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Local bands, Christmas movies, and soccer charities

The Washington-based band River James plays at Black Cat Thursday. It’s the four-piece folk group’s first performance, and Deleted Scenes is also on the bill. Click here to purchase tickets ($10). 9 PM.

Throughout the holiday season, the United States Botanic Garden is featuring festive musical performances. This week, the women of Silver Spring’s Capital Accord Chorus are singing in four-part a capella harmony. Thursday from 6 to 8; free.

Nothing gets us in the holiday spirit quite like Frank Capra’s Christmas classic, It’s a Wonderful Life. Catch it Thursday at the National Portrait Gallery, where it’s screening as part of the on-going Rockwell Film Series. 6:30; free.

The goofily-named Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.—also known as the pop duo Josh Epstein and Daniel Zott—are playing Thursday at the Red Palace. Their repertoire includes a cover of the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows.” 8:30; $8.

Thursday night, the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Washington is hosting Christmas Carols and Stories by the Fire. Take in holiday tunes sung by local choirs as well as free hot chocolate and candy canes. 5:30 to 7:30; free.

Bellman Barker, who plays at the Rock & Roll Hotel Friday night, has drawn comparisons to Belle & Sebastian. The group is joined by Megan Jean and the Klay Family Band, Alma Tropicalia, and Fort Washington Band. Tickets ($10) are available here. Doors open at 8.

Featuring both professional and amateur cellists, the Kindler Cello Society is performing its holiday program Friday at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage. 6 PM; free.

Saturday, the National Gallery’s Cin-Concert series features A Christmas Carol. A 1923 version of the Charles Dickens story is accompanied by strings, bells, and vocal stylings. 1 PM; free.

Head to Town Tavern Saturday night and check out Unite for the Holidays, a benefit for DC United’s charitable foundation. There’ll be drink specials, a light buffet, and a DJ. 6 to 9; $5 suggested donation.

Yaw Obuobi’s new exhibit, “Rhythmic Pulse,” opens at the International Visions gallery this weekend. There’ll be a reception Saturday evening, where you can have light refreshments and view the artist’s yarn collages. 6:30 to 9; free.

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