What’s that old saying about not knowing what you’ve got until it’s gone? Oh yeah, it’s something like, “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.”

The sentiment relates to humanity’s collective tendency to overlook, undervalue, and take things for granted until they’re either taken from us or are endangered. Much like the shuttered bars and restaurants we mourn, the bands that break up after years of struggling for support, critically acclaimed TV shows that are done in by poor ratings, or discontinued Taco Bell menu items (we miss you so much, 7-Layer Burrito!), MKE Punk almost became one of those things we didn’t realize how lucky we were to have until it suddenly vanished. “Almost” is the operative term.

Thanks to some tedious and diligent work at the 11th hour, the long-running online archive of “local, independent, and out of print” punk, hardcore, ska, and garage rock from Milwaukee—as well as various other parts of Wisconsin—was updated, redesigned, and outright saved from from extinction. Telling us he “just didn’t want to see it die,” MKE Punk’s Martin Defatte says he put two weeks or work into giving the site a much-needed facelift and doing the programming work to allow it to even continue to exist.

“It was just about to go the way of the dinosaur,” Defatte says. “The front end used technology that wasn’t supported by WordPress anymore, and the database needed to be restructured to today’s standards and be more useful.”

Beyond the necessary and site-saving updates, MKE Punk also has a new filtering feature, and a few releases were added to the already astounding collection to bring the current total of releases to a staggering 459. To be honest, even though we’ve utilized and referenced MKE Punk numerous times in the past, we haven’t visited the site very often of late. Now that we know how close it came to going away, we won’t make that mistake again. We suggest you use this invaluable Milwaukee/Wisconsin music resource, too, because who knows when we won’t have it anymore.

About The Author

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Co-Founder and Editor

Before co-founding Milwaukee Record, Tyler Maas wrote for virtually every Milwaukee publication (except Wassup! Magazine). He lives in Bay View and enjoys both stuff and things.