HELP JESUS GET A GUITARTucson's Jesus Acedo has a tendency to stride the rail between genius and madness.
For more than 20 years, with some interruptions, Acedo has been the guru behind Black Sun Ensemble. The band has become legendary in certain circles for its psychedelic combo of Eastern music and rock 'n' roll, largely the result of Acedo's savant tendencies: He taught himself how to play guitar and, in the process, invented his own tunings.
But throughout the years, the troubled Acedo has been his own worst enemy. It's not his fault. This is a guy, after all, who is a diagnosed schizophrenic--and someone who is not impervious to substance abuse. His demons always seem to get to him at the wrong time (as if there is a right time).
Jesus writes me letters, and has--irregularly but frequently--for the last nine years. Sometimes he'll just send me updates on what he's up to; sometimes it's because he wants press for one reason or another. I've never been able to discern exactly where truth and fiction intersect in these letters, and maybe that's for the best. Sometimes he's feeling positive and expresses that; when things are rough, those letters can be awfully difficult to get through.
Judging from a letter he sent last month, he was recently hospitalized, due to either a bad foot or a relapse, or both. He confessed a longtime substance-abuse problem and said that he was doing better now. He wrote that he hadn't played guitar in a year and a half, even though I was informed by bandmate Brian Maloney that he recently completed recording a new Black Sun Ensemble album. But he also said that he hasn't had a guitar for a couple of years, which seems to be true based on a benefit show happening this weekend. (According to a flier Jesus sent to me, it's "A benefit concert for Jesus Angel Del Paz, a living prophet of the ArcAngel Rapheal, to buy him a guitar again." It also says that, in addition to a dozen local bands, Van Halen will be playing.)
As detailed on a flier I received via Scott Kerr, the organizer of the benefit (who also informed me of this: "He has been in failing health and spirits for the past two years after getting back from SXSW and the breakdown of the band. Just recently your Nine Questions article [July 5] boosted his spirits a lot and he started to play music again. In the past couple of months Jesus has made a turnaround and started playing an old beat-up guitar that Van Christian of Naked Prey gave him. Jesus has formed another band and will be jumpstarting his career next Saturday with a new cast of old friends"), plus details from The Hut's Web site mixed in, it appears you can count on Black Sun Ensemble, Creosote, Naked Prey, Leila Lopez, Flagrante Delicto, Downtown Saints, 24-Hour Driveway, Barely Bipedal, Squiggly Rex and others to perform on two stages.
Help buy Jesus Acedo a guitar at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 25, at The Hut, 305 N. Fourth Ave. Things get underway at 8 p.m., and admission is a $5 donation. For more information, call 623-3200.
NORTEÑO + ELECTRONICATijuana's Nortec Collective seems like a natural fit to Tucson. More a stable of DJs and producers--among its consistent contributors are Fussible, Bostich, Panóptica, Plankton Man and Terrestre--than an actual band, Nortec merges traditional Mexican music with electronica, which was a fairly novel idea at the time of its formation in 2002. ("Nortec" is a combination of "norteño" and "electronica.")
The group has released two albums as a collective, 2002's The Tijuana Sessions, Vol. 1 (Nacional) and The Tijuana Sessions, Vol. 3 (Nacional), in 2005 (no second volume?), but some of its members have also released solo albums. In 2005, for example, Panoptica released Ahora Yo a Ti, an album of remixes of songs by Nortec Collective and other acts, one of which was Tucson's Calexico.
As Club Congress' Web site puts it, "Nortec Collective is not a thing or a genre or a group or a band, but an entire electronic aesthetic. It is a convergence of high-tech and low-tech, of North and South, of all things techno with all things norteño, of all the things that are a part of the rural and urban. The sound of the Nortec Collective is the sound of the First World in the Third and the Third World in the First."
This week, the collective will perform at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Sonario opens the show at 9 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 24. Tickets are $10 in advance, or $12 at the door. For further details call, 622-8848.
ON THE BANDWAGONSinger-songwriter David Wilcox blends a bit of soft jazz into his folk leanings, earning comparisons to James Taylor and John Martyn. Since 1987, he has released two live collections and 10 studio albums, the most recent being last year's Vista (What Are Records?). He'll perform at 7 p.m. next Thursday, Aug. 30, at Old Town Artisans, 201 N. Court Ave. Advance tickets are available for $17 at Antigone Books, CD City, Enchanted Earthworks and rhythmandroots.org. For more info, call 440-4455.
When a band's singer is the only identifiable member of the group, it's mighty tough to replace him when he dies of apparent autoerotic asphyxiation. Such was the quandary Australian band INXS faced for several years. The solution? Find a new singer to replace the late Michael Hutchence via a reality-show competition! Ugh. See what's left of a once-great band when INXS performs at AVA at Casino Del Sol, 5655 W. Valencia Road, at 8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 24. Advance tickets are available for $25-$65 at avaconcerts.com or by calling (877) 840-0457.
In case you haven't yet heard, the Asia reunion show originally scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 30, at the Fox Tucson Theatre, has been postponed. From a press release we received: "The British rock group Asia announced today that the second leg of its North American tour has been postponed due to a recently discovered heart condition, likely to require surgery, for lead singer John Wetton.
"Mr. Wetton is expected to make a full recovery and looks forward to returning to his work with Asia, as well as his other musical endeavours, at the earliest possible time.
"The postponed shows, which were in Western Canada and the U.S. West Coast, are expected to be re-scheduled around the 2008 U.S. concert itinerary.
"Fans who purchased tickets to either the Tucson or Phoenix show may obtain a refund at point of purchase. For additional questions regarding ... the Fox Theatre show, please call 547-3040."