Overrated/Underrated: Desert Trip will only get trippier with future waves of nostalgia

The scene at the first weekend of Desert Trip.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)


John Rothman in ‘One Mississippi’: A character actor who has been seen in the likes of “Damages,” “Synecdoche, New York” and various cogs in the “Law & Order” universe, Rothman is maybe the most magnetic figure on this new series based loosely around the life of comic Tig Notaro. As the tightly wound father of Notaro’s character, Rothman exists on some vaguely detached planet ruled by obsessive-compulsive disorder. Rothman’s performance is a tragic embodiment of the futility of maintaining control over grief and loss.

Richard Sears Sextet’s ‘Altadena’: Fronted by a young pianist who has performed with Chick Corea and named for the artistic-leaning enclave in the L.A. foothills where drummer Albert “Tootie” Heath calls home, this album is full of zig-zagging, free-flowing invention over five movements and a taut 35 minutes. The Philadelphia-born Heath is an underappreciated gem having played with John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock and Dexter Gordon (to name a few), and his rich musical track record only gains further esteem with intricate compositions by Sears and a band that includes top-flight talent such as cornetist Kirk Knuffke and saxophonist Steven Lugerner.



Desert Trip: Combining the most revered talents in classic rock with the deep-pocketed fans who love them, this three-day concert is revolutionary as a bold-face testimony of the concert industry’s shift into luxury event planning while offering further proof that the Woodstock generation will never tire of celebrating itself. With reserve seat tickets approaching a monthly rent payment, the trippiest part of this show (now in its second weekend) is the raw shame in imagining its inevitable lineups of the future. Pearl Jam, the Foo Fighters, Wilco, Radiohead, Coldplay and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, anyone?

Disney’s dig through its archives: For all Disney’s success in recent years (“Zootopia,” “Big Hero 6” and any given Pixar entry) it can’t quite help but cannibalize itself with recent live-action reimaginings of “Pete’s Dragon” and “The Jungle Boook” and a planned motion capture-assisted take on the ’90s favorite (and Broadway favorite) “The Lion King.” While Hollywood continues to prove there are seemingly as many ways to retell a story as there are to tell one, this is in a sense how we are punished for no longer buying DVDs. Just resist the urge for a live-action take on “The Incredibles.”

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