City Paper is not for tourists
STANDOUT TRACK: No. 7, “White House.” With its fake-trumpet fanfare and insistent beat, this song wouldn’t be out of place in a Rocky training montage. But rather than cheer on boxers, singer and keyboardist Jason Hutto, 33, rallies D.C.-area commuters: “Everybody’s just in a rush/To be in a white house.”
MUSICAL MOTIVATION: “It first started out as a song of people…moving ahead in this world really fast,” says Hutto, who is the Washington City Paper’s online production manager. “Only at the end did I even realize that I was also tying it in with this city.” The chorus, “The fate of the world/Is on your shoulders,” arose from Hutto’s observation of morning Metro riders’ intense sense of purpose, he says. The day the Aquarium sat down to record “White House,” Hutto scrawled the song’s lyrics on the studio floor. He accidentally replaced “fate” with “fat” in the song’s final chorus—a change that made it to the album.
“It was a typo I liked that I kind of ran with,” Hutto says. Fat seemed like an analogy for American wastefulness, and he imagined the band doing battle against it. “It’s an epic song, and I wanted to make a cheesy, epic statement.”
DUO YOU LOVE ME? Hutto says he was surprised that the kitschy track turned out to be such a hit at shows. In particular, audiences enjoy the lyrics of the third verse, when Hutto introduces the band—himself and drummer Laura Harris. “Rappers always shout out to themselves; I don’t know why a keyboard-and-drum band can’t shout out to themselves too,” he says.—Sadie Dingfelder