Minor Obsessions

My latest obsession is open E minor guitar tuning. How did this happen?  

I just went on a recent excursion through some Gallon Drunk listening.  I discovered some reissue albums that they had out a few years ago on a British label and had to buy them.  

     Actually  that’s not quite right: first it was a youtube video of a live DVD I hadn’t seen before. That sent me on a Sunday spiralling through the internet seeking out anything I may have missed from Gallon Drunk. Two live concerts, 3 album purchases and endless seeking through interviews led me to a mention of a new rule (from years ago I’m sure)  from James Johnston: no more open tunings, he says.  

    OK-so now we search for guitar tab hoping to find what tunings he might use and tabs and sheet music to learn from him, naturally. That seems to come up oddly blank. Though a god to me, it seems no one has really dissected the Johnston guitar catalog.  

BUT,  somewhere I read a mention of  his E minor tuning and I’m off!  

I have a new obsession-or a new minor obsession anyway.  

    One day in, and it seems promising, probably half our new songs are in minor keys, so it could prove useful, with lots of possibilities for drone notes. But, I’m starting to remember the last time I went on an open tuning jag in the 90’s pursuing the Keith Richards tones and how that led to me bringing 4 guitars to every little bar gig. That being rather ridiculous, maybe I should reconsider… 

    As I get older I’m recognizing this as a thing I do, becoming completely obsessed by some small thing and just working through it as much as I can until I realize its leading me to become detached from real life and maybe miss meals and sleep and that type of stuff. 

    I am also realizing these obsessions are minor in that they generally seem rather short lived, say a week or so at the most.  They lasted much longer when I was young. When I was a young man, it was mostly pre-internet and certainly pre-Youtube and social media. Discovering something, a new guitar thing or a new band say, would take months, you’d have to find people that knew about it, or order things rom the library and mail order catalogs. It was much slower and drawn out, and probably more enjoyable, really. Now thanks to the internet you can work through months of “research” (read: obsession) in six hours with a decent internet connection.  

    Is this a reduced attention span due to information overload, and is that a bad thing, or is it using the speed of the information age to ground out the obsessions before they become serious?  

    I’m not really sure, though I am certain the slower pace, and more personal connections to these things was a lot more fun. 


Christian and the Sinners Rehearsal

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