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Posted at 3:18 AM ET, 11/ 2/2009

Free and easy events

By Fritz Hahn

John Thornley of U.S. Rotalty hosts an acoustic jam session at Solly's on the first Monday of the month. (Helayne Seidman--For The Post)

This week, our ideas for how to have fun on no money include a live show with members of popular local rockers U.S. Royalty, free champagne tastings, an all-night long DIY photo shoot and more ideas -- enough for every day of the week.

Monday, Nov. 2
John Thornley and Friends at Solly's U Street Tavern
Hot off their appearance at CMJ in New York at the end of October, John and Paul Thornley of rising local indie band U.S. Royalty bring their monthly hootenanny-style show to the upstairs of Solly's U Street Tavern. Expect an acoustic mix of covers originals, plus appearances by special guests. (Last month, singer-guitarist Marty Royle of Washington Social Club took the stage.)

Tuesday, Nov. 3
Free champagne tasting at Bistrot Lepic
You've made it through the first two days of the workweek -- isn't that a reason to celebrate? The Tuesday night wine-tasting at the cozy Bistrot Lepic wine bar features free glasses of Heidsieck Monopole Blue Top Brut and Brut Rose, poured with no strings attached by a representative of the champagne house. If you want to stick around after your complimentary bubbly, all wines are 20 percent off all night.

Wednesday, Nov. 4
"Herblock in World War II" at the Library of Congress
Though he may best be remembered for his Watergate-era cartoons aimed at Richard Nixon, longtime Washington Post political cartoonist Herbert Block -- better known under his pen name Herblock -- won his first Pulitzer Prize in 1942 for work about fascism and the beginnings of World War II. The Library of Congress's Sara Duke and Martha Kennedy look at this era during a lunchtime tour of the recently opened "Herblock!" exhibit.

Thursday, Nov. 5
Friday Morning Music Club Chamber Program at Strathmore
True, this group is playing on Thursday, not Friday, but does that really matter when you have a chance to hear Beethoven for free? The Friday Morning Music Club -- a group dedicated to free classical music -- sponsors a concert with a string quartet performing Smetana's String Quartet No. 1 in E Minor, a cello-piano duo performing Beethoven's Sonata in C Major, Op. 102, No. 2 and a selection of Schubert songs sung by soprano Deborah Madsen.

Friday, Nov. 6
Fiesta Fridays at Tuscana West
This new party brings a weekly shot of Latin and Caribbean music to downtown D.C. The destinations and themes change every week -- this week features the music and drinks of Venezuela and specials on Polar beer, while Nov. 13 highlights the rhythms and rum of the Dominican Republic. What doesn't change is the admission charge: it's always free until midnight when you sign up for the guest list on the Primo Productions Web site.

Saturday, Nov. 7
NightVisions at FotoWeek D.C.
The photography festival kicks off with an audience-participation photo hunt. Between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., photographers are invited to roam the city and shoot whatever they see, then bring the results back to the FotoWeek gallery in Georgetown. There, they can edit their work and select up to 30 images for professional editors to review. One photograph from each participant will be printed and displayed for the rest of FotoWeek. Free coffee and snacks will be provided; a cash bar is available. To save a spot, RSVP to

Sunday, Nov. 8
"Buffalo Boy" at the Freer Gallery
The short stories of famed Vietnamese author Son Nam are the basis for "Buffalo Boy," a coming-of-age tale about a rural teenager who leaves his family to search for food after a flood. The film, in Vietnamese with English subtitles, screens as part of the gallery's "Bringing the World Home: The Global Film Initiative" series. Tickets are distributed 30 minutes before the film begins.

Have an idea for us for a future Free & Easy column? Send it to

-- Fritz Hahn

By Fritz Hahn  | November 2, 2009; 3:18 AM ET
Categories:  Events, Free and Cheap  
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