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Alejandro Escovedo has had quite a life. In the ’70s, he was a member of the pioneering San Francisco punk band the Nuns. In the ’80s, he helped start the cow-punk subgenre with the bands Rank and File and True Believers. In the ’90s, he began releasing records under his own name and laid the path for his current direction with the Alejandro Escovedo Orchestra. The ensemble features a rotating cast of musicians and is known to insert a noisy Stooges cover into its thick songbook of memorably melancholy, Escovedo-penned chamber-folk ballads. His new Under the Influence is produced by guitar-pop vet Chris Stamey, and the album is a fine minor-key confessional with a number of 3 a.m., cry-alone-on-your-pillow downers. So plan to drink when Escovedo performs with Tim Easton at 8:30 p.m. at IOTA, 2832 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. $12. (703) 522-8340. (Steve Kiviat)