Saving the music

Author: Carol Schaal '91M.A.

Records and eight-tracks and cassettes, how last century. So when Theodore Hennessy’s treasured demo tape of the Catatonics almost melted in the back of his car, the class of ’96 grad decided it was time to start digitizing every campus band tape he had.

Thus was born South Bend Power 90s, where mp3s, blogs, Google docs and Facebook restore the old to the new.

Hennessy, who initiated and manages the website from his Austin, Texas, home, says he and contributors Mike Larmoyeux ’96 and Doug McEachern ’97 had a simple reason for building the site: “We did it because the music meant something to us, and we didn’t want to see it just fade away. . . . The blog is a chance to share the music we created back then with the entire world via the web.”

The blog — — does that and more. Recordings from at least 27 bands, with more constantly added, are available to download, so music that for years existed only on ephemeral tapes is no longer lost. But part of the fun is also checking out the photos and reading the comments from members of what the blog calls “the indiepunk college rock community from Notre Dame/South Bend, IN during the 1990s.”

Tales of artistic differences, the joy of working at WVFI and the genesis of the bands’ names add to the site’s rakish charm.