Nine Questions

Eric Holland is a local singer-songwriter who specializes in story songs. His excellent third album, Borders, Battles and Beers (self-released), will be feted at a CD-release performance from 4 to 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 6, at Vila Thai Cuisine, 972 E. Broadway Blvd. One-quarter of the profits from the CD will be donated to border-reform organizations like Humane Borders. For more info, visit

What was the first concert you ever saw?

The Byrds. They looked like American wannabe Beatles.

What are you listening to these days?

Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, Turbo Ocho, especially the song "I Speak Your Language."

What was the first album you owned?

Meet the Beatles. I was 10 years old.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone seem to love, but you just don't get?

People say the roots of jazz is bluegrass, but with horns—dunno 'bout that.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

Alvin and the Chipmunks singing their Christmas carols. ALVIN!!!

Musically speaking, what is your favorite guilty pleasure?

The soundtrack to Evita. Madonna sings "Don't Cry for Me Argentina," and the lyrics carry the listener back to Argentina.

What song would you like to have played at your funeral?

This must be the Talking Heads. David Byrne singing "Heaven" from the albums Fear of Music and Stop Making Sense: "Heaven / heaven is a place / a place where nothing / nothing ever happens."

What band or artist changed your life, and how?

Andy Hersey and his band from the early 2000s. Every chance I could, I would catch Andy's act in Tucson or Phoenix. His Spanglish lyrics, nonformulaic country-rock ballads and his stage presence—all while drinking house tequila—changed my songwriting.

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

Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs by Marty Robbins. He went to high school in Glendale, with my mother, Ruth. The album is a story-song bonanza.

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