Last night, local cover band Northeast Corridor rocked it for Barack Obama, featuring special appearances by about fifty wannabe rockers. Northeast Corridor (formerly known as Lobster Hamster Hipster, and before that known as 3516: The Band) lost their lead singer, Jason Levitis, to a singing injury a couple years ago, when he broke his voice singing Billie Jean. To handle the crisis, they started inviting audience members up to lead them, karaoke-style. Only except for a bouncing ball, you’ve got a six-piece rock band behind you.
Northeast Corridor has developed a cult-like following of people who like the taste of stardom but don’t want to invest in the diets and the drugs. They play songs we all know all the words to (yes, Eye of the Tiger, yes, Like a Prayer, yes, Smells Like Teen Spirit) (OK, no one really knows the words to Smells Like Teen Spirit, but they do have the lyrics available for singers.) They’ve been playing mostly house parties and weddings, but they played “out” last night at Solly’s on U Street for their cause: Karaoke We Can Believe In.
The band members are unanimous in their support for the Barack-star. Audience members donated $20 each for the campaign. Levitis (who stays on as the band’s manager and to do the rap part on Groove is in the Heart) called Obama the “karaoke candidate” who “lifts up the people’s voices.” And check out this extended metaphor:
The power elite is saying, “This guy can’t rock hard enough. He’s a one-hit wonder. He’s gonna sell out and sing orange juice jingles. He should give up and make a duets album with Hillary Clinton.” But he keeps on climbing the pop charts of the public opinion polls. He fills stadiums with screaming fans. And his fundraising appeals keep going platinum.
We’re still waiting for the chance to have as much fun rocking out with D.C.’s Hillary fans.
Northeast Corridor doesn’t have a website but their next Obama fundraiser karaoke show is Wednesday, May 21 at the Wonderland Bar & Grill.
Photo by Lisa Schectman.