Christine & The Queens at the All Things Go Fall Classic Festival

Have you heard of Christine And the Queens? Did you go see her and her band when she played at the 9:30 Club earlier this year? I couldn’t make it, so I’m stoked she’s coming back! As part of a small North American tour, she’ll be performing at the All Things Go Fall Classic Music Festival at Yards Park this Saturday, October 8th. DC’s not a big music festival town  and I’ve loved seeing this one grow from its beginning at Dock 5 behind Union Market in 2014. And of course I love that there’s a French artist in the line-up!! 

All Things Go Classic

The headliners this year are Empire of the Sun (the videos from the Australian band are amazing, like this one for Alive, so I bet they put on quite a show!). They’ll be joined on stage by Passion Pit, Sylvan Esso and others, including of course Christine! The best part of this music festival, in my opinion, is that it marries music and food. In addition to all the artists, the restaurant review site Infatuation selected vendors like Buredo, Takorean, Milk Cut or Beefsteak to make sure festival-goers don’t go hungry. Isn’t that nice of them 😉

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

You can still grab tickets if you’re interested in going (click here) and use the code FrenchTwist to save 10%.

ps: check out my earlier write up on Christine and the Queens.

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!

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?? 

Francophonie Festival, 2015 Edition

The largest celebration of French culture and language in the world—the Francophonie Cultural Festival—is returning to the US capital March 5 to April 1, 2015. Organized by the D.C. Francophonie Committee in association with l’Alliance Française and Smithsonian Associates, the festival engages over 40 embassies for a month of cultural events ranging from lectures to concerts and movie screenings, culminating as usual with la Grande Fête de la Francophonie, a huge foodie bash at la Maison Française at the French Embassy.

What I’ve loved about the partnership with Smithsonian Associates this year is how active Smithsonian at 8 (the 21+  after-hours event planning art of the Smithsonian) has been about shinning a light on all the different countries that belong to the francophone world. Check out their facebook page, for example. Over the past few years, they’ve posted a recipe for Belgian waffles and the essentials of Senegalese cuisine, highlighted 10 of the most confusing words in the French language, gave us a crash course of playing the African drums and got me dreaming of jetting off to Guinea!



Of course, Smithsonian at 8 has also been promoting the Grande Fête which will cap off the festival on March 27, 2015, and doing a Caption That contest to help you win free tickets. I’ve been to the Grande Fête many times, and here are a few tips to enjoy the party at the French Embassy:

  • la grande fete de la francophonieBuy your tickets early. The event will sell out, it always does.
  • Get to the party early. Even though the Grande Fête takes place on the expansive grounds of La Maison Francaise at the French Embassy, it gets very crowded, very fast. If you’re attending with a large group of people, agree on a meeting point because you’ll probably loose each other.
  • Don’t bring a big bag! They’ll be checking IDs and bags at the entrance so you’ll go through faster if you don’t have too much on you.
  • Uber to and back from the Embassy. There’s no parking available at the Embassy and not many spots in the streets nearby. The D6 bus does stop and pick up really close if you want to take public transportation.
  • Be prepared for long lines as you sample food and drink from more than 30 embassies as diverse as Ukraine, Cape Verde, Haiti, Tunisia and Belgium.
  • Stay for the concert! DJ Princess Slaya will spin music from Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, and plenty of destinations in between. The concert is when you stop spending all your time in a line and when the party really gets moving!
  • Bring cash. You’ll get food/drink samples from 7-9PM but it’s cash bar afterwards.

This year’s schedule seems a little more limited than in previous years, but besides the Grande Fête, there are a few interesting events like the Swiss Art Night at Hillyer Art Space, March 26 (6:30-9:00PM – free), Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler, a celebration of Louisiana at l’Alliance Française, March 20 (7PM – $20-$30) or Annecy in DC: a Selection of French Animated Shorts at the French Embassy, March 11 (7PM – free but reservations required.)

Make sure to visit for more info, including ticket costs, the description of the events and films, and times and locations.

Chantons Noel Concerts at National City Christian Church

Fa Oh la la la la la ~ The celebrated Children’s Chorus of Washington will be touring France this summer (lucky them) and in anticipation of their trip, they are giving their Christmas concerts a french twist this year. The award winning chorus will be joined by the Amadeus Brass Quintet for two concerts of French Christmas music at the National City Christian Church at Thomas Circle.

Chantons noel, christmas in dc, christmas songs in france, french music, french christmas music

The two concerts are December 20 and December 21, both at 4PM. Tickets are $50 for adult premium sitting, $25 regular and $10 for children under 12. Save the date and purchase your tickets here.

♫ Mon beau sapin ♪ roi des forêts… ♬

Give Your DC Summer a French Twist

Stuck in the city for the summer? Luckily, there are a ton of events across town to help you pretend you’re in France.


Head to Redline on game day to join the French Expat Meet-Up and L’Union des Français de l’étranger de Washington in supporting l’Equipe de France as they fight to get out of Group H. And if you want to learn more about Les Bleus, head to l’Alliance Francaise after the game on Friday, June 20. Sports historian Lindsay Krasnoff will moderate a panel of sports journalists on the history and importance of the 1998 World Cup champions in French society.


It’s one of my favourite events every year. New York goes all out with an awesome French concert at Summer Stage on June 21 (this year, M and Emilie Simon  are headlining – I really wish I could make it!) We’re not as lucky in Washington but there are still a number of fun musically filled events taking place:

The following week, Malmaison is hosting Dimitri from Paris for a special concert as well, and that should be pretty awesome!

dimitri from paris



Lots of good options this summer:

14 juillet


Head to your favourite French restaurant on July 14 or check out one of these events:

Have a very French été!

Patriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiick in DC November 5th

How do I even begin to explain Patrick Bruel? Today he’s Patrick, a respected actor, singer, soccer fan and poker player. Back when I was une adolescente, he was Patriiiiiiiiiiick, idol of an entire generation who reinvented himself in 2002 with Entre-Deux, an album of duets filled with tracks from the 30s and 40s. More recently, he was in this hilarious French comedy called “What’s in a Name” / “le Prenom” which you can and should rent on Amazon! (you can also stream A Secret on netflix) But back to Patriiiiick, the singer, who is coming to visit us with 6 US concerts this fall (surprisingly, there isn’t a date in Vegas, though I’m sure he’ll be paying the poker mecca a visit too…)

Patrick Bruel, patrick Bruel in the US, concerts, dc concert, french music, french artists, patrick bruel concert DC, patrick bruel concert washington


30-Oct             Miami, FL                  Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theater

1-Nov              New York, NY             Beacon Theater

2-Nov              Boston, MA                Berklee Performance Center

4-Nov              Houston, TX               House of Blues

5-Nov              Washington, DC         Warner Theater

8-Nov              Los Angeles, CA         Orpheum Theater

Tickets are available on LiveNation and are a bit pricey (more expensive than tickets to see Johnny…) ranging from $52 to $101. Not sure you wanna commit to that kind of money? You can always listen to his live album on spotify 😉

Save the Date: Ah, que Johnny a DC (et NYC…!)

He may still be called France’s “biggest rock star” but Johnny Hallyday lives in the United States these days, where he is a permanent US resident just like me… He’s past his prime, yes, but he’s had a long and illustrious musical career. And he’s touring the country this spring….

johnny hallyday USA, Johnny hallyday us tour

Like most French artist on a US tour, he’ll be performing in New York (May 6, Beacon Theater) and Los Angeles, because, well, these are clearly the only two American cities French artists know. But lucky us, he’ll also be stopping by the District (and San Francisco, and Miami Beach). And actually, it’ll probably be quite a treat… Johnny Hallyday typically performs in very large concert venues in France and seeing him play a more intimate and acoustic set must be a great experience. Though after Jane Birkin and Partick Bruel, I really wish “younger” artists would pay us a visit too. Oh well, I’ll take the 80 years old “’idole des Jeunes” I guess. 😉 

For more info on Johnny’s May 8th DC concert at the Lincoln Theater, and to buy tickets ($55), click here.

La Fête de la Musique at Malmaison


Malmaison and l’Alliance Française teamed up again this year to host the 2013 edition of la Fête de la Musique. La Fête de la Musique is France’s annual celebration of music that takes place on the longest day of the year. Musicians take to the streets (for amateurs) and to public stages (for professionals and more established artists) to give free concerts.  In Washington, French establishments like the Sofitel Hotel and the French Embassy typically host events, as does l’Alliance Française. For 13 hours, 13 different artists took the stage and took Washingtonians on summer journey through many musical worlds. Here are a few pictures I took during the daytime portion of event at Malmaison:

(French) Used Books Sale Outside of Malmaison.

The husband checks out the (French) used books sale outside of Malmaison.


You can count on 2 things when the Popals are involved: a name with ties to Napoleon                        (Malmaison was the home of his wife Josephine) and crêpes with Nutella!

La Unica Performs for the Crowd.

La Unica performs for the crowds at Malmaison last Saturday, June 22.

It was a Gorgeous Day Saturday so you could catch the show from the inside... or the outside of Malmaison.

It was a gorgeous day Saturday so you could catch the show from the inside…                                                    or the outside of Malmaison.

It was actually my first time at Malmaison and I can’t wait to go back and check out the menu designed by Michelin-starred chef Gerard Pangaud. Oh, and if the Popals are looking for another Napoleon-themed named for their nest business venture, may I suggest looking to his mother perhaps? I’d love a namesake restaurant in town 😉

Summer Solstice in D.C.: heat… and music.

The official start of summer will bring “music” to Washingtonians’ ears… and sweat to every other part of their body. It’s hot out there 😉 But with the soaring tempteratures and three day heat wave also comes the annual celebration of music that is known as la fête de la musique. In France, it’s a huge thing, with free concerts everywhere aiming to encourage amateur muscians to get out there and perform in the streets or other public forums. It’s also a day for people to discover new genres of music, with free classical concertos for example or for those who may not be able to afford expensive concert tickets to see their favourite artists perform at no cost. In D.C., it’s a smaller affair… and it’s not always free… or in streets… but it’s there…

In France, the 2012 edition of la fête de la musique celebrates the anniversary of pop musique but Sofitel D.C. decided to give its celebration at Le Bar a Spanish twist (clearly they planned this before knowing that France would face Spain in the Euro Cup quarter finals on Saturday… allez les bleus!) with a menu of spanish tapas, sangria and the vocal jazz performance of Cecilia Esquivel. Le Bar has a gorgeous patio, but the inside is nice and cool and air conditioned.

On Friday, l’Alliance Francaise is taking its annual Fête de la Musique event to a new locale to accomodate increasing crowd. The line-up at Malmaison (the latest venture from the Popal Family at 3401 Water Street NW in Georgetown)  this year includes a little bit of everything as usual and is free to the public. You can see a complete line-up of performances on l’alliance’s website.

And on Saturday of course, there’s the event at French Embassy. I love la fête de la musique at the French Embassy because it’s very laid-back event. There’s usually some 50 different bands and performers (pretty much none of them French…) presenting a very wide spectrum of the local artistic scene. You can purchase drinks or snacks (try the merguez sandwishes!) sit on the lawn while you enjoy the performances and there’s animations for children too. It’s very family friendly… until the sun goes down and the whole place turns into a massive dancefloor…

Fête de la Musique at Le Bar at the Sofitel, D.C. Thursday June 21, 2012 6PM-9PM. Free.

Fête de la Musique at Malmaison with l’alliance francaise Friday June 22, 2012  6:30-11PM. Free.

Fête de la Musique at the French Embassy, Saturday June 23, 2012 4PM-Midnight. $13 in advance (tickets here) $15 day of event.