District Mixtape: Zulu Pearls

photo of Zulu Pearls at the Black Cat by flickr-rickr

Being a musician in this town can be a challenge. Just ask Zach Van Hoozer, founder of Arlington-based pop band Zulu Pearls. “It seems like there is just no continuity, nothing that holds things together,” he remarks. Indeed, “D.C. can seem like it is just a carbon copy of an actual scene from a bigger city.”

Nonetheless, Van Hoozer, who grew up in the area, leaving only to attend college in Richmond, VA before returning, feels that the iconic, DIY sprit of D.C. has permeated his approach to making music. “If you do not feel that DIY attitude about things,” he remarks, “you just aren’t paying attention.” In a similar, do-it-himself vein, he has also launched YESORNODC, a great website chronicling pop culture, with a special focus on the Washington area.

The band’s drummer, Ian Thompson (the tenth in the band’s career), grew up appreciating the musical legacy of the region. “From jazz to hardcore, this area just has such a rich history and makes me want to keep on making music,” Thompson says. Taking that to heart, Thompson is forming a new band of his own now: “It’s going to be hardcore – keeping it in the D.C. hardcore vibe. It’s going to be fun.”

Thompson compiled our first We Love DC Mixtape, which you can listen to at welovedc.muxtape.com. We asked him to give us a sampling of what he was listening to right now and especially any local bands he loves, plus one Zulu Pearls song for good measure.

Track list:
1. Devon Williams, “Please be Patient”
2. Pet Shop Boys, “West End Girls”
3. Pissed Jeans, “I’ve Still Got You (Ice Cream)”
4. Navies (Washington, DC), “Wire-Up the Jaws”
5. Duke Ellington (Washington, DC), “Fleurette Africaine”
6. Torche, “Fat Waves”
7. Lil Wayne, “Dr. Carter”
8. Zulu Pearls, “White Flag”
9. Clipse (Virginia Beach, VA), “Keys Open Doors”
10. Meneguar, “Bury a Flower”

Think you would like to create a District Mixtape for us? Let us know!

Brittany has tried to leave DC, it just never lasts. She has lived in Chicago, California, and China – but she always comes back home. Brittany is a drinks, nightlife, and style correspondent for We Love DC. Between columns, you can find her on Twitter, Tumblr, or standing by the bar. Email her at brittany(at)welovedc.com.

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