous members and even more instruments—trumpet, violin, accordion, and whatever else they can get their hands on. They make eclectic, orchestral…what? Folk music? I don’t quite know how to classify it but it’s wonderfully elaborate ear candy.
2. The Dusty 45s, 1:30, Starbucks Stage
"Americana" for these guys can mean anything: swing, acoustic, electric, honky-tonk, country and a whole lotta rock n’ roll. Jumpin’ and jivin’ front man Billy Joe Huels ably proves why the 5th Avenue Theatre pegged him to play Buddy Holly a season or so ago.
3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, 2:30, Samsung Mobile Mainstage
Yeah, yeah, yeah—I know everyone’s raving about their latest punk pop explosion, It’s Blitz!, but I was a teenager in the 1980s and can remember when, say, Missing Persons or Blondie was handling this territory just fine, thank you very much. That said, singer Karen O may be the best thing this side of Deborah Harry.
4. The Dutchess & The Duke, 3:15, Rockstar Energy Drink Stage
Jesse Lortz and Kimberly Morrison are a couple of disarming Maple Valley musicians who paid their dues in bad bands and now make perfectly petulant folk rock. They’re cynical and sentimental at the same time. Songwriter and lead vocalist Lortz wrote 2008’s best lyric in "Mary": "You taught me how to love wrong/And I learned it so long ago/now I can’t change."
5. Melvin Van Peebles, 3:45, Literary Arts Stage
Peebles was an indie filmmaker before indie filmmaking meant actual budgets and eventual Hollywood interest. His Sweet Sweetback’s Baad Asssss Song—which he wrote, produced, directed, scored and starred in—caused a stink back in 1971 for giving the finger, artistically speaking, to white authority (specifically, to the police). He’s an astute, amusing, cagey man who still knows how to incite interest and who sometimes treats interviews as if they were intellectual tennis matches: He once volleyed a novel use of the ‘n’ word at me during a chat a few years back when he was starting work on Confessions of a Ex-Doofus-ItchyFooted Mutha, the film he’ll be talking about here—among other topics, no doubt.