American Football’s guitar tuning chart will absolutely baffle you

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photo: Shervin Lainez

Not gonna lie: As questionable as the #emorevival has gotten in the past few years, it’s been a godsend for overweight, bearded thirtysomethings like myself who are getting one more chance—or in some cases, a first chance—to see the bands that shaped a scene and changed a life or two. But even I never expected that American Football would reunite and then tour the world. It seems inconceivable. But so they did, and all was good in the universe. Now, the band has shared a smidge of their secret recipe—their guitar tunings for the past year of shows for both vocalist/guitarist Mike Kinsella and guitarist Steve Holmes. As you’ll see below, it is goddamn baffling. If this sheet is to be trusted, it means Kinsella and Holmes are only in tune with one another for a grand total of four songs—”Five Silent Miles,” “Honestly,” “Leaving Soon” and an untitled new song they’ve been throwing into their encores. Every other song that features two guitars is loaded with at least a half-step difference or two, which is probably why the guitar lines became so memorable throughout the past 15 or so years—they had just a pinch of dissonance to make your ears perk up.

Catch American Football on tour, if you’re lucky—these might be the last shows they ever play:

Aug 27 Brooklyn Bowl London London, United Kingdom
Aug 28 Reading Festival Reading, United Kingdom
Aug 29 Leeds Festival Leeds, United Kingdom
Nov 07 FUN FUN FUN FEST Austin, TX