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Concert and film exploring roots of desert music festivals Mario Lalli, the fabled pioneer of the Coachella Valley music underground, will present a concert of mystical desert rock from that scene after a film chronicling the desert festivals that influenced the founding of Lollapalooza, Burning Man and Coachella.

Lalli’s legendary desert rock band, Yawning Man, will perform Saturday, Oct. 19 in the Annenberg Theater of the Palm Springs Art Museum after a 6:30 p.m. screening of the critically acclaimed documentary, “Desolation Center” by producer-director Stuart Swezey.

The evening will include a Q&A with Swezey, Lalli and artists featured in the film moderated by former Desert Sun arts and entertainment editor Bruce Fessier, who is writing a book on “The Road to Coachella,” including the desert’s underground music scene. A post-screening reception with all the program principals will follow in the museum courtyard.

It’s being presented by Lalli’s Plastic Cactus Productions in cooperation with the California Desert Wizards Association as part of a film and music series to be presented at various venues around the Coachella Valley and Joshua Tree area in the coming months.

Subsequent programs through 2021 will feature more concerts, documentaries exploring the 1980s and ‘90s “generator parties” in the Coachella Valley wilderness that stimulated a desert rock movement that today is celebrated in desert rock music festivals throughout Europe.


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