What now-group?

An Introduction to the Site

by Matt Pierce

Choon. Noun. A phonetically-spelled pronunciation of “Tune” as exhibited by the Brits. (Shout out to the Brits.)

When a good song comes on, someone might feel compelled to shout out “CHOON!”, as in “Tune!”, as in “This is a very good tune!” So yeah, we’re a group of people who enjoy a good choon. (Aw, chyoooon, mate!)

I started the group in 2011 right after returning to Chicago after three years living in London in an effort to tie together my friends from across the globe (shout out also Cleveland, Ohio) who were especially music-obsessive like me. Facebook was starting to tip heavily towards the news site it’s become, with “Like” usage still fairly new, and I felt bad that friends who were posting great videos and record recommendations weren’t acquiring the important social capital I felt they deserved, so I started a little club off to the side for the appreciators. Call it what it is, private quarters for the snobs. But the fun snobs with great senses of humor, and insight to go with their taste. What’s Gladwell call ‘em, mavens?

I love music nerds. One of my favorite types of human interaction is enthusing about music and the pleasure and pride you get being present for a person’s first lighting up-at hearing a tune that moves them, knowing they’ve come across something that will stick with them. I like celebrating these brief pieces of art that help us feel life as we run through it, and communicate what that feel is like to a crowd. So I’ve been happy to keep the Choon corner warm for lo these 7 years. Activity intensity in the group has varied, but there’s always been steady users, and we spike at year-end poll time in December/January and during the summer pilgrimage to Pitchfork Music Fest here in Chicago. (Chi-nopolis. Chi-bertron.)

After this past year’s poll results countdown, Seth “Best Man at My Wedding” Unger, Mr. “The Columbia House That Is Our Friendship” 2004, approached me to do this here, to allow the group to also exist off Facebook in the blogazine format you’ve encountered, with expanded pieces and a chance to feature the writing of some of our more ardent and eloquent group members. So we’re starting with this soft opening, featuring some of our more prolific posters, and we’ll look to expand our lineup of contributors as we go—which could be you! If article-writing isn’t your thing, we still want your participation, as we aim towards exciting interactivity. (Also please share our stories if one lights your fire, won’t you?)

Besides recent release record reviews, we hope to bring you profiles on up-and-coming artists, news and opinions, reviews of gigs, flashbacks and reassessments of our past musical obsessions, themed playlists, roundtables and throwdowns on specific pop arcana, and excursions into music trivia led by our music trivia gameshow venture, Jesus Jones Jeopardy. If you have an idea for a story for us or are interested in contributing, drop a line to choongroup@gmail.com.

A big thank you goes out to our initial crew of Aaron, Alison, Andrew, Dan and Kyle, and massive props to Seth for the encouragement, design know-how and hours of work bringing the site to life, and for the many years of friendship leading up to this. Thanks, doggie.

Alright friends, get to clicking on some glorious content while enjoying some tasty choons!

MP

PS – Here’s our record review rating system, ranging from 0-5 record-shaped O’s in the word “Choon.”

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World changing classic, My Beautiful Dark OK Computer.

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Contender for poll winner, DAMN I Love You, Honey Lemonade.

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Very good, will stay in rotation all month.

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Fine-to-solid, wouldn't change the station if it came on in the car.

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That's not even a word, and that's not worth playing.

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Bless you. This record has made you ill.

 

Contact

choongroup@gmail.com

Site Editors

Matt Pierce
Seth Unger