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Former Parisian Marianne Dissard is one of the Tucson Suffragettes, in addition to being a filmmaker, singer, songwriter and poet. She's perhaps best known for her work with Calexico (she's the voice of the thieving, murderous Madame in their song "The Ballad of Cable Hogue"), Giant Sand (she directed Drunken Bees, a documentary about the band) and Amor, most of whose lyrics she writes.

What was the first concert you ever saw?

It was in France; it was a band with an English name and I don't remember it. I was about half of the size of everybody around me.

What CDs are in your changer right now?

Al Perry, especially the last song about cactuses; it makes me happy. I don't have a changer; I'm just on the computer all day, so there's just one CD.

How many total albums do you own (CDs, vinyl, cassettes, 8-tracks)?

Fifty CDs, about 15 8-tracks I'm very proud of--Johnny Cash and a bunch of Elvis Presleys ... The Carpenters. And whenever we have a party at home, it's 8-tracks, unless Naim (Amor) is in the mood for spinning records for hours.

Do you download music, and if so, legally?

Nope, I don't think I've ever done it.

What was the first album you owned?

The Beatles, the compilation from '64-'69.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

A happy one ... there's a French song by Jacques Brel, and it talks about that, actually; the song is about what he would like played at his funeral, and it's such a happy and sad song.

Musically speaking, what do you love that your friends don't know about? What are your guilty pleasures?

Irish music.

What band or artist changed your life, and how?

Giant Sand. I ran into them in 1989, and I'm still in Tucson, after having made a movie about those guys and writing a song on Howe Gelb's new album, the new Giant Sand, and countless stories and collaborations.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Claude Nougaro, the French crooner. He was very fond of cabaret and American jazz standards, all the way from the earliest ones from the '20s all to the standards now. But he had a way with words; it's amazing.

More by Annie Holub

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