Neurobeat 1: Losing My Edge
This recent decision to spin-off from Nature Network got me thinking about a great many things regarding my own blog. I’m not going to pretend to understand why Dr. Gee has decided to split his blogging duties in this way, but it sounds like it has a lot to do with separating work and home blog life. Sounds perfectly reasonable to me.
So what does all of this have to do with me? Well, I have neglected this blog for quite some time, mostly because of my (not as demanding as I pretend) duties here at Nature_, plenty of traveling, and "becoming smitten with Twitter. This has had me believing that I currently lack the motivation to write interesting things, something I thought I used to easily do over at Action Potentialgray/. Most of my posts here, save one or four have been kind of fluffy, simply used as a space-filler, and/or just stupid. I intend to change that, but still need some motivation to do so. That’s where Henry came in at just the right time. (cont.)
Henry made me think about the split between work and personal lives and how that translates for me. I came to a different conclusion. Rather than splitting my persona between work-self and other-self, I think that it is time I bring a little more of my personality into this blog, reclaiming it, if you will. It may sound corny, but I feel that by bringing a more personal touch to the blog, I will create additional motivation to come visit my personal nook on teh interwebz and share my thoughts on the main issues driving this blog: neuroscience research, scientific publishing, the scientist training process, and how to utterly annihilate Sarah Palin’s future political career. Now I don’t plan to start discussing the deepest feelings coming from my id, so don’t get nervous. I intend to provide a very small
space outlet for an extremely important part of my personal life here, simply because if I don’t, I’ll probably explode.
I have been madly in love with music since I was 4 years old. Jam. The beat. Tempo. Glitz. You know what I mean. I started “officially” playing the drums when I turned 6 years old and began taking private lessons. I continued playing non-stop until I was 21. In between, I learned classical, jazz, rock, grunge, and much more. I eventually played all sorts of percussion. Learned some piano. Taught myself bass guitar. Played the 6-string horribly. Even did some vox. I played in youth symphonies around Pittsburgh, all of the ‘audition-only’ district and regional symphonies my mom could find, was in the marching band twice (high school and college…yikes), had a jazz quintet that made $125/hr (mostly political gigs) from when I was 15-17, played in countless cover bands, and promoted/organized punk rock shows around Pittsburgh from when I was 16-18. I contemplated a musical career and even got a scholarship to the Eastman School of Music I might have been a concert timpanist. Instead, I went to Notre Dame and joined the underground scene.
At ND, I played bass (??) in an experimental band for the first two years of college, and made a complete killing financially with a very popular campus band that I started from the ground up for the last two years of college (we even sold 750 copies of our CD; and yes, I still have some left). Since then?…just a few “sit-ins” here and there. But not performing has not meant I have lost my passion. [As an aside, I truly believe that had I done more poorly in school, I would have definitely been a music bum trying to make it. Which probably means that I would have ended up in NYC anyway…]
These days I pride myself in my interesting local musical finds at a place like nublu in the East Village, or through my expert use of Shazam on my iPhone when browsing through those overly-purposeful hipster boutiques in Brooklyn. With all of this background in mind, I introduce to you a new series on the Nothing’s Shocking blog: The Neurobeat. Every Tuesday (probably late at night EST), I will introduce to you a sliver of my library, to a song that is currently speaking to me for one reason or another. Or just because it is making me boogie.
I wish to start this series off with an artist who has pretty much been one of my favorites over the past 3 years. They still have yet to wear on me. I first heard them in Flying A on Spring Street. This was pre-Shazam, so I had to chat up the good-looking woman behind the counter to get her to reveal her hipster secrets regarding the tunes. She said we were listening to LCD Soundsystem. I was immediately hooked. On the band.
The song is “Losing My Edge”.
LCD Soundsystem was started by James Murphy in NYC. Their sound is described by the music equivalent of wine tasters as being a “dirty electronica”. Kind of a cross between dance and punk. Okay. “Losing my Edge” was their first single and because of its underground popularity, the band was encouraged to continue on to make full-length albums. They have been nominated for multiple Grammys (in the electronica category, mostly). I chose this song because it is a parody of how one always thinks that the “flavor of the month” in any walk of life will put you out of a job. Every new idea is better than yours. To quote James Murphy:
It is about being horrified by my own silliness. And then it became a wider thing about people who grip onto other people’s creations like they are their own. There is a lot of pathos in that character though because it’s born out of inadequacy and love.
I think I was beginning to feel like I was “Losing My Edge” when it came to having good ideas to blog about and fresh takes on publishing issues. Plenty of others had started blogging about science in general and neuroscience in particular around me, possibly leaving me behind. I was coasting along with no new substantial posts. But that’s just bullshit. I think I’m ready to contribute now.
Actually, I think I secretly want to be a DJ. But don’t tell.