Tuesday, June 15, 2010

music + book club.

= musooklub.

several weeks ago i started thinking about music. sharing music, to be more specific...sharing music with friends, to be more social.

a few scribbles, pencils sketches, and ideas for pyramid schemes later, it was 1am, and i was sending the following email to a close handful of friends:
friends - 
had a social-music idea i want to try out for the next year or so. i think each of you is uniquely suited to participate. you'll get to hear some new music, and maybe even meet some (more) friends of mine. if you're interested. please leave a comment on the site ASAP. once we have critical mass, we'll get started.

so what happened? we started a music "book club" to discover a new album every week. still doesn't make sense?
who: 13 signed up - i selected 6 boys, 6 girls, me. i picked friends whose musical taste is a step ahead of most (myself included), with whom i very probably traded/talked music, or went to a show together at the point where our lives intersected. people from as far away as bangalore, brisbane, and portland, or as near as brooklyn and cincinnati.

what: we all take turns sharing with the group an album we've heard in the past ~12 months. everyone listens, everyone reviews (1 to 5 scale, with further commentary/discussion encouraged). i basically started "crowd-sourcing" my new (to me) music consumption. but everyone wins, really, because they get to do it too.
when: every week. members take turns making posts Sunday nights - 1 album a week. we all listen, review online within the week.
where: on the interwebs, a Google doc, and some other fun tools. beyond that, in your ears, on the train, at your desk, in your car, at the gym, etc. maybe we'll schedule a 1-year reunion on a boat in Alaska.

why: i like music. but i don't LISTEN to enough. i hear plenty (there's  just no effective FILTERS): radio-stations, streaming sites, magazines, podcasts, soundtracks, mixtapes, MP3-dumps, and word-of-mouth from trusted sources give me tons of ideas of what's out there. but like you, i keep busy. so more often than not, i don't make the real "leap to listen" (and learn more). so we all eventually go back to whatever's comfortable, familiar, and nothing really changes (enough). until now.
also - i like hearing songs. i like seeing bands. but most of all, i like listening to ALBUMS. from start to finish, an album, like a good BOOK (or film), lets you only know how you feel about it if/when you make it to the end. unlike books/films, this often takes 2-3 tries. what's better about albums - you can easily experience it over (and over) again.

so the klub gives members a GREAT method to listen to something new(ish) EACH week - from 12 other somewhat diverse people around the world. and at the end of the year, we'll have listened to ~50 new albums, and maybe made some friends along the way

can it work? so far we're 14+ albums in and going strong (though we're all behind, we're all committed to staying on the weekly rhythm. while we're keeping the immediate group closed, anyone is welcome to come to the blog, and maybe hear something new each week. if you engage enough, we might even consider letting you join. though nothing is stopping you from starting your own musooklub with your friends

so maybe the concept (koncept?) will become madly popular, i can write a business plan, get some VC money, scale it, get bought out by Google/Apple, and quit my job, start a band, and travel in a winnebego criss-crossing former Soviet Republics and/or Latin America.

OR i'll just listen to more music. and that's good enough for me.

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