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Monday January 21, 2013 10:14

In Washington, musician Moby drives a different kind of inaugural party

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – All across Washington this weekend, the wealthy, the politically connected and the curious are putting on tuxedos and ball gowns and crowding into fancy galas to celebrate President Barack Obama’s second inauguration.
This was not one of those parties.

At an inaugural celebration at Washington’s U Street Music Hall late Saturday and early Sunday, a man in a black blazer accompanied a young woman who was in a midriff-baring, sequin-covered bra. Another couple danced while wearing matching track suits.

Many partiers were in T-shirts; some brought the glitter – on sneakers, party dresses and more.

It was called the Blisspop Inauguration Party, and the star attraction was Moby, the electronic music legend.
The crowd was as diverse as any in town this weekend: several generations of self-described Democrats, Republicans and apolitical types – including many who didn’t realize the event was related to Obama’s inauguration.

”I came here for Moby” and ”I just found out this was an inauguration celebration yesterday,” were common comments by attendees of the party, which was thrown by a group of local disc jockeys.

The U Street Music Hall is a venue that symbolizes Washington’s rejuvenation in an area that was scarred by rioting in the U Street corridor nearly 45 years ago, after the assassination of civil-rights leader Martin Luther King Jr and is now Washington’s party central.

Inside the music hall, mirrored disco balls spun to a local DJ’s set, bartenders with red flowers in their hair poured beer and mixed cocktails and the sold-out crowd warmed up their dancing feet for Moby’s appearance. And in typical D.C. style, most everyone was willing to talk about politics and Obama’s second four-year term.

”I think it’ll be same old, same old for the next two years,” said Mike Mizerak, 26, a psychology student from Virginia who came wearing a pirate hat and said he did not vote for Obama in the Nov. 6 election.

”He needs to get more aggressive,” said Lauren Reliford, 27, who works in health advocacy in Washington. ”That’s the Obama I voted for.”

Many spoke of hope for more bipartisanship and compromise between Obama and the politically divided Congress, where Obama’s Democrats control the Senate and Republicans lead the House of Representatives.

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