Do you miss the downtown Flint punk and alternative scene from the '80s and '90s? Do you hanker for Ben Hamper's "Take No Prisoners" show on the old, non-commercial WFBE? Do bands like Political Silence, Dissonance and Bloody Coup mean more to you than the corporate monoliths like Foreigner and Styx that once dominated Live 105?
Don't worry. Aaron Stengel has done you a huge favor:
For years, downtown venues like Churchill's and Flint Local 432 have nurtured a strong local music scene, providing a haven for plenty of eclectic bands and their fans," writes Timothy Flynn in The Flint Journal. While most of those groups are just memories these days, some of their performances were captured on tape for posterity. And now they've all been gathered in one place.
The Flint Underground Music Archive Web site is a treasure trove for those who've spent any time in the downtown punk and alternative scenes, and serves as a good primer for those who haven't. The extensive site...houses a seemingly endless collection of vintage band recordings spanning more than 20 years, as well as some recent live shows filmed by site creator Aaron Stengel.
A longtime participant in the downtown scene, Stengel was inspired to create the site after reading some online conversations about local music. When he found a general lack of Internet information about Flint favorites like the Need or Medulla Oblongata, he decided to take matters into his own hands.
"Flint-related discussion groups began popping up, and they were filled with references to obscure local bands that no one seemed to have any recordings of," Stengel said. "With my background in Web development, music collecting, cultural research and a natural tendency over the years to document the scene by recording the shows, I decided to follow through on the archive site as a pet project."