Despite it being a glorified chalkboard presentation on global warming, and having some seriously misleading “facts,” Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth still managed to grab America’s attention and help foster social dialogue on environmental issues that could be a serious problem for future generations. It also turned the global warming scare into the most effective marketing blitz in recent memory—the topic’s being used to hoc everything from hybrid Toyotas to dishwashers to more efficient light bulbs.
But some people are looking at our environmental problems as something more than crass commercialism—that is, they’re actually trying to make a difference. This weekend, Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, the little high desert bar that regularly hosts musical notables too big to mention here, is holding its first annual Clean Air, Clear Stars music fest, a three-day, KCRW-sponsored event that thinks globally, but acts locally.
How locally? One hundred percent of the money made from the fest will go toward trying to revive the local desert, which could face the harsh impacts of global warming long before other surrounding ecosystems. The fragile southwestern desert is in danger of losing its Joshua Trees and the wildlife that depend on them for survival. The goal here is to educate, raise money, and use music as the socially conscious, world-changing force it can be. And the bands—particularly the moody eclecticisms of Joshua Tree natives Gram Rabbit—will help make an otherwise downer message more easily digestible. (Phil Fuller)
Clean Air, Clear Stars: A Global Cooling Music Festival, with performances by Gram Rabbit, Xu Xu Fang, the Flash Express, Whiskey Biscuit and many others, at Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Rd., Pioneertown, (760) 365-5956; www.pappyandharriets.com; www.cleanairclearstars.com. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 2 p.m. $12 per day, $30 for all three days.