25 February 2015


A Creative DC is a weekly series showcasing all aspects of a creative lifestyle in the District. The city's full and part-time doers and makers, how + where they live, gather, and create, and what they do, make, and notice. For more about the project click here. Follow along here at Panda Head and at @aCreativeDC on Instagram, and hashtag your own DC lifestyle with #aCreativeDC. Your life looks good here.

Danielle Vu is the bassist for Shark Week, a (surfy, garage) rock and roll band in the District. Recently signed to Papercup Music and with a full-length – Beach Fuzz – due out this year, they're amazing live, and playing next, late March, at Rock & Roll Hotel.

I first met Danielle...actually, I don't remember how I first met Danielle, but we have a ton of mutual friends and see each other with some frequency. She's someone I've always wanted know more about (hashtag girlcrush) – onstage she's all cool and insanely stylish and wildly aspirational; off she's exactly the same, but also so warm, quick to laugh, and intensely creative – she's been playing + collaborating in bands since junior high, and writing + making music is just an ingrained part of her day. She and her bandmates have made Shark Week one of the more high-profile groups in the city while holding down legit careers, and that, to me, is the epitome of A Creative DC. Do what you do/do what you love/hopefully there's some crossover, and make time for all of it.

We spent a morning together a couple of weeks ago, chatting C O O L  W O M E N (Stevie Nicks, Patti Smith, Joan Didion) and taking photos at her apartment – after the jump, Danielle's creative DC, from fave local bands to Sunday morning soundtracks.
I grew up in a suburb near Los Angeles and moved to DC six years ago. 
I am 31 and live in Columbia Heights.
C O F F E E  O R D E R ?
I'm actually not a big coffee drinker! I make killer vanilla chai at home though.

When/why/how did you start playing bass?
I was forced to take piano lessons when I was a kid, which taught me the fundamentals of music like scales and chord construction. I eventually discovered The Smashing Pumpkins and a bunch of old punk bands, which motivated me to learn guitar. Later, when I moved to DC (and out of boredom), I bought a really cheap bass on Craigslist and practiced Interpol and The Smiths bass riffs around my house. Coincidentally [bandmate] Ryan [Hunter Mitchell] texted me a few months after that asking what instruments do I play. The rest is history.

Day job?
I am fortunate that my professional life ties nicely into my personal life. I'm an International Analyst for SoundExchange, the company that collects and distributes performance royalties from non-interactive streaming digital services like Pandora and SiriusXM. If you've ever recorded anything, I encourage you to register with us to collect the money that is rightfully yours.

S U N D A Y  M O R N I N G  M U S I C ?
You can never go wrong with Neil Young or The Velvet Underground.
F A V O R I T E  D C  P L A C E ?
My home! It's my refuge, my place to recharge and my place to dream about big ideas.

Favorite DC bands?
I've been in DC for six years now and I'm so thrilled to watch the scene grow and flourish. There are so many great bands and DIY spots now - it's really, really exciting. Locally, I love Loud Boyz, Baby Bry Bry and the Apologists, Witch Coast, Go Cozy, BRNDA, Paperhaus...the list is so long!

N O W  P L A Y I N G ?
SISU, Girls Names, Jazmine Sullivan, Black Marble, The Rolling Stones, The Smiths and Juicy J. This list is constantly changing though. I always welcome new music suggestions, so bring it!




Blogger Kimberly Pendleton said...

Love the idea of home as refuge & the place where creativity happens!

2:32 PM  
Blogger Panda Head said...

right? I totally relate. HOME AS FORTRESS!

4:09 PM  

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