Inner Ear of Don Zientara, The, Edited by Antonio Tricarico, 164 pgs.

Jul 21, 2023

Don Zientara, of course, is a Washington D.C. legend. The man behind Inner Ear Studios recorded scads of bands, too many to count, all of your favorites from the Dischord roster and beyond. In 2021, he shut down the studio, moving it back to its original location in his basement. To document the space—and the guy behind it—photographer Antonia Tricarico sent out an invitation to acts that recorded at Inner Ear to share and reminisce.

The result is this beautiful book, which collects interviews, anecdotes, and photographs of the original basement space and the larger spot Zientara ran from 1990-2021. It’s great to see photos of bands like Minor Threat, Dismemberment Plan, and Dag Nasty goofin’ in the studio and sharing funny stories about their time recording with Zientara. His calm demeanor and willingness to try new ideas comes to the fore through the contributions Tricarico has collected here—never one to rest on laurels or to say that an idea was too weird, Zientara has found the fountain of youth. We should all be so lucky as to visit it. –Michael T. Fournier (Akashic)