Desert devotees have a few things in common. One, we're not afraid to walk without shoes on sizzling sand. Two, spiny flora doesn't scare us but rather delights. And three, when we're in the city, sitting on a freeway in full-on gridlock, we're often dreaming of nearby wonder spots like the marvelous Mojave Desert.
It's a special place, and the annual spring concert that happens there also boasts a touch of enchantment. That's because, in part, the Joshua Tree Music Festival still has a laidback, everyone's welcome kind of aura that suits the landscape it has called home every May for the last six or so years. It doesn't receive the limelight of that other major springtime desert to-do in the nearby Coachella Valley, but we get the sense that's cool with the Joshua Tree folks.
They just want people to camp, chill out, enjoy a host of great bands boasting funky, folky, have-fun grooves, and stare at the stars, the sunrises, the wide, dry expanses. And while those last few elements remain unchanged from year to year, pretty much, the bands for '09 include the Nortec Collective, Porter Batiste Stoltz, Kraak & Smaak, and Rupa & The April Fishes.
The fest runs from May 15-17. You'll want to look in to the camping situation before you head out, the dos, the don'ts, and all you need to know to settle in for three days of big sounds and big sky.