[Coolfer has given us the cost-efficient music guide for this weekend...hooray for free concerts!]

Attenion freeloaders, cheapskates, the unemployed, the stingy and the underpaid: It's a great week for free shows in NYC. If the weather holds up, this could be one of the better weeks of NYC freebies in recent memory.

Tonight, the magical Ron Sexsmith kicks off Madison Square Park's evening performance series. Ron is arguably one of the better songwriters working today. Show starts at 7pm. Go see him. Take a blanket and some food and enjoy some great music.

Tomorrow night, all fans of Pavement (Wowee Zowee era) and/or CCR's more mellow and country moments should go see Sam Champion at the Luna Lounge. They hit the stage at 9:30pm. You know, I kind of hate to make the Pavement comparison, because they probably hear it to no end, and their songs do stand out on their own merits...but gosh darnit, you would have thought Steve Malkmus left the Jicks and started a new band. On the bill with them are 5 O'Clock Heros (8:30pm) and These Bones (10:30pm). And, in keeping with today's theme, this show is free (as they all are at the Luna).

More free stuff: On Friday, every blogger's favorite, Ted Leo, will rock the South Street Seaport. Sons and Daughters, who opened Franz Ferdinand's recent shows, starts the party at 6pm. Sheee-ooot! Ted Leo rocks! Don't miss this.


Jesse Malin (ex-D Generation) brings his rootsy solo act to the Mercury for a three-night stand running Thursday to Saturday. Of special note is one of the opening artists on Saturday, Bobby Bare, Jr. He's the son of country legend Bobby Bare and is pretty fantastic in his own right. Friday is sold out, by the way.

And more free stuff: Saturday night, Celebrate Brooklyn! got a serious show at the Prospect Park bandshell. Playing Hal Wilner's Neil Young Project will be Cat Power, Iron and Wine, Ron Sexsmith, Jane Siberry, The Be Good Tanyas, Jenni Muldaur, Stan Ridgway and many more. Earlier in the day, at the East River Park Amphitheater, the East River Music Project will host Cat Power w/ Double Leopards, 2/5 BZ, Valley Of Ashes. That runs from 2-6pm.

Sunday's free show is at Summerstage: Canada Day features Blue Rodeo, Sam Roberts, Oh Susanna and Joel Plaskett Emergency.

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! Southpaw has an early show: Chris Robinson (the gangly singer for the Black Crowes) and his New Earth Mud perform at 4pm. Also Sunday, Soma and the Headset play the Mercury.

Other shows that will make you smile:
- Asobi Seksu w/Mellowdrone, The Affair and The Blondes Inc. at Rothko, tonight.
- Secret Machines at the Bowery Ballrom, tonight.
- Burning Spear at Prospect Park bandshell on Thursday. Free!
- Miguel Algarin at Central Park's Summerstage on Thursday. Free!
- Black Dice w/The Juan Maclean and Airborne Audio at Volume on Thursday.
- Les Savy Fav w/Q and not U and El Guapo at Volume on Friday.
- Iron and Wine at the Bowery Ballroom Friday (sold out) and Saturday.

Listen and decide for yourselves:

- Ted Leo & the Pharmacists: "The Sword In The Stone"
- Sons and Daughters: "Johnny Cash"
- Sam Champion: "Company Dance"
- Iron and Wine: "Lion's Mane"
- Asobie Seksu: "Walk on the Moon"
- Mellowdrone: "Worst Song Ever"
- The Be Good Tanyas: "Ship Out To Sea" (RAM)
- Les Savy Fav: "Tragic Monsters"
- Jesse Malin: "Hungry Heart"