Jennifer O'ConnorOct 18, 2008 Daytrotter Studio, Rock Island, IL

  1. Bookery Reading

Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Brendan Kiefer

With karate and the other martial arts of note, there are different colored belts to designate the different skill levels that students have achieved and it's just a little bit different for people who don't have these colored belts to show what they're capable of handling or fending off. A black belted fighter is able to dish out impressive strikes and blows and equally able to absorb or block them from wounding it. A person is celebrated or talked of in reverent hushed terms if they've been through the sewers a time or two. One is admired more if they've "had a rough life" and been able to overcome it by being a tougher, but good-hearted person. It's as if the black belt is the sporting/grappling equivalent to seeing someone all dinged and scarred up, with rusty black bags under their eyes and yet there they are carrying a Starbucks coffee and wearing some sharp clothes. They're okay, doin' alright. Jennifer O'Connor reads from Pema Chodron's The Places That Scare You and there's much discussion about warriors, those who get through the tough times with all of their physical limbs intact. That's not to say that they weren't scathed. Her music is as vulnerable as the talk of comfort - desperately seeking it - and of getting over the bumps in the road is here. She reads, "Eating a pizza is a feeble match for our suffering." That comfort food doesn't work most of the time and that there's almost always another thing to scare the shit out of you, to make you crumble into shreds of the former you is always flush with activity, getting lit up. Here With Me is Jennifer O'Connor proving that she's earned her black belt and also that there must be some more secret levels to reach because her beers always have tears and bear hugs in them.

*Jennifer O'Connor Tour Dates:*
October
Tuesday 21 Minneapolis, MN 7th Street Entry
Wednesday 22 Des Moines, IA Vaudeville Mews
Thursday 23 Columbia, MO The Blue Fugue w/The Black Fortys
Friday 24 St. Louis, MO Off Broadway
November
Sunday 02 Buffalo, NY The Tralf Music Hall w/Amy Ray
Tuesday 04 Toronoto, ON Mod Club Theatre w/Amy Ray
Wednesday 05 Burlington, VT Higher Ground S. w/Amy Ray
Friday 07 Somerville, MA Somerville Theatre w/Amy Ray
Monday 10 New Haven, CT Toad's Place w/Amy Ray
Saturday 15 Richmond, VA Capitol Alehouse w/Amy Ray
Tuesday 18 Virginia Beach, VA The Jewish Mother
Wednesday 19 Carrboro, NC Cat's Cradle w/Amy Ray
Friday 21 Asheville, NC Orange Peel w/Amy Ray
Saturday 22 Atlanta, GA Variety Playhouse w/Amy Ray, Holland Dutch

Jennifer O'Connor's Newest Daytrotter Session
Jennifer O'Connor's first Daytrotter Session
Matador Records

Session Comments