The 2007 WBAR-B-Q ushers in the spring show season. - Oh My Rockness

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The 2007 WBAR-B-Q ushers in the spring show season.

April 11, 2007
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Spring is here. Seriously. Never mind that the ground is as grey as ever or that it snowed earlier this week; the season of man's content is definitely here.

What's our basis for saying such extreme things? We're confident winter is finally behind us because the outdoor show season has officially begun. Sure, the Seaports and the Summerstages and the Sirens of the city aren't underway just yet, but Barnard College isn't afraid to step up and step outside to lead the outdoor concert charge.

The "don't-dare-you-call-me-Columbia" college has finalized the end of our snow flurries with an outdoor show of great fury. Barnard's rad radio station, WBAR, is rocking their latest (and greatest?) annual WBAR-B-Q show on Sunday, April 15th. The magnificent mini-festival features nine bands playing their songs for you under blue skies on Lehman Lawn (and on the house!). And because nothing truly says spring than swine and moonshine, there will also be cheap BBQ (courtesy of hogs and cows across America) and beer. It's like SXSW all over again!

Here's a glimpse at three of the bands (Oneida, Cause Co-Motion, Vampire Weekend) chosen from the nine (Dark Meat, Public Record, Soiled Mattress & the Springs, Nat Baldwin & Sam Rosen, The Shot Heard Round the World, Yan Yan) that will play the party this year.

Seeing Oneida live is a different experience than listening to them on disc. The Brooklyn band is much more math-rock on stage than their slightly psych-y, more experimental studio albums might suggest. We saw them play at Knitting Factory a couple months ago and were astounded again at how tightly these guys loudly lock into their guitar-bass-drum grooves. Their set was flawless and certainly sounded like the band had been playing together forever, which of course, they sort of have. They're not newbies to the scene by any means, but they still kick out the jams better than most kids can. If you like The Big Sleep, Trans Am, Turing Machine, Battles and other guitar-centric "drone" bands, you'll definitely like Oneida.

We love NYC's Cause Co-Motion and were thrilled when they played our two-year birthday bash back in October. Their jangly guitar gems full of danceable rhythms made for the perfect party music. This is a distortion-free band that writes charming, choppy pop that's played and sung at a break-neck pace. It's slightly spazztic guitar-rock that sounds more pleasant than it should. Their fantastic EP is on What's Your Rupture?, the same label that brought you Love is All, < href="BandBio.cfm?BandID=3829">The Long Blondes, and Comet Gain.

NYC's Vampire Weekend play sliding and gliding pop that sounds similar to French Kicks, The Walkmen, The End of The World, and the pioneers of sliding and gliding pop, Squeeze. So yeah, despite their name, they're not goth. This is a highly melodic group of guys that deftly tread the line between catchy and sugary. In other words, you can tap your toes and bop your head as much as you want to these songs without ever feeling nausea from the pop overload. That's right, Vampire Weekend won't make you vomit. So your stomach, even full of Barnard's BBQ and beer, is officially cleared to rock to its gut's content.

Barnard isn't afraid to wait till May to take the outdoor show plunge, and neither should you. So bundle up, go to this BBQ, and see these bands, because it's free... and most importantly, because it's spring baby!

Rock. Eat. Drink. The free WBAR-B-Q is Sunday, April 15th at Lehman Lawn, on the Barnard College campus.

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