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famed DC punk recording studio Inner Ear broken into; valuable equipment stolen

Inner Ear (via their website)
Inner Ear (via their website)

Arlington, VA’s Inner Ear recording studios, whose client list reads like a history of DC punk and indie rock, was broken into on Wednesday and thieves made away with tens of thousands of dollars worth of recording equipment. Don Zientara, who opened the studio in his basement in the late ’70s, tells WTOP that it was not a random break-in. “It looks like someone who’s not getting it to sell, but someone getting it to stock a studio that they’re setting up,” Zientara said, adding, “What they took from me is one very good tube vocal microphone — a Telefunken AR-51 tube condenser,” Zientara said. “And they took several microphone preamplifiers, which were some of the best in the industry.” Zientara also told WTOP that in some ways they were lucky, as some of the studio’s most valuable pieces of equipment were too heavy to carry. “It is my livelihood, and I’m going to keep doing this. What they took won’t hobble the business in a great way. I’ll be doing things this weekend, and you just have to keep on going,” Zientara said, also adding that many of the artists who have recorded there have reached out in support.

Much of Dischord’s output was recorded at Inner Ear, including the label’s first release, The Teen Idles’ Minor Disturbance EP (produced by the late Skip Groff), as well as Minor Threat’s Salad Days, Rites of Spring’s self-titled debut, Embrace’s sole album, Fugazi’s Repeater, Jawbox’s Grippe, and many more, not to mention records by Government Issue, Unrest, Velocity Girl, The Dismemberment Plan, and more. The new record by Hammered Hulls (the new band from Alec MacKaye and Mary Timony) was made at Inner Ear too.

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