Best known as the producer for most of the bands on Washington D.C.'s legendary Dischord Records, Don Zientara was also a musician -- once a member of Under Heaven, in the early eighties -- who released his first solo album, Sixteen Ssongs, on long time collaborator and friend Ian MacKaye's Northern Liberties label in 2003. Originally an studio artist and sound engineer at the National Gallery of Art, Zientara began his foray into documenting the music of late seventies/early eighties Washington, D.C. when he was asked to record shows for bands like the Look and the Urban Verbs at clubs such as The Atlantis. His abilities as a producer earned him some quick word of mouth success, and the demand for his services deemed it necessary for Zientara to open up a studio to record more and more of the area's musicians. The studio, dubbed Inner Ear, would eventually become a Mecca of sorts for the D.C. underground scene, with Zientara working with bands such as the aforementioned Urban Verbs (later know as the Verbs), the Teen Idles, Minor Threat, Fugazi, Q and Not U, Dag Nasty, Slant 6, Circus Lupus, Smart Went Crazy, the Evens, Joe Lally, Bad Brains, and southwestern punk outfit 7 Seconds. Although Zientara's close relationship with Dischord earned him the respect of the punk community nationwide, his work was not limited to the noisier, more angular aspects of music. At Inner Ear (which would eventually outgrow its basement space, and move to more appropriate settings in a commercial space in Arlington) Zientara also recorded such varied musics as chorale music, Celtic folk, classical, jazz, spoken word, and books on tape readings. In addition, Zientara proved to be somewhat of a guru, imparting his knowledge and skill to those who he had the pleasure of working with, such as Ian MacKaye, Guy Piccotto, and others in the scene who, while being part of their own successful bands, were also adept at recording and producing new groups that came along. In some cases, as with Jawbox, Burning Airlines, and Channels frontman J. Robbins and Chad Clark of Beauty Pill, he helped spur some on to start their own studios. Silver Sonya, one of the more prominent of the second generation of D.C. studios, was run by Clark, and Magpie Studio, in Baltimore, was Robbins' workspace. The studio and its quality of work earned it and Zientara a boatload of respect over the years, being written about and praised in the press, as well as being held in high regard by bands all over the country. After finally finding a sound for his own work that was satisfactory, Zientara released an album of his own, Sixteen Ssongs -- which got its unique sound from a vintage (40 years old) Wollensack tape deck -- on Northern Liberties, the label started by MacKaye to showcase some of the more rootsier and folkier aspects of Washington D.C.'s talented group of musicians, such as Zientara and Lungfish's Daniel Higgs. A follow up album, Clocks and Watches, was released on that same label in 2007.