Celebrating DC’s First Michelin Guide at the French Ambassador’s Residence

Bibendum at the release party for DC's first Michelin Guide

Being invited to the French Ambassador’s Residence is always a treat… I’ve only been there a few times in my 13 years in Washington and I’m always elated when I have the chance to attend an event there. Last night was no exception, if anything it was more special than ever as Washington’s top toques gathered to celebrate the release of the District’s very first Michelin Guide. So. Many. Chefs. 

In addition to the 11 chefs who were awarded coveted stars in the red guide, representatives from the restaurants who were awarded Bib Gourmand last week as well as from those who were listed in the book were present. Who was left in DC’s kitchens last night? A lot of sous-chefs in charge 😉

DC's Michelin Starred Chefs

There are 107 restaurants listed in the Michelin Guide, including 19 Bib Gourmand, 9 one-star restaurants and 3 two-stars restaurants. The big winners from this first edition are Jose Andres and Aaron Silverman. At 34, the chef who made D.C. fall in love with a litchi and pork sausage dish is one of very people in the world to have both a one star (Rose’s Luxury) and a two stars (Pineapple & Pearl) restaurant. And he’s just getting started! Jose Andres also had a very good week, receiving two stars for his Minibar and a Bib Gourmand for pretty much all of his other establishments (Oyamel, China Chilcano, Zaytinya and Jaleo).

My favourite moment from last night’s event, other than sipping champagne among the who’s who of the Washington culinary scene — and getting my picture taken with Bibendum — was when Patrick O’Connor, the chef and proprietor of the two-star Inn at Little Washington said a few words as he accepted his recognition. At 71, he is twice Aaron Silverman’s age and had long lobbied Michelin’s to cover the city. “I am living proof” he said “that if you wait long enough your prayers will be answered.” Despite their insistence that they would only include restaurants from DC proper in the guide, I am so glad that the Michelin inspecteurs ventured out to Washington, VA. I’m hoping to make a trip out there soon, but until then, I’ll be combing through the guide (which shouldn’t take long, the D.C. edition is a mere 96 pages long, of which maybe 15 are ads for Michelin and maps) and picking out some new spots to try!

DC Michelin Guide

The first on my lists are all around where I live, and I can’t believe I eaten there yet: Ottoman Taverna (Bib Gourmand), Kinship (one star) and Chercher, a Bib Gourmand Ethiopian restaurant I hadn’t even heard of until the guide came out. Do you think the release of the guide will influence where you’re going to eat in the near future?

Christine & The Queens au Festival All Things Go Fall Classic

Vous êtes allés voir Christine And the Queens quand elle est passée au 9:30 Club un peu plus tôt dans l’année? Moi j’ai pas pu, donc je suis bien contente qu’elle revienne nous voir à l’occasion d’une petite tournée Nord Américaine. Elle sera au All Things Go Fall Classic Music Festival à Yards Park le Samedi 8 Octobre. On a pas beaucoup de festival de musique comme ça à Washington et j’aime bien voir sa progression depuis ces débuts au Dock 5 derriere Union Market en 2014… et le fait bien sur qu’il y a une super artiste française dans le line-up!! 

All Things Go Classic

La tête d’affiche cette année c’est les Australiens de Empire of the Sun (leurs vidéos sont toujours superbes, comme la pour Alive, donc j’imagine le show qu’ils doivent produire pour leurs concerts!), Passion Pit, Sylvan Esso et d’autres dont bien sur notre Christine nationale. Mais le top avec le festival c’est qu’il marrie musique et bouffe. En plus des artistes, le site de revues de restos The Infatuation a sélectionné des vendeurs comme Buredo, Takorean, Milk Cut ou Beefsteak pour s’assurer que les festivaliers ne meurent pas de faim. C’est bien gentil de leur part 😉

Christine and the Queens at the 9:30 Club in May 2016 - Photo by Francois Boo

Christine and the Queens at the 9:30 Club in May 2016 – Photo by François Boo

Si ça vous intéresse d’y aller, vous pouvez trouver plus d’info sur le site du festival ici et utiliser le code FrenchTwist pour recevoir 10% de reduction sur les billets que vous achetez!

Les 5 Produits Français que j’Achète à World Market

Vous connaissez World Market? J’adore!! C’est une chaine de magasins ici où l’on trouve un peu de tout que ce soit pour le décor, les meubles, mais aussi des bijoux et de la nourritures venus ou inspirés des quatres coins du monde. Le mien est un peu plus petit, on n’y trouve pas de produits alcoolisés (certains ont un super choix de vins et de bière) ni de meubles, vaisselles etc. En fait, c’est juste un petit rayon dans mon Bed Bath & Beyond local près du Verizon Center. Mais c’est le rayon le plus important! Celui de l’alimentation 😉 Voici quelques uns de mes produits français préférés que j’achète à World Market

LE SEL DE GUERANDE

Fleur de sel de guerandeGros sel de guerande

Le sel de Guérande est un sel de mer naturel et artisanal récolté à la main par les paludiers dans les marais salants de la Loire Atlantique. Je le trouve version fleur de sel ($6.99) et gros sel aussi ($4.99) à mon World Market

LE SUCRE DE CANE LA PERRUCHE

Sucre de canne la perruche

Je ne trouve pas encore de cassonade à mon World Market, hélas, mais bon, le sucre roux, ambré en cube comme ca c’est un bon début et à $5.99 c’est pas encore trop cher et ça fait bien plaisir dans mon nespresso du matin! 

LA MOUTARDE MAILLE

Moutarde a l'ancienne et moutarde originale Maille

Il n’y a que Maille qui m’aille et si mon supermarché local a fait de bon progrès (j’y trouve maintenant de la moutarde Maille a l’ancienne) elle coute toujours un peu chère.  Alors en attendant que Maille ouvre sa boutique sur Washington (c’est dans les projets de la marque apparement) je rempli mon cadis à World Market!  

LES CORNICHONS

Cornichons

C’est pas facile de trouver des bons cornichons français, pas les gros pickles comme ils font aux Etats Unis (et que je trouve très bons aussi, mais c’est pas la même chose). J’adore particulièrement les extra fins Domaine des Vignes ($3.99) que je trouve à World Market

LES PETITES DOUCEURS

Quelques petits produits que j’adore: les mini-pots de confitures Bonne Maman (toujours pratique quand on a des invité pour le brunch), le Nutella version sample que j’ai quasiment toujours dans mon sac à main (je l’appelle mon Nutella d’urgence, on ne sait jamais quand on en aura besoin!) et les Kinder. Oui, je sais, ni le Nutella ni les Kinders ne sont français, mais on en consomme tellement chez nous que c’est un peu comme… Dommage par contre, on trouve toujours pas d’oeufs Kinder Surprise ici 😦

KinderEmergency Nutella

Mini-confiture bonne maman

BONUS: QUELQUES PRODUITS D’AFRIQUE DU NORD

Du côté de chez ma grand-mère maternelle on est du Maroc (de Casablanca) et le couscous est mon plat français préféré (et je suis pas seule d’après ce sondage.) Alors quand je trouve de l’harissa, du ras el hanout et de la semoule, je saute dessus!  

Harissa from World Market

Semoule pour le couscous

Ras el Hanout spices from world market

 

Vous avez trouvé d’autres bons produits français à World Market ou ailleurs? Je sais qu’on trouve de tout si on bien y mettre le prix (par example à Dean et Delucca, nous on en a un a Georgetown) mais l’avantage de World Market c’est que c’est très abordable! Quels sont le produits qui vous manquent le plus? N’hésitez pas a partager vos tuyaux alimentaires dans les commentaires! 

 

What’s the Best Baguette in Washington, DC?

I’ve lived in the District for over 10 years now and as the French expat one of the top question I usually get asked is “where can I find good bread?” Usually it’s recent transplants from France asking… The answer partially depend on where you live I guess. I mean, Bread Furst probably makes the best baguette in the city. But I live in Shaw. It’s bad enough I have to spend close to $3 for bread, I’m not trekking all the way across town on top of it. So I get my baguette mostly at A Baked Joint now, and occasionally at Paul or Le Pain Quotidien. Two places where I would never buy bread back home…but hey, I have limited options here 😉
The best Baguette in DC

Of course, Parisians take their bread very seriously. It is like 20% of our diet… It’s so important that we have a trade association for bread and the bakers that make it, la Chambre professionnelle des artisans boulangers du Grand Paris. And since 1994, they’ve teamed up with the City of Paris to throw an annual baguette show-done to select the best loaf in town: la meilleure baguette de Paris. In addition to 4,000 euros, mad bragging rights and a guaranteed line outside your bakery for a few weeks, the winning boulangerie also becomes the official bread supplier of the French President and his residence. Yes, obviously, that’s a thing too.  

This year, the French Embassy to the United States has decided to organize its very own “best baguette” contest for the Washington, D.C. area. After polling district residents online to see what their favourite bread-spots were, the top 4 bakers are facing off for a carb-filled finale at La Maison Française September 29th. 

The bakeries competing for the Best Capital Baguette title are: 

A jury of chefs and other DC-food personalities will decide the winner that evening but guests are also invited to join and will get the opportunity to try the different baguette along with charcuteries, cheese and jam. Bonne Maman, D’Artagnan and President are partners, so you know there’s gonna be some good stuff there! No wine sponsor though, so that’ll be cash bar and at $25 for a ticket (which you can buy here), that seems fair.

My money is on Fresh Baguette or Bread Furst, but I guess we’ll have to wait until September 29th to find out and see who will become the official bread supplier of the French Ambassador’s Residence… and the 2016 Best Capital Baguette!

ps: New York hosted its own competition earlier this year… so if you’re looking for some the best bread in Manhattan, just head to one of Eric Kayser‘s many bakeries. And good news, it won’t be too long before we have our very own Maison Eric Kayser here in DC. CANNOT WAIT! 

Bon Quatorze Juillet / Have a Tasty Bastille Day

I just got back from a week of holiday back home. Other than that tiny little event when France lost the UEFA championship to Portugal, everything was absolutely wonderful. If anything, I feel like I got an early taste of the Quatorze Juillet since there were flags absolutely everywhere and I sang the Marseillaise like 50 times (it’s kind of the de-facto soccer chant for supporters of the French national team.) Seriously, my instagram feed (<– follow me!) turned completely bleu blanc rouge over the last 2 weeks 😉 

A Very French Instagram

A very patriotic instagram

At least I get to pretend I’m back in Paris a little longer because tomorrow is our national holiday (you say Bastille Day, and that’s ok, I say Quatorze Juillet… please just don’t say France independence day!). I’m stoked, as always, to celebrate at the French Embassy with my Frenchies. It’s always pretty special to celebrate July 14th with the French community and fellow French expats from the Washington area every year.

Elsewhere in the city, Washington’s many French restaurants always step up to the plate to celebrate one of the thing we are most proud of: our food!

  • Grab made to order crepes ($10) on the terrace at Café du Parc as well as a wine flight and cheese & charcuterie board ($30) from 5-8PM. After that, head to the restaurant to enjoy a special Taste of Bordeaux menu.
  • Celebrate Bastille Day at Bastille in Alexandria. Out of all the special Bastille Day menu I’ve seen, this is the one that I’m most excited about AND it’s available through July 17. I’d have a hard time deciding what to order between the canard aux pêches (see picture below), loup de mer (my favourite fish!) and entrecote Béarnaise if I went! Bonus: you can add a wine pairing to your menu too! 
Canard peche at Bastille in Alexandria VA

Picture courtesy Flash Public Relations via Chef Christophe Poteaux’s facebook feed

  • 2491 in Virginia is celebrating all week, with a special menu through Sunday, July 17. Highlights include a lobster thermidor and a lapin à la Provençal, which are not items you frequently see on French menus here in the US. The desserts by chef Caitlin Dysart, as always, sound absolutely delightful like the blueberry Vacherin with lavender ice cream or the apricot clafoutis.
  • If you haven’t had a chance to check out La Jambe in Shaw yet, here’s a perfect excuse! They’re come up with an adorable “bleu, blanc, rouge” board special for the holiday, which, along with a glass of wine, will only set you back $20!

    Bastille day at La Jambe

    If shopping is more your scene, City Center DC has some great shops (go easy on the champagne at Louis Vuitton, or your wallet might hurt tomorrow!) AND great food… plus music, wine tasting and mini-facials at Caudalie

    Bastille Day at City Center

    There’s a ton of tasty pics floating around my instagram feed today and way too many fabulous options to list them all. I’ll give you these two drool-inducing pics though:

    delicious

    But last but not least, of course, you can also celebrate with a night in. It’s going to be like a million degrees tonight, so that’s a perfectly acceptable option! You can always grab a bottle of French wine at one of the many great wine shops around town. I always find some great fun bottles at DCANTER on Capitol Hill and am never disappointed with the amazing selection at Weygandt Wines in Cleveland Park. Bonus: Weygandt Wines is offering 20% off its French bottles on July 14th! For the films, I’ve got you covered with this handy list of the best French films on Netflix. 

    Anyhoo, as I mentioned I’ll be at the French Embassy tonight… following me on snapchat if you want to see what that looks like on Bastille Day! 

    Bon Quatorze Juillet à tous!! 

Yes way {Languedoc} Rosé

It’s *finally* rosé weather in Washington, DC this week and I’m excited to start digging into the stack of pink bottles I’ve accumulated while we experienced a record number of rainy days. I’m extremely biased towards French wines in general, but especially when it comes to rosés, and I always gravitate towards Provençal rosés. Occasionally, I’ll venture outside of Provence and pick up a bottle of new world rosé (I’m a big fan of Early Mountain’s rosé right now.) But most of the time, venturing out means looking a little South West along the Mediterranée to the Languedoc-Roussillon. Sandwiched between Provence and Spain, the Languedoc is actually France’s biggest wine region, with a bit over 200,000 hectares of vines, but it’s not as prestigious as some of the other regions so you can find some great value bottles. 

One of my favourite AOP is the region is Corbières, located between the cities of Carcassonne, Perpignan and Béziers where I happen to have family members. It’s the most reputable AOP in the Languedoc and produces spicy full body red wine, and delicate rosés. This past week, I’ve enjoyed a delightful  bottle from the Domaine Montfin, which you can pick up from Weygandt Wines here in Washington, D.C.  

Domaine Montfin Corbieres Rosé

I also enjoyed a bottle of Domaine Sainte-Eugenie, purchased at my local wine store, Eye Street Cellar. Both wines were definitely brighter in hues than a typical pale provençal rosé but offer the right acidity and floral overtones to prevent them from being too fruity. In anticipation of Languedoc Day on May 27, I was sent two additional bottles of Languedoc AOP rosés, a 2015 Domaine Tour Boisée Minervois and a 2015 Chateaux de Lascaux Garrigue rosé which made for a pretty fun line-up of wines to try with my girlfriends on a rare warm evening last week. 

Rosés from the L:anguedoc

Let’s start with the Tour Boisée, from the Minervois region, just north of Corbières. Wines there are similar, meaning you’ll find full bodied reds, slightly fruity rosés but also some dry whites. The pale rosé is 40% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, 20% Mourvèdre and 20% Syrah and a perfect complement to a warm summer evening and barbecue! Finally, the Garrigue rosé, which is the pricier of all the wines mentioned in this post (don’t worry, you should still be able to find it for under $15!). It’s from the Côteaux du Languedoc region, a much smaller AOP than Corbières (now known simply as Languedoc AOP) but where the wines are rather varied ranging from dry whites like the super affordable Picpoul de Pinet to more robust reds. The vineyards of Château de Lascaux have been in the family for 13 generations, are farmed organically and are some of the most well known from the region. The rosé is another delightful, light sipper very much in line with what you would expect from a southern French rosé.

As I mentioned, Friday May 27th is Languedoc Day. Last year I picked up bottles in each “colour,” red, white and something in between. The region also produces some simple bubblies like Blanquette and Crémant de Limoux. This year, because I’m craving all the rosé (and the weather that goes with it!), I went all pink for this post! Whether you want to branch out from Provençal rosés for a bit and/or are looking for similar light and dry wine, look a little bit south to the Languedoc AOP. I think you’ll be happy you did!

Happy National Wine Day by the way!! 

*Benson Marketing Group sent me a bottle of 2015 Domaine Tour Boisée Minervois and the 2015 Chateaux de Lascaux Garrigue rosé. All opinions expressed are my own nonetheless.*

 

Catch These French Films at Filmfest DC

FilmFest DC 2016

In the winter months, I try to cram in as many oscar-nominated films as I can before the awards are given out. After that movie-binge, I typically take a needed break from the cinemas. Until April and Filmfest DC

Filmfest is the District’s first, largest and only international film festival. Between April 14 and 24, 2016 Filmfest DC will celebrate 30 years of delighting Washington cinephiles with a really impressive line-up of 75 movies from 45 different countries. As always, that includes a number of films from France and Belgium. Here are some of the French(-ish) or French-language films you can look forward to this year. 

THE BRAND NEW TESTAMENTLe tout nouveau testament

The poster claims that “G-d exist… and he lives in Brussels.” Colour me intrigued, especially since the film is directed by Jaco Van Dormael who has made such great films as Toto the Hero or The Eight Day. In the story, G-d (Benoit Poelvoorde — catch him in Romantics Anonymous available on DVD on Netflix!) is alive and grumpy in the Belgian capital, where he controls the universe from his computer and torments his family, including his wife the amazing Yolande Moreau and 10 year old daughter, Ea. To get back at her dad, Ea sends everyone their death dates via SMS… and that’s just the beginning. Intrigued? You should be! The film was Belgium’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards, making the December shortlist of nine films, but falling just short of being nominated (it was nominated but didn’t win at France’s Cesars.) Watch the trailer here and catch The New Testament at AMC Mazza Gallerie on April 21 at 6:30PM or April 22 at 6:30PM. (In French with English subtitles.)

BELGIAN RHAPSODY 

Belgian rhapsody

Belgian Rhapsody illustrates the competition between the small country’s two linguistic groups – the French-speaking Walloons and the Flemish –  through the fierce battle of two brass bands vying for a European championship. The exuberant Wallo-Flemish musical comedy will be shown at Landmark’s E Street Cinema on April 18 at 8:45PM and April 23 at 5PM. (In Dutch and French with English subtitles.)

THE MEASURE OF A MANla loi du marche

I just saw posters for this film in new York City, which makes me think it has the best chance out of all the movies on this list to actually make it to theater in Washington, DC. Vincent Lindon is always superb and won awards for his performance both at Cannes and at the Cesars. This terrific drama echoes the Dardenne brothers’ “Two Days, One Night” in its exploration of what people are willing to do to keep their jobs. Here, Lindon portrays a fifty-something former factory worker, who after being unemployed for 20 months, finally accepts a soul-destroying job as a security guard for a megastore.  The movie is co-presented by the French Embassy where it will show on April 22 at 7PM. It will also show at AMC Mazza Gallerie on April 16 at 5PM. (In French with English subtitles.) The French Embassy will be screening another film, Anne Fontaine’s The Innocents, immediately following The measure of a man, at 9PM on April 22 if you feel like a French double feature. Details here

MY KING

Speaking of acting awards at Cannes, its director Emmanuelle Bercot, who also plays the tittle character in this movie (called Maiwenn in French), won that last year. Her film focuses on Maiween who tears up her knee cap skiing in the opening sequence. As her therapist hints that the whole thing was more of a cry for help than an accident she looks back at her life with her man-child partner Giorgio (swoon worthy Vincent Cassel) and remembers the highs and lows of their life together. My King is showing at AMC Mazza Gallerie on April 15 at 6:30PM and at Landmark’s E Street Cinema on April 17 at 5:30PM. (In French with English subtitles.)

My King

 

THE WHITE KNIGHTS

But back to Vincent Lindon. He leads the Move For Kids organization in this provocative Franco-Belgian drama that looks at the darker side of humanitarian assistance. Directly inspired by real events (the highly suspect story of French NGO Zoe’s Ark whose members were arrested in 2007 for illegally trafficking children they claimed to be orphans from war-torn Darfur) The White Knight raises many questions and offers no easy answers about what is wrong and what is right… what my husband would dub an excellent but infuriatingly French film 😉 Catch The White Knight at AMC Mazza Gallerie on April 15 at 9PM or at Landmark’s E Street Cinema on April 22 at 6:30PM. (In French with English Subtitles.)

The White Knights

 

LOVE & FRIENDSHIPLove and Friendship

What is this very British love satire based on Jane Austen’s never-previously-filmed novella in letters Lady Susan doing in a list of French film you ask? Well, it’s co-produced by France, the Netherlands and Ireland. So there, French enough-ish! Plus it looks really good (I always love a good period film!) Brit Kate Beckinsale plays a widow who seeks refuge with her in-laws. As rumours about her private life begin to circulate, she sets out to find a husband for a herself, and a father for her daughter, the reluctant debutante Frederica. There’s only one showing at Landmark’s E Street Cinema on April 19 at 6:30PM so don’t miss it. (In English… no subtitles.)

3000 NIGHTS

Saying that I loved Room doesn’t feel quite right because the topic the film/book dealt with is so dark. 3000 Nights feels almost like Room and is also partially based on true stories, that of Palestinian women in Israeli prisons. In the film, Layla is unaccountably thrown into a police van and convicted. She ends up pregnant and in jail and is allowed to keep the child who grows up in a grim cell, knowing nothing of the outside world, but surrounded by love from his mother and her five Palestinian cell mates. Palestinian director Mai Masri is initially a documentary filmmaker and 3000 Nights concludes with a powerful documentary.

3000 Nights

A Palestine/France/Qatar/Jordan/UAE coproduction, the film is co-presented by the Embassy of Qatar and showing at Landmark’s E Street Cinema on April 21 at 8:30PM and AMC Mazza Gallerie on April 23 at 9:30PM. That last screening will be attended by the director too. (In Arabic and Hebrew with English subtitles.)

MY INTERNSHIP IN CANADA

The festival saved the best for last with its closing film! Academy award nominated director Philippe Falardeau, of Monsieur Balthazar and The Good Lie fame, returns with a political satire featuring Starbuck’s Patrick Huard (one of my absolute favourite in-French film currently streaming on Netflix… watch it!!) as a former pro-hockey player whose career never took off because he was afraid to get on planes. Now an independent MP and the last honest man in office, his vote can decide the fate of legislation that could send the country to war. The PM relies heavily on guidance from his Haitian intern Souverain, who seems to know more about the ins and outs of Canadian politics than he does.

My Internship in Canada

While reviews agree that My Internship in Canada (watch the trailer here) doesn’t quite live up to its potential, you won’t want to miss this screening at AMC Mazza Gallerie on April 24th, the closing night of the festival, because it will be attended by director Philippe Falardeau and followed by a reception sponsored by the Office of Quebec. (In French, Creole, with some English dialogue and English subtitles.)

Are you looking forward to Filmfest DC this year? The list above is by no means exhaustive, just some French-ish movies that I would like to see during the festival. You can see a full list of all the films shown through April 24th right here. Let me know if you see anything good!  

I’m in a Marseille State of Mind

I’ve had Marseille on my mind lately. Part of it has been following along my friend Tammy’s adventures in house swapping and remote working from Marseille (you can read all about it on her blog Florida Girl in DC.) It’s definitely made me look at my mom’s hometown completely differently! And the other part, of course, is that Marseille seems to be everywhere lately. First, there was the recent release of the movie Marseille in France. And now, there’s the countdown to the much anticipated (at least by me) release of Netflix’s first French-language original series Marseille. The trailer looks SO GOOD!! 

The show’s 8 episodes (52 minutes each) will drop worldwide on May 5 (binge party anyone?) and focus on a political succession story between Gerard Depardieu’s character, the mayor of Marseille and his heir and eventual challenger. It’s been marketed as a tale of power, corruption and redemption and already dubbed a French House of Cards, though the trailer made me think more of the series Boss than anything else. I’m under NO illusions that it will be anything as successful as House of Cards I’m still super excited to watch it, especially because my husband is kinda looking forward to it too, and any time I can get him to watch anything in french, let alone be excited about it is definitely a victory in my books!! Plus, I can’t wait to see how Marseille fares as a backdrop! 

ps: curious about Marseille? Check out my trip recap post right here. 

Watch La Famille Belier at l’Alliance Francaise

Grab some tissues and head to l’Alliance Francaise on April 1 to catch a screening of La Famille Belier. The feel good film was quite a hit in France in 2014, but it didn’t really come out in the United States 😦 I got to watch during my Air France flight back to Washington, DC last August and while the film is technically a comedy I found myself practically bawling in my crammed middle seat during the final scenes. Here’s the trailer with English subtitles:

La Famille Belier is a coming of age tale about Paula, a musically gifted teenager who has to come to terms with allowing her voice to be heard. The reason it’s so difficult for her is that both her parents and brother are deaf. Finding her voice and letting go is particularly difficult for Paula who knows her parents are dependent on her to speak and hear on their behalf in their every day life. But it’s also difficult for her parents and I challenge you to keep your eyes dry by the time Paula, played delicately by Louane Emera, sings about flying away. That’s when you’ll need your tissues…. And speaking of Louane and tissues, I also challenge you not to be moved by her sweet blind audition from season 2 of The Voice (yep, France has it own version of singing competition too!) 

You can catch La Famille Belier, in French with English subtitles at l’Alliance Francaise on April 1.

Christine and the Queens at the 9:30 Club

Have you heard of Christine and the Queens?

Yes!? Then you know how awesome she is! You can skip the rest of this post and just click on this link to buy tickets to see her perform at the 9:30 Club on May 31. French musicians don’t grace US stages very often, and when they do, we – Frenchies and francophiles – have a responsibility to go cheer them on. Otherwise, they won’t come see us anymore 😉

If you have no idea who Christine and the Queens is then let me introduce you to the best French band you’re not listening to right now. 

Christine and the Queens is the androgynous alter ego of Héloïse Letissier, a  stylish 27-year-old Parisienne who took France by storm with her 2014 debut album Chaleur Humaine. She won four Victoires de la Musique awards, the French equivalent of the Grammies, one for best female artist of the year in 2015, for best video for her song Saint Claude in 2015 and Christine in 2016 and one for best tour in 2016. She’s a really great dancer who counts Madonna, Mark Ronson and Lorde as fans, performed at Austin’s SXSW Festival last March and did a mini-US tour afterwards that included a quick stop in DC’s Lincoln Theater. She’s also been written up about in the New York Times’ T Magazine and was Trevor Noah’s second musical guest ever.

And that was all before she rerecorded and retooled her album, now just called Christine and The Queens, for an international audience (check it out on iTunes!). Her songs always had a bit on English in them and now they have even more. She’s about to take the US by storm. Her song iT was featured in a recent episode of Girls on HBO and is headlining a bigger US tour that will take her to Cochella, New York (obvi!), Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia and *yes* Washington, DC again, where she’ll perform at the 9:30 Club this time. Rather than bore you with words, I’ll let her music (and stunning videos) speak for themselves and share Jonathan which I can’t get out of my head right now and the catchy Paradis Perdus, a mash-up of Christophe’s 1972 chanson with some Heartless by Kanye weaved into it (because why not?).

 

See you at the 9:30 Club on May 31??