Friday, October 25, 2013

Photo Album: FIELD GUIDES @ Cake Shop & Cameo

Cake Shop (10.22.13)

Photo credits, from top: Benjamin Seretan, Morgan Lee Cattaneo, Kristin Lee Knoll, KLK, KLK, MLC

Cameo (10.24.13)

All photos by Jason Potvin

Friday, September 20, 2013

This is and isn't and is the patch of grass flattened under the tent I slept in in (in in) Montana beside the Bitterroot River.  Two 't's and two 'r's and two 'o's.  Oo(h).  No 'h'.  That patch of flattened grass.  That flattened patch of grass.  That flattened grass patch.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

NEW Blushing Recordings!

Purchase both songs HERE for only $1.99!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Two FIELD GUIDES Shows in October!!

{by BJK}

There has been a lot happening on the Field Guides front lately. First off, we have a brand spankin' new rehearsal space in the old Pfizer factory building in our beloved neighborhood of Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. The building housed manufacturing and research operations for the pharmaceutical behemoth from 1849 until just a few years ago. It's a truly surreal place, full of hazard signs, old lab equipment, eye-wash stations, and lots of vacant and eerie corridors. Last year a bunch of local food start-ups began leasing space in the abandoned building, and now our little band has a permanent home to practice and work on new material!

(Here's more fascinating info plus photos of the building:

We got the space just in time, because we're gearing up for 2 exciting shows in October. It'll be a big, burly incarnation of Field Guides, bulked up for the waning of summer.  There'll be a trumpet and a beefed up rhythm section and 2 or 3 guitars!  And new songs!!!

 The first show is with our good friends Ben Seretan (who's finishing up his residency in Alaska, swimming in cool waters and communing with bald eagles) & Alex Lewis, plus a cool band from Portland, OR, called Alameda. It's at Cake Shop in Manhattan, a venue we love in part for its Swell Maps namesake.  I saw a great show by The Clean there years ago; perhaps we'll cover a tune by one of those bands while we're there!

The show is on Tuesday, October 22, at 8pm. We're on third.

{by BJK}

The second October show is on Thursday, October 24, at Cameo Gallery in Brooklyn. We'll be playing with some heavier bands, including our friend Butch's band, Beasty.  Buy tickets here:

{by BJK}

Here's a photo from the last time we played Cameo, taken by the lovely Morgan Cattaneo:

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

'We're Gonna Die' by FUTURE WIFE >> Now Available to Order!

We've worked on this album for what feels like eons, and it's finally gonna see the light of day, or at least the dim but glimmering glow of the moon...

It features some of my heroes: David Byrne, Ad-Rock, Kathleen Hanna, Laurie Anderson, Matmos, Colin Stetson, Sarah Neufeld! It was produced by my good friend Shannon Field (Leverage Models, Stars Like Fleas)!  It has artwork by the brilliant Chad Wys!  It was recorded at The Isokon in Woodstock, NY, by the inimitable and indefatigable D. James Goodwin (Snowflake).

We are very proud of it, and excited to share it with you!

Interview Magazine premiered the first single and interviewed YJ.
SPIN Magazine wrote about the album.

You can buy We're Gonna Die right now on iTunes.

You can pre-order it at Insound.

And you can listen to the first single right here:

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Some Thoughts on the Acquittal of George Zimmerman

There was a verdict, but before that there was the death of a teenage boy. We're not quite skilled at dealing with death, though, so the conversation will have to center around the verdict—the acquittal of a man who, unprovoked and against the advice of a trained 911 dispatcher, trailed an innocent and unarmed young man and initiated an altercation that culminated in his killing the boy. 

I was more affected than I anticipated by the verdict. I was naïve enough to imagine it could have gone any other way.  When I heard about the acquittal, I was first saddened then outraged by the blatant injustice, the gross reminder of how terribly hostile our country is toward minorities, how we marginalize and disenfranchise and—shockingly—even allow men of color to be killed without recompense or reparation (that word should echo).

Many of you, like me, have acquaintances—or even friends—who, in a way that appears entirely divorced from our conception of reality and justice and ethics, don't see this travesty as a miscarriage of justice. I've found it hard to understand their stance as anything but distorted by racist stupidity and ignorance. And I've been tempted to write these people off and out of my life (and my dumb social media feeds). But I think it's better, as usual, to engage in a dialogue and try to spread accurate information and work at educating toward empathy and an ethics of equality.

I took my own advice when people on Facebook expressed views I found ignorant and appalling:

I also had this exchange with a good friend:
Friend: I must be missing something here bc I'm not racist and I think I'm pretty liberal but I'm not getting how the acquittal of Zimmerman is so monumental a statement about our country's culture/race relations. I didn't follow it extremely closely nor was I in the courtroom but it just didnt seem to be the cut-and-dry case everyone wishes it was.  It feels like the media is forcing this conversation about race, pretending this is Rodney King 2.0, when this example isn't as obvious as that.  I mean, it wasn't on videotape...  So enlighten me.  Seriously.  Because I don't understand why this case is THE seminal case for proving the dysfunctional relationship between races in our country. 
MeGood points. I think I agree entirely about this case not necessarily lending itself perfectly to the acute focus on race, and that that component of the case has possibly been overblown by some. But I think that it's impossible to neglect the fact that African American men are targeted—in NYC with stop and frisk, throughout the south in SYG states, and across the country with the dissolution of VRA. I can't imagine this case playing out the same way if Martin were caucasian, or if Zimmerman were black. And nearby in Florida, just days ago, an African American woman was convicted and sentenced for firing warning shots after being threatened by her husband. That is injustice. And it is inextricably tied to race. So I agree with you but I think this should incite another round of dialogue about how our country, even in ways sanctioned and problematized by our government, is dreadfully far from "post-racial."

David Simon wrote a great post in which he said:
"Behold, the lewd, pornographic embrace of two great American pathologies: Race and guns, both of which have conspired not only to take the life of a teenager, but to make that killing entirely permissible. I can’t look an African-American parent in the eye for thinking about what they must tell their sons about what can happen to them on the streets of their country. Tonight, anyone who truly understands what justice is and what it requires of a society is ashamed to call himself an American."
More examples of inequality and injustice have been emerging within the scrutiny now focused by this case.  Like the Florida woman sentenced to 20 years for firing warning shots to scare off her abusive husband.  (Stand Your Ground apparently doesn't apply to African American victims of domestic abuse.)  Or the jury in Texas that acquitted a man for murdering a female escort who refused sex.  (That verdict is a reach even for a state that prides itself on capital punishment and has no regard for women's reproductive rights.)

The blind eyes and dumb fears leading to these verdicts belong to the same malignant tumor on our American body, the same bile-spewing part that supposedly champions the "sanctity of life" and bemoans a woman's reproductive rights. The same cancer of voices that practice an especially depraved hypocrisy, that can support capital punishment but call abortion murder, that can support Stand Your Ground legislation but oppose any form of gun control.

Let's keep talking about this.  Let's debate.  Let's channel our outrage into something productive.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Book Review: Aleksandar Hemon's The Book of My Lives

Go take a look at my review of Aleksandar Hemon's new collection of personal essays over at the L Magazine.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Photos of FIELD GUIDES @ Cameo

by Morgan Cattaneo
by Olivia Smith
by Will Brant
by Crystal Arnette
by Crystal Arnette

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mist Complexion, Pt. 3

Feeling-Size and Square Roots - w4w (Williamsburg)

The world feels so big sometimes. Other times it feels so small. The feeling-size of the world might be proportionate to the size of internal/emotional gravity. Or maybe it's more aligned with something more banal: the size of one's breakfast any given day, the number of hours and minutes and seconds slept through each night...

All this is to say:
  1. The night before I saw you I slept approximately 6 hours and 15 minutes. (I won't try to estimate the seconds; that seems foolish and unnecessary.)
  2. The morning of the day on which I saw you, I ate yogurt and granola. And a banana. I drank a coffee, black. (From Café Grumpy, the coffee shop on the corner of Meserole and Diamond, in Greenpoint.)
  3. My internal/emotional gravity was stronger than usual; I felt weighted, an almost unbearable heaviness of my being. (Do you too like Kundera?)
  4. The world felt somehow both big and small. (Weird, I know.)

Four things, if transmuted into lines, can form a square: ܛ

That night:
  1. You had on some really stylish specs. (What is your prescription?)
  2. I was wearing an orange-y reddish lipstick. (Today my lips are chapped. The air is dry.)
  3. Field Guides were playing on the small stage in the back of Pete's. (The guitarist's strap kept breaking awkwardly.)
  4. The world felt somehow both big and small. (I wish I had said hello.)

If you think this is about you, write your name and number in green chalk on the sidewalk at the corner of Gansevoort and Greenwich.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Tickets Available Now for April 24 Ben Seretan/Field Guides Show!!!

{poster by BJK}


Ben Seretan

Field Guides

Wed, April 24, 2013

Doors: 10:00 pm / Show: 10:00 pm




More info:

Ben Seretan 

Ben Seretan—from Brooklyn—plays the electric guitar, sings, and makes "long music." If heaven exists, Ben is going to find it with delay pedals and join the chorus of angels. Guitars cascading like waterfalls, joyful and lulling repetition, droning waves of guitar filling the room and lapping at your ankles. Ecstatic Electric American Primitive. Influences: John Fahey, Earth, Alice Coltrane, the Minutemen. His latest recording, New Song, was released in November of 2012.

Field Guides 

FIELD GUIDES began, as so many misguided things begin, in a bedroom. The bedroom belonged to a boy who wrote some songs about women and bedrooms and mental illness. And plants and animals.

FIELD GUIDES have lumberingly moved into the living room. They are a family now, featuring former or current members of Future Wife, BLUSHING, Heliotropes, PEELS, and the International Contemporary Ensemble. There are more songs now about Amelia Earhart and books and buildings. And plants and animals. FIELD GUIDES sound, according to some, like "noisy pop." Or "tidal, shimmering, and poignant." Or like "that band with the guy and girl from Canada." Or like they're "ripping off Yo La Tengo." They take that last one as a serious compliment.

Venue Information:

Cameo Gallery
93 N. 6th St. Brooklyn, NY, 11211

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


{flyer by BJK}

....PRIMA [[noise rock//nyc//members of Beasty]]
.........NOMS [[queertheorycore//boston]]
.............HOUSE PARTY [[noise//nyc//providence]]
..................BLUSHING [[ambient//nyc]]

5 bux, 8pm, starts prompt as fuck

152 Ludlow St, NYC
btwn. Stanton & Rivington


Friday, February 22, 2013


Here's a show being put on by some friends happening next week. Y'all should check it out:
Chat Logs, a hyper-visceral noise punk trio from Brooklyn, NY, will be headlining a powerhouse lineup at 285 Kent, an underground DIY warehouse on what has become a prominent strip for Brooklyn music venues. This will be their first performance in the space. The band has been curiously alienating the tame Brooklyn scene for some time, most recently packing venues such as Secret Project Robot, Shea Stadium, Death By Audio, and Big Snow Buffalo Lodge, all the way down to the Rockaway waterfront at the Low Tide Bar.

From their habit of dousing the crowd in a cloud of baby powder to finger-pointing, miniature instruments, and oft-naked bodies, one never knows what to expect from the band whose first live performance was at the Whitney Museum of Fine Art. The band's recent performance installation at Southfirst Gallery, Dark Side of the Room, brought to life a butcher's nightmare: musicians costumed as pigs, all melting away amongst animal carcasses in a slaughterhouse. You will want to move your feet; there will be a wall of sound. The perfect soundtrack for your pity party.

285 Kent is an all ages venue on Kent Ave and South 1st. It is accessible via the Bedford Ave L, the G at Metropolitan and the Marcy Ave JMZ, show starts at 8pm, Chat Logs is scheduled to play around midnight.

And here are a bunch o' URLs… Yeah!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mist Complexions, Pt. 2

Man of My Dreams at Brooklyn Bar, or, Lust - w4m (Williamsburg)

It had been six months or so since my car broke down somewhere in Indiana. It was towed and I found a cheap motel for the night. In that filthy bed I dreamt of a man I'd never met outside of slumber, but a man I'd seen behind my closed lids for years.

Fast forward to this past Sunday. You emerged from the ether of sleep into candlelit reality, man made manifest in flesh. We were sitting across from each other in the back room at Pete's Candy Store. Field Guides were about to finish their set when I saw you glancing at me with a glimmer of recognition. I was too nervous, and too shocked, to approach you after the show, and you must have been equally flummoxed. Have you been dreaming of me all these years as well?

Since Sunday, my dreams have become steamier, our encounters now primal. Sometimes we are lions on the savannah, wolves on the tundra. Always we are lustful.

If you are you, you'll know who I am. Be my valentine?

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

    Photos from FIELD GUIDES' First Show

    Photos by Kristin Leigh Knoll / Animated GIF by BJK
    Photo by Benjamin Seretan
    Photo by Crystal Arnette

    Photo by Kristin Leigh Knoll

    Monday, February 11, 2013

    Mist Complexions

    Bulbs, or, Girl With Hair at Show - m4w (Williamsburg)

    'Bulbs' is such a silly word when you say it more than five times. Were I to name each bulb, I'd look to Greek mythology and Saturday morning cartoons. The bulbs were on the stage last night at Pete's Candy Store. Field Guides were under the low glow.

    You: eyebrows like furry caterpillars, asleep and dreaming above your eyes of cocoons and future wings.

    (and Jessica Tandy)

    Me: a snaggletooth; two diligent eyes (neither lazy); hair growing (still at this age!) in mostly conventional locales; an evident yearning to earn the approval of my peers; an evident yearning for furry and furless affections; a coat evoking fields of nettles. If I were a marine animal, I'd be some sort of mollusk.

    Bulbs bulbs bulbs bulbs bulbs...


    Sunday, February 10, 2013

    FIELD GUIDES - "Leading Me Back to You" (Wolfs Cover)

    On the eve of FIELD GUIDES' first live performance, we offer a home recording of a lovely number by one of our favorite young bands, Wolfs. (And, as an added bonus, and following Wolfs' lead, we include a surprise outro by one of our favorite old bands)...

    Morgan Cattaneo: voice
    Benedict Kupstas: guitar, synthesizers, voice

    (Written by Maryn Jones)

    Wolfs is a really, really great band:

    The show is tomorrow (actually, looking at the hour, it's technically today).

    More info here:

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013