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Bright Eyes with Phut and Grandpa's Ghost

Thursday, July 29; Side Door

The complete lyrics to "The City Has Sex," written and performed by 19-year-old Conor Oberst, a.k.a. Bright Eyes, of Omaha, Neb.: "The city has sex with itself, I suppose, as the concrete collides, the scenery grows and the lonely, once bandaged, lay fully exposed, having undressed their wounds for each other. And there is a boy in the basement with a four-track machine; he's been strumming and screaming all night down there. The tape hiss will cover the words that he sings, but then they say it's better to bury your sadness in a graveyard or garden that waits for the spring to awake from its sleep and burst into green. And I've cried, and you'd think I'd be better for it, but the sadness just sleeps and it stays in your spine for the rest of your life. And I've learned and you'd think I'd be something more now, but it just goes to show it's not what you know it's what you were thinking at the time. This feeling's familiar; I've been here before. In a kitchen this quiet I waited for a sign or just something that might reassure me of anything close to meaning or motion (with a reason to move). I need something I want to be close to. And I scream, but I still don't know why I do it, because the sound never stays; it just swells and decays, so what is the point? Why try to fight what is now so certain? The truth is all that I am is a passing event that will be forgotten."Actually, he probably won't be forgotten anytime soon. See him. His most recent record, Letting Off the Happiness (Saddle Creek) is a brilliant roller coaster of softness and raucous electric-guitar energy (the aforementioned song is of the latter variety). Whoa.

 
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