Thursday, June 02, 2005

RT20 Special Report: Music on the Brain

I read a fascinating piece in the New York Times on Tuesday. It discussed how researchers had begun to pinpoint where, as the headline said, "New Love Sears the Brain." Discovering that a specific part of my brain--one that was completely separate from the part that controls the desire for sex--had caused me such intense pain over the years made me want to grab a sledgehammer, crack open my own coconut and extract that tiny section of brain matter.

But besides inspiring the desire to make myself a vegetable, the article got me pondering about other parts of my brain--specifically the ones that control this all-consuming passion for music I've had most of my life. So I did a little research, and came up with the following diagram:

I’ve identified the 22 parts of the brain that deal with my musical pursuits. Here is what each of these numbers on the diagram mean:

1) Matsdate - Inspires devotion to drunken musicians from Minneapolis.

2) Beatlegotta - The first area to develop in the brain pursues short hooky songs.

3) Discothalamus - Another area that develops early taste for dance music, which goes away as a person gets older, only to come back with a vengeance in the late 20s.

4) Mouldulla Oblongata - Inspires devotion to gay Minneapolis singer-songwriters.

5) Posterior Figgsa - This part of the brain controls an almost psychotic devotion to bands from upstate New York.

6) Brain Jam - Located near the bottom of the brain, this portion of the brain causes the love of neo-hippie rock, but stops growing at the age of 19 and shrinks over time.

7) Vedder Plexus - Controls the obsessive collection of all things Pearl Jam-related.

8) Dylanbellum - Inspires devotion to the world greatest songwriter from Minneapolis, even through his born-again albums.

9) Cerebral Wilco Fluid - This fluid needs to be replaced before the release of albums by bands based in Chicago.

10) Pettytuitary Gland - A small gland where all the words to "American Girl" are stored.

11) Quadro Fossa - A very mysterious part of the brain, it controls how much a person likes rock operas by British bands.

12) Cuomo Chasm - The junction where all the power-pop loving parts of the brain meet.

13) Asylum Region - Inspires devotion to Minneapolis rockers who date famous actresses.

14) Gravel Tissue - Controls how much one listens to bands from New Haven.

15) Come On Come On Callosum - This fiber deep in the brain enables one to sing all the words to Cheap Trick's first three albums.

16) Hawk Cord - Connects the brain to the rest of the body, and alt-country bands from Minneapolis.

17) Fresh Fellows Fossa - The obsessive part of the brain, which focuses on singles and compilations of Seattle bands.

18) Buffalo Ganglia - A small part of the brain that likes drinking and trios from Boston.

19) Private Eyes Optic Chasm - Another nerve area that connects to the eyes, which allows a person to see Philadelphia blue-eyed soul.

20) Costello Nerves - This part of the optic nerve makes one wear geeky glasses and like smart-ass lyrics.

21) The Neilstem - Linked to a love of quirky Canadian singer-songwriters

22) Zappa Tentorium - This flap of tissue keeps lyrics like "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow" away from other, more serious parts of the brain.

So there you have it. Next week, maybe I can figure out the other half of my brain that likes beer and baseball.

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