Connect the Songs is this month’s winner of the Small Community Highlight. They have quite a unique theme by mixing music sharing with a game and breaking out of a one genre limit. To hangout and DJ in Connect the Songs you connect any FOUR consecutive letters of the song or artist the person is currently playing for your turn (Sting>>The Hurting).
1. What’s the best thing about your community?
Son of Mecha Mummy (Bouncer): The fact that you can hear anything in CTS, and in rapid succession. I love when two tracks that could not be more stylistically different are played due to to a word connecting and the transition actually sounds natural.
J_Dubb (Co-Host and Room Creator): Originally the best thing about CTS was discovering new music that you enjoy, now I’d have to say the best thing is the community. We’ve been very lucky to have become the preferred plug.dj home to a lot of really amazing people.
J-Step (R-DJ): It’s really amazing how involved the people are with the community and how much they care about what is going on with the other members. We exchange Christmas gifts and play fantasy football.
Grendeltron (Manager): We get to play some real great music in a game setting. It’s the kind of thing I explain to friends constantly, and brings some of them on board. Then they ask “so, there are other rooms here, too?” And I have to respond “yeah, but… why?”
Captain Slope (Co-Host): CTS is an eclectic musical experience; CTS is for people like me who aren’t fixated with one musical genre or mood. Pandora never made sense to me since I like the chaos of random. I never met a genre that I didn’t like, and there are great songs in every genre as long as you have good expert curators to expose you to them. Oh wait – I hate those big voice pop divas. But everything else I love.
Pyrette (Manager): I was both intimidated and in awe the first time my little avatar feet hit the slightly sticky floor of CTS (back in TT.fm days). I sat quietly and watched the game, read what these weirdos were talking about and finally stepped up to the deck. I haven’t left since, it’s a passion and an addiction. The people are amazing, the game is beyond fun and the music is always fresh. No other room feels like home, it’s CTS fo’ life!
Anchorage (Manager): Not only do you get to hear spins of today, yesterday and before I was born, but this room is the best little community I have ever been a part of on both plug and tt. It’s fun to meet new people and introduce them to the concept of CTS and watch as they gain confidence and become regulars. I honestly feel more comfortable telling my CTS peeps more things than some of my IRL friends. Judgement free zone and everyone kicks ass!
What artists are you excited about right now?
Son of Mecha Mummy (Bouncer): Janelle Monae, Mirah, Blazo. Various artists who don’t even put out albums or tour anymore but I’m only just now discovering them.
J_Dubb (Co-Host and Room Creator): I’m really not up to speed on what artists are doing in real-time. Phantogram and Bastille are a couple of artists I’ve been paying close attention to for a while, though.
J-Step (R-DJ): I am a Minnesota music nerd so of course the new Prince albums excite me. I have also been really hoping that Lizzo would catch on.
Grendeltron (Manager): Found out about more through this room than I would have believed… We Were Promised Jetpacks, Bear Hands, The VirginMarys, Kasabian, many, many more.
Captain Slope (Co-Host): Gramtik, The Silver Seas, José James, Poolside, Night Beats etc etc… every single one I heard first in CTS.
Anchorage (Manager): Broods, Catfish and The Bottlemen, The Night Terrors of 1979. Beck’s new album is great. I love live music and concerts so learning all of these new bands to check out on my travels is awesome!
3. What first inspired you to join/create this community?
Son of Mecha Mummy (Bouncer): Hit “random community” on TT.fm and landed in CTS, so I guess luck of the draw? What inspired me to stay was a friendly, inclusive atmosphere and a willingness to experiment musically.
J_Dubb (Co-Host and Room Creator): The original room creation story goes something like this: I was listening to one of my playlists one day skipping track after track because I’d heard them all a million times. I hopped on turntable.fm and wandered around to some rooms to try to discover some new music, but that was sort of annoying. The thought occurred to me to create a sort of play anything room. I think I tried that briefly and it was mostly overwhelmed with Top 40 tracks. It occurred to me that just because I wanted to get out of my musical comfort zones that didn’t necessarily mean others did. Enter CTS – a theme that would (hopefully) require people to get away from their normal playlists and seek out new songs that’d meet the rules of the room.
J-Step (R-DJ): The first time I ever went into CTS (about the 3rd day of TT.fm experiment) I didn’t really understand the rules and played “surfin’ Bird” to connect to some other song that was about flying or something of the like. I clearly didn’t understand the rules, or even bother to read them, but everyone was understanding and helped guide me to the successful connector that I am today. So even from the beginning it is all about the people.
Grendeltron (Manager): A buddy of mine who used to frequent the room started playing it on his phone when we were stuck in traffic together, back in the ttfm days. I loved the random shift of genres and started showing up in the room. Now I’m hopelessly addicted. Is there a CTS version of methadone?
Captain Slope (Co-Host): Bumbling around TT… was always in “Play Anything” rooms but preferred having a system for limiting what song you were going to choose next, because i am incapable of making a decision. How could anyone choose between “We Built This City” and Pantera? Its hard if you don’t have to match 4 letters!
Pyrette (Manager): Some friends and I had actually started our own room with a similar theme back on TT.fm, but once I searched around and found CTS, nothing else could compare. Back then it was just a spreadsheet queue and the honor system for connecting, but it’s grown over the years with their very own bots and blog. I love the organization and the community. – Pyrette
Anchorage (Manager): The game aspect is a really fun and was new to me. I was intrigued to give it a go and now I’m hooked. CTS is now by far my favorite room on Plug!
What’s the best thing you’ve discovered on plug.dj?
J_Dubb (Co-Host and Room Creator): That people continue to surprise me with how passionate they are about our community, as well as music in general. When tt.fm went asunder I was pretty sure that was going to be the end of CTS. I was ready to set up a funeral pyre and send it on it’s way. I figured the small group of folks we had would all go in their own directions and do their own thing. Some of them did, but a core group of individuals stuck around and saw it through, and now we’re still going strong.
Grendeltron (Manager): The sheer amount of music that we can link to. I’ve filled a couple dozen playlists already. Most of those were grabbed from other connectors spinning along
Pyrette (Manager): My heart broke when TT.fm died, but then Plug offered a safe haven for all us refugees! The people are actually the best ‘thing’ I’ve discovered on plug.
Anchorage (Manager): I love how the plug staff actually takes their member’s feedback and implements it onto the site. That is a very refreshing change from that website which shall not be named.
What advice do you have for others working on starting a community?
Son of Mecha Mummy (Bouncer): Be cool and welcoming and find cool people who are also welcoming and chain them to your community. Make them love you, and love the room, and love the mission. Imprint subliminal messages into all the tracks you play. Rule with an iron fist.
J_Dubb (Co-Host and Room Creator): Start a community that you’re passionate about. Engage people that come in the room and get to know them. Ask for feedback on the community. What’s good, and more importantly, what’s bad? Never go to someone else’s community to try to “recruit” people for your own community. Let the people find you themselves. This will take time – Days, weeks, months. But stick with it.
J-Step (R-DJ): So many of the other rooms that I have been to act so elitist and it does not make me feel welcome. If I go into a Jazz room and play “Take 5” and they decide to boot me because it is not snobby enough jazz for them, I doubt that I will go back unless it is to rant about how Dave Brubeck is a misunderstood genius and they don’t understand, so they are all scared. And… now I’m kicked out again.
Anchorage (Manager): We have quite a few folks who have become friends in CTS and made our own spin-off rooms for certain ideas. A new room to play cool videos, a super secret theme room…I’ve said too much. All in all, be welcoming to new folks, find one of the many groups on FB that you can post about your new room to welcome others to join you. Just have fun!