Click this: MKEPunk.com
Bone up on your Milwaukee music history with this essential site
Old punks don't die, they just submit their out-of-print material to a slick, meticulously organized local website. For proof, look no further than MKEPunk.com, an indispensable collection of Milwaukee punk, emo, indie, and hardcore music from the '80s and '90s. Since June of last year, site creators Jeremy Ampe, Pete Prodoehl, and Martin Defatte have acted as curators to hundreds of rare and hard-to-find Milwaukee releases, giving a scene that found itself blossoming in the final days of analog a much-needed digital home. "It's something I've wanted to do for years," Ampe recently told The A.V. Club. "Friends have been collecting all their old recordings off of tapes and records and putting them on CDs for a while. I thought it would be cool to have a site where anyone in the Milwaukee punk/underground DIY scene could share their out-of-print records."
Operating under a Creative Commons non-commercial license, MKEPunk gives users the opportunity to download music for free, and allows the original artists to retain their rights. Past Milwaukee greats like Figurehead, Alligator Gun, and The Benjamins are just a few of the artists represented, along with lesser-known—but no less vital—groups like Spank, Damitol, and Straight Forward. Along with their already-impressive roster, Ampe and Co. are still actively seeking more music. Local bands with releases that are at least 10 years old are encouraged to submit them to ihavestuff@MKEpunk.com.
If you have yet to check out the site—and are the type who gets misty-eyed when driving past teen centers or VFW halls—MKEPunk represents an invaluable, ever-growing local resource. "We just want to get as much of it documented as possible," Ampe explains. "A lot of these releases are just one spring cleaning away from disappearing forever."