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I’ll let you in on a secret: This is the easiest way to knock out your Christmas shopping. As a present, books can come off a little lazy. Unless you’ve sniped some rare edition off eBay, a book tends to scream “I drove to Barnes & Noble on Christmas Eve.” But if you’re giving a signed book, that changes everything. For all your touched recipient knows, you’ve been thinking about this for months! Instead of haunting every Politics and Prose reading, though, you can do it all at the National Press Club Book Fair. Sally Quinn’s going to be there signing copies of her new spiritual memoir. For foodies, Washington restaurant magnate Ashok Bajaj’s Rasika book is on sale. There are political options for every shade of cable news dad—E.J. Dionne will be there, along with Bob Schieffer, Greta Van Susteren, and Joshua Green, who wrote the definitive book on Steve Bannon. If you have a weird cousin, get the Washington Post’s David Weigel to sign his prog rock book. You’ll be a Christmas hero. Read more>>> The National Press Club Book Fair begins at 5:30 p.m. at The National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW., 13th Floor. $10. (202) 662-7500. press.org. (Will Sommer)
Emporiyum is this weekend at Dock 5 at Union Market. The food marketplace features products from about 100 local artisans and restaurants including Dorjee Momo Tibetan dumplings, Cucina Al Volo, Toli Moli, Prescription Chicken, Swizzler, and Timber Pizza Co. Tickets range from $15 to $80, depending on whether you select a VIP experience or if you want to attend tonight’s Union Market five-year anniversary party. The Friday night session is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, the event begins with VIP entrance from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Early general admission entrance begins at 11 a.m. and regular general admission starts at 1:30 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday the event ends for everyone at 4 p.m. Emporiyum, 1309 5th St. NE. theemporiyum.com. (Laura Hayes)
OH AND ALSO
Friday: Comedian and actor Shawn Wayans performs his goofy brand of stand-up at Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse. 7:30 p.m. at 2903 Columbia Pike, Arlington. $30.
Friday: Soul supergroup Orgone performs at U Street Music Hall. 6 p.m. at 1115 U St. NW. $15.
Saturday: Simone Baron and David Buchbinder have never worked together onstage before. But for this festival gig they will be collaborating, doing cross-cultural compositions drawn from klezmer, jazz, contemporary classical music, and Afro-Cuban sounds. Baron, a festival artist-in-residence who lives in the D.C. area, is a pianist and accordionist who has performed with Brazilian and chamber music groups. Buchbinder, a trumpet player based in Toronto, has played with a number of bands including the Flying Bulgars and the Jewish-meets-Cuban ensemble Odessa/Havana. Buchbinder will likely bring noisier, jazzy horn work and sections with uptempo Caribbean percussion and Baron will add her brand of occasionally discordant violin, accordion, and piano. Together, expect the two artists to combine their unique styles, creating a sound fresh to the ears. Read more>>> Simone Baron and David Buchbinder perform at 7:30 p.m. at the Edlavitch D.C. Jewish Community Center, 1529 16th St. NW. $15–$18. (202) 777-3241. wjmf.org. (Steve Kiviat)
Saturday: Alternative Americana group The Lone Bellow performs at 9:30 Club. 8 p.m. at 815 V St. NW. $30.
Saturday: Author Bill McKibben discusses his book Radio Free Vermont: A Fable of Resistance, about an elderly radio broadcaster who wants to start a revolution, at Politics and Prose. 6 p.m. at 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free.
Sunday: It was but a few songs that solidified Irma Thomas as the Soul Queen of New Orleans. On the highest-charting of those, “Wish Someone Would Care,” she uses her powerhouse Baptist church-developed voice to stretch syllables on her own plea for affection. Thomas had perfected the art of infusing her experiences—she’d been divorced twice before the age of 20 and had battled with a record company over royalties—into emotional lyrics. Thomas’ sultry ballad “Ruler of My Heart” didn’t reach the top of the pop chart, but it furthered her star status with New Orleans R&B fans thanks to her particular brand of blues. In the half a century since her early success, Thomas has had to work a day job and flee several hurricanes, but her forceful and fervent voice remains. She will be joined by members of New Orleans jazz vets Preservation Hall and gospel outfit the Blind Boys of Alabama. This bevy of soulful musicians will tug on your heartstrings as you’re grooving. Read more>>> Irma Thomas performs with members of Preservation Hall and the Blind Boys of Alabama at 4 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. $28–$68. (301) 581-5100. strathmore.org. (Steve Kiviat)
Sunday: The Birchmere welcomes longtime stand-up comedian Paula Poundstone. 7:30 p.m. at 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. $49.50.
Sunday: Soul singer/songwriter Musiq Soulchild performs at the Howard Theatre. 8 p.m. at 620 T St. NW. $39.50–$79.50.
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