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In 2003, Texas singer Alejandro Escovedo collapsed after a show. Escovedo, who had been living with hepatitis C for seven years, was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver and bleeding abdominal tumors. For the next nine months, this former member of the Nuns and Rank and File was treated with interferon, which caused him to lose his hair and ate away at his bone marrow. He switched to holistic methods and is now not only still alive but also on tour with an eight-piece ensemble. Heralded as No Depression magazine’s “artist of the ’90s,” Escovedo is no mere alt-country singer. Long before emo vocalists were chronicling first-girlfriend breakups, Escovedo was crooning ballads about the suicide of his ex-wife. Such melancholy songcraft is powerful, and it stands out all the more because he balances it with rocking covers of songs by the Stooges and Mott the Hoople. The Alejandro Escovedo Orchestra plays with Lenny Kaye and Jon Dee Graham at 9 p.m. at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $25. (202) 397-7328. (Steve Kiviat)