This is the first week of spring, and free entertainment is blooming all over town. You can check out some rad sounds, test your hip-hop IQ or put life on trial without ever opening your wallet. For information on even more events, check the Westword calendar — and if we missed a bargain, tell us about it in the comments section.
SPELLS at Mutiny Information Cafe (7 p.m. Tuesday, free/donations)
SPELLS proclaims that they rule on their website, and they kind of do. They can play lo-fi garage, straight-up punk-rock and a genre maybe only this band's members know: vacation rock. Have fun with them tonight as they welcome Summer Cannibals from Portland and Black Dots at Mutiny. All three bands are going to rule — and so will your Tuesday.
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Hip Hop Trivia and Karaoke at Bar Red (9 p.m. Tuesday, free)
You better know who Shawn Carter, Christopher Wallace and Reginald Noble are before you even try to step into this trivia night. With only twenty questions, there's not a lot of room for error — so start studying. Remember, if you fail at hip-hip trivia, you can always fail at rap karaoke, too.
The People Versus.....? at McNichols Building (6 p.m. Wednesday, free)
There's a lot to be afraid of in this world: having kids, cops, god and even the idea of retirement. But the Warm Cookie folks always have your back, so this week they're putting all of these topics on trial. They've invited some dads to discuss parenting, a freedom rider to talk about police, a reverend and atheist to hash out the god issue and a lawyer to give retirement a good name. Each topic will have five-minute arguments from both the prosecution and defense, and then the audience will get to weigh in. Our verdict? Sounds like fun!