While others are bitching about how all the cool music fests are held in the spring (Coachella) or summer (Warped Tour, Street Scene), set these whiners straight by schooling them on how UCR’s been coming out with scientifically awesome music fests during the wintertime for the past four years running. You want to rock out? You want to dance? Your butt can do both here courtesy of the festival’s Vantage Dance Stage (think open-air club) and the killer sets The Crystal Method and Steve Aoki Kid Millionaire will be spinning. Then there are the Highland and Southland stages where alterna-rockers Sick Puppies will be heating up (and blowing up) their amps. Taking Back Sunday will be inspiring emo haircuts left and right while Shiny Toy Guns are bringing sexy back with their mélange of synthpop and L.A. glitz. If indie hip-hop’s your thing, the Hesperia-based New Boyz, who are credited with popularizing the jerkin‘ craze (think the crunkin‘ of the ’00s but with skinny jeans), will be handling the microphone delights along with The Grouch & Eligh and A-Trak, who was hand-picked by Kanye West as his touring DJ and who also managed to woo and date electro-hop hottie Kid Sister (a West protégé)—so you know he’s got game. There are plenty more, but we figure we’re preaching to the choir.
Heat Music Festival w/Taking Back Sunday, The Crystal Method and others at UC Riverside, 900 University Ave., Riverside, (951) 827-5776; http://heat.ucr.edu. Sat, Feb. 13. 8PM-1AM. Tickets $42.50 advance, $50 day of festival.