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Joshua Tree Music Fest
Desert sunset; members of folk-pop group He's My Brother She's My Sister

Outdoor music festivals can be a lot of fun. Then again, they can be too muddy, raucous and expensive. (Our Coachella pass cost hundreds of dollars.)

So on the weekend of October 8, we're looking forward to hitting the low-key and talent-heavy Joshua Tree Roots Music Festival. Two stages will alternate acts in jazz, funk, folk and singer-songwriter talent. We're especially looking forward to the moody country rock of Oklahoma-based Samantha Crain and the didgeridoo-and-bamboo-woodwinds-laced rock of Oka from Australia.

Performers were chosen for their mastery of authentic local musical traditions--we've found that's the sort of sound that attracts a more mature, well-mannered crowd than radio one-hit wonders. The fest also has hourly yoga classes and spirituality talks, and weekend passes cost $80.

Though a campground is available, we draw the line at authenticity there. Instead, we'll be staying at the just-opened, architecturally slick Hotel Lautner in nearby Desert Hot Springs and having a good late-night dinner at King's Highway, a retro-cool diner at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs.

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