THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Marianne Dissard

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Marianne Dissard: Ete Hiver/Summer Winter
THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Marianne Dissard

French-born but a longtime resident of Tucson, Arizona where she has worked with various members of Calexico, singer/songwriter Marianne Dissard (interviewed here) broke through ina quiet way with her album L'entredeux in 2009 which steered a canny middle path between French chanson and pop, and edgy alt.country.

For her new album L'abandon -- mostly in French but again with some Americana influences -- she co-produced with John Waters and her small band was augmented by guests on horns -- and there is a sultry uncredited track at the end three minutes after the album proper ends.

She is also a filmmaker who has made a rather ribald remake of Andy Warhol's Tucson Cowgirls which came out at the same time as her new album. Quite some talent. 

Dissard is someone off the radar for far too many but Elsewhere was pleased to bring her to attention years ago, and again now.

She tours New Zealand in April (dates below) but in advance she joins the interesting list of those who have answered the Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire.   

The first piece of music which really affected you was . . .

Small kid. Under the big tent in the big field next to the church in the tiny village of my grandparents, there was held every fall a festival of musics native to our region, Béarn, in the southwest of France. These singers on stage were activists, valley people, shepherds and farmers in life and would sing acappella - in patois, the French dialect that sounds a lot like Spanish.

Either those chansons, or the hymns during mass and the acapella, seemingly impromptu unison singing at banquets and weddings. Very rural, un-Parisian stuff.

Your first (possibly embarrassing) role models in music were . . .

Role models? Howe Gelb for his seemingly lack of “discipline”. Yves Montand for his achingly obvious “discipline”. The women.

Lennon or Jagger, Ramones or Nirvana, Madonna or Gaga, Jacko or Jay-Z?

All of them. They all have tripped me at some point.

If music was denied you, your other career choice would be . . .

Actress. Nun. Film director. Tour manager. Poet. Booking agent.

The three songs (yours, or by others) you would love everyone to hear are . . .

Been pushing those lately: Sergio Mendoza Y La Orkesta’s “Calles de Tucson”, Brian Lopez’s “Red Blooded Rose” and Gabriel Sullivan & Taraf De Tucson’s “Vaya Con Dios”.

Any interesting, valuable or just plain strange musical memorabilia at home?

Original editions 7 inches of Jacques Brel, Jacques Dutronc, Barbara. First US editions of Brassens and Montand in 78rpm. A collection of 8-tracks including Johnny Cash, Carpenters, Dylan. Tons of cassettes including some funny ones by Doo Rag. I’m not much of a collector, though. No concert tickets or posters I’ve held on to. No autographs from famous people. I’ve got a few letters or scribblings from friends I’ve worked with like Kath Bloom, Françoiz Breut or BK-One,  that I cherish.

The best book on music or musicians you have read is . . .

Lee Strasberg’s Method. “Trouver Sa Voix” by Rondeleux. Compiled lyrics of Jacques Brel.

Walker_Cox_Box2If you could get on stage with anyone it would be . . . (And you would play?)

Will Oldham, second fiddle.

The three films you'd insist anybody watch because they might understand you better are . . .

Lodge Kerrigan’s “Clean, Shaven”. Alex Cox’s “Walker”. Jon Jost’s “Sure Fire”. Kubrick.

The last CD or vinyl album you bought was . . . (And your most recent downloads include . . .)

Gonjasufi and Gaslamp Killer’s “A Sufi And A Killer”. Downloads... I get a lot of music free from musicians and collaborators. I don’t buy downloads much.

One song, royalties for life, never have to work again. The song by anyone, yourself included, which wouldn't embarrass you in that case would be . . .

I’m not embarrassed easily but I’d be very proud to sway my hammock to ‘La Peau Du Lait’.

The poster, album cover or piece of art could you live with on your bedroom forever would be . . .

A patch of green grass. I know, not practical but how cool is that! I’d water it with a special drip system. Maybe there’d be wild flowers in the spring.

You are allowed just one tattoo, and it is of . . .

I have two tattoos already, for my two albums. I’m getting a third one soon, for my third album. I start with a tattoo and a title, then I follow the lead. One tattoo? No. Tattoos are works in progress. Otherwise, it’s pointless.  

mDavid Bowie sang, “Five years, that's all we've got . . .” You would spend them where, doing . . .?

Exactly what I’m doing.

And finally, in the nature of press conferences in Japan, “Can you tell me please why this is your best album ever?”

Because I was in charge and we all had fun.  

TOUR DATES:

Dunedin - Saturday 2nd April, Chicks Hotel

Onekaka –Thursday 7th April, Mussel Inn

Nelson – Saturday 9th April, Free House

Wellington – Wednesday 13th April, Mighty Mighty

Napier – Thursday 14th April, Cabana.

Auckland – Saturday 16th April, Lucha Lounge

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