Valley Girl

Despite the fact that Jennifer O'Connor has been likened to songwriters like Liz Phair and Elliot Smith, such comparisons don't say anything about O'Connor's melodic sensibilities or her ability to spin a phrase. Sure, O'Connor has a tendency to spew some venom on occasion. And true, she does anchor her songs in an undercurrent of angst and emo. O'Connor demonstrates as much on "Bullshit Maze" and "Perfect Match" ("You're just plain fucking with me/But I'm a glutton for punishment"), a pair of tracks off her striking new album, Over the Mountain, Across the Valley and Back to the Stars. And while echoes of Phair, Smith, and even Dylan can be heard in her songs, O'Connor is too singular an artist to be bound by simple association. Her narrative prowess and emotive outpour speaks for itself.

Jennifer O'Connor opens for Mason Jennings on Friday, September 22, at the Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $12. Doors open at 8 p.m. Call 954-564-1074, or visit

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Lee Zimmerman