Friday, May 21
-The biggest free events are part of the Heineken Inspire series, the afternoon and night of Friday and Saturday, at the Moore Building in the Design District. Each day is divided into an afternoon session from 3 to 9 p.m., and a nighttime session from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday afternoon, that means DJ sets from Irie and Skratchy, and then a nighttime show by Cold War Kids and the Hold Steady. Tickets for the nighttime show are sold out, although some more might be released online; tickets for the afternoon session are still available. Click here for more details on how to get them.
-Dance music legend Green Velvet spins at Grand Central, and if you read this early and get off your ass in time, admission is free before midnight if you RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you RSVP but make it after midnight, admission is $10. (Otherwise, it's just $15 all night.) Click here for details.
-Local live hip-hop favorites Mayday play a late-night set at Transit Lounge, and as always at the venue, admission is free. Click here for details
-Timbalive plays what the name indicates -- timba! -- and promsies a quality descarga tonight at La Casa de Tula. Cover price details are a little fuzzy but it seems like it should be free, or well under $10. Click here for more information.
-Brazilian chanteuse Rose Max performs upstairs at the Van Dyke Cafe, where admission is free, but you'll have to buy some drinks to take up valuable real estate in this cozy venue. Click here for details.
Saturday, May 22
-The Heineken Inspire events continue today. The afternoon show features Fabolous and Wale, and tickets are long gone. You can still try for a free pair to see Tito El Bambino at night, though. Click here for more details.
-Hit Play!, Arsenal 88, and a number of other local punk-ish bands play a benefit show for the Sandor Wiener School, which provides education and therapy to students with intellectual disabilities. The show is at the German-American Club, and admission is $10. Click here for details about the show, and click here to get a free MP3 by Arsenal 88.
-Locos Por Juana play at Transit Lounge tonight, which is not a surprise but always a good bet. Again, admission is free. Click here for details.
-Bar 721 is the latest venue to open in the former Laundry Bar spot, and tonight is the place's weekly electro-house party, Kick (b)Ass, helmed by recently transplanted Frenchie Emeric Rico. Click here to read a Q&A with Rico, and to get full details about the free event.
Sunday, May 23
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-Chocolate Sundays at Purdy Lounge are a dangerous bet --
you WILL wind up with a hangover, no question about it. Better not have
anything important to do on Monday. DJ Contra, as always, spins at the always-free party tonight, and you can click here to read a recent Q&A with the man.