"We're not just making music together, we're making history"
February 18, 2014 9:00 AM   Subscribe

Deep Elm Records, which turns 20 years old next year, today announced that all 200+ of its albums are available on a "name your price, no minimum" basis: "If you have means please show them love by naming your price. If you do not have any means, in exchange for each download we kindly request that you post, share, tag and tweet to tell your friends about each album as our bands depend on your word of mouth."

Deep Elm is known for its long-running line of free samplers as well as the series "The Emo Diaries" and "This Is Indie Rock." Notable bands on the label include The Appleseed Cast, Moonlit Sailor, and Dorena.
posted by jbickers (15 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

So, erm, recommendations?
posted by MartinWisse at 9:06 AM on February 18

Ditto MartinWisse. If anyone wants to direct my ears toward one or more of these here albums in particular, I'd be obliged.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 9:15 AM on February 18

The Emo Diaries comps are a good place to start.
posted by Clustercuss at 9:18 AM on February 18 [2 favorites]

Second Emo Diaries, also the Appleseed Cast's Low Level Owl records.
posted by aaronetc at 9:23 AM on February 18 [2 favorites]

God damn it, these are great initiatives but they actually put me under massive amounts of emotional and intellectual stress.

I can afford to pay full ticket for some of these albums, but I want to hear many of these albums but I don't want to rip off the artists but I want to listen to and promote the artists but I feel like I'm "stealing" from the artists if I don't pay them "enough" for the albums but what is "enough" for the albums and if I didn't give them this money I wouldn't be giving them any money but it still doesn't feel like enough money but they're putting them online in the acceptance that I'll pay what I can but is what I'm paying really what I can pay or just want I want to pay and start over and continue until my head explodes.
posted by Shepherd at 9:28 AM on February 18 [1 favorite]

massive amounts of emotional and intellectual stress

Relax. Easy solution here: Download albums at no cost. Go back to the site later and pay for the ones you liked. Album downloads at Amazon are usually around 9 bucks and iTunes albums are around 10 bucks so use that as the "fair market" price. If their music made you dance around the house in gleeful underwear, then give them a bit more.
posted by honestcoyote at 9:41 AM on February 18 [5 favorites]

Or just pay for a Spotify subscription - looks like most of these are there.
posted by UncleBoomee at 9:43 AM on February 18

Those looking for recommendations might do well checking out this "For Fans of..." list, which compares each Deep Elm alum to a handful of bands with whom you might already be familiar.*

A few of my personal favorites:
* v/a, The Emo Diaries, Vol. 1
* David Singer, The Cost of Living
* Appleseed Cast, Low Level Owl, Vol. 1 + 2
* Triplefastaction, Cattlemen Don't
* Walt Mink, Colossus
* Camber, Beautiful Charade
* Accents, Growth And Squalor
* Papermoons, New Tales

* This offer not valid for people who are profoundly unfamiliar with mid-to-late 1990s American indie rock.
posted by divined by radio at 10:04 AM on February 18 [5 favorites]

Digging this Free Diamonds record so far. Screamy nervous punk, very Mclusky.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:09 AM on February 18 [2 favorites]

* This offer not valid for people who are profoundly unfamiliar with mid-to-late 1990s American indie rock.

That'd be me. For whatever reason, I have a visceral aversion to indie rock. I recognized a few names in that list but could couldn't name one of any of their songs or imagine what sets any of them apart from any of the rest of them.

Though finally went I got down to "Isis, Explosions In The Sky, My Bloody Valentine..." okay, this I can handle. ...except that Coma Recovery doesn't sound a damned thing like them to me, it's just kind of inoffensive but uninteresting instrumental stuff.

This is not a label for me, I guess. /saunters over to Ant-Zen
posted by Foosnark at 10:29 AM on February 18

If their music made you dance around the house in gleeful underwear,

This "gleeful underwear" of which you speak, does it come in "large?"
posted by Floydd at 10:46 AM on February 18

oh my god I am getting every release of the emo diaries
posted by gucci mane at 10:55 AM on February 18

Planes Mistaken For Stars started out on Deep Elm, though their sound changed somewhat as they moved to a new label. I was involved in putting on a show for Planes under a bridge in an industrial area of Birmingham as there was no other venue we could secure. The parts of the evening I can recall (prior to the event I was also a groomsman in my best friend's wedding that had an open bar) were amazing. In fact, Birmingham Police let everything go on without a hitch after we called it a "wedding party" and not just an impromptu punk show under a bridge. That a few of us were in tuxedos or Vera Wang gowns was enough to convince the police and they were totally cool.

Latterman were always fun, but they had less of the stereotypical Deep Elm sound and were more along the lines of straightforward singalong punk anthems. Nice dudes too.

Cross My Heart was among my favorites of the loud-soft-loud Sunny Day Real Estate clones that were everywhere in the 90s.

Brandston were among the same lines, but with a little bit of Jesus mixed in, though I may be confusing them with someone else.
posted by ndfine at 11:32 AM on February 18 [3 favorites]

Get Emo Diaries Vol. 5 for this amazing song by The White Octave, which has one of the guys from early Cursive, and is sort of in the style of their first album. Really spectacular band.

The Appleseed Cast's Low Level Owl Vols. 1 & 2 are necessary. "Convict" from Vol. 1. They sort of started off as a Mineral-esque band on their first album and proceeded to advance their sound over the years. They're great.

Last Days of April I don't really know much about this band but I loved them in high school.

Moving Mountains had their debut album's reissue on Deep Elm and it's really good, although I think their sound has changed quite a bit since this.

Pop Unknown had I think the drummer of Mineral in it originally.
posted by gucci mane at 12:41 PM on February 18 [1 favorite]

Here's a specific Planes Mistaken For Stars recommendation that was originally a hidden track at the end of the Knife In The Marathon EP that was their contribution to the long list of bands that covered "Fall On Proverb" by Unbroken.

Pop Unknown had I think the drummer of Mineral in it originally.

Speaking of Mineral, weren't they on Crank? What happened to that whole catalog since they folded? I know when Lookout folded there was a big rash of reissues/remasters* across different labels, but I don't recall hearing about the Crank catalog getting any traction like that, and I would think some of that would still have selling power (the two Mineral full lengths at least).

* a small comic book guy derail on the terrible things done to the mastering of Avail's Lookout catalog, especially Dixie, when it was reissued by Jade Tree: worst sounding reissues ever
posted by ndfine at 1:57 PM on February 18

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