A CARNAGE IN THE LOVETREES
A Carnage in the Lovetrees is a collaborative, multimedia, and interdisciplinary project created by Joshua Young. Using multiple modes of art and performance, the project builds and documents the history of a fictional DIY band.
This website serves as a digital archive and documentation for an installation and documentary forthcoming in 2019, along with a related feature film currently in preproduction.
The archive is made to be taken in slowly. Take your time. Each section is divided by the record the band put out and toured on. There are photos, posters, and ephemera, there are demos to sift through, videos to watch, and of course the records to sit with. This is designed to be a place to return to, to dig into to as desired.
Music released by Keaton Collective & the Department of Sound and Magic
In 2017, the project was awarded a grant from the Reva and David Logan Foundation to complete Phase II.
C Young Creative and Lines and Blood film have self-funded the majority of the project, and has solidified creative partnerships to defer the cost of production/creation, including Clickpop! Records, Department of Sound and Magic, Plays Inverse Press, Cascadia International Women’s Film Festival, Northwest Film Forum, Keaton Collective, Pickford Cinema, and others.
PHASE I: Digital archive and record release set for completion in 2019
A band’s history exist in what it leaves in the world. It’s not just music, but artifact: Records, posters/flyers, photos, ephemera, demos, merch, and more.
PHASE II: Documentary set for completion in 2019
Dir. Hayley McVay follows J. Young as he attempts to finish FIRES, prepare for tour, and navigate divorce, parenthood, and work/life/art balance.
PHASE III: Feature film is set for production in fall 2019
Dir. Caleb Young is set to produce a film that begins as A Carnage in the Lovetrees is on the road, mid-tour. A horrific experience leaves the surviving members to cope with loss and the sudden success the news cycle unloads into their life.
The one guiding principle is that this hybrid and/or multi-discipline approach allows collaborators their own vision when working on the project with little direction.
A Carnage in the Lovetrees began as the kernel of an idea in Las Cruces, New Mexico, in 2009. I started writing songs for a record, but with no plans to start a band. At the same, I was writing a script for my twin brother about a touring band. I started building a backstory for this band, and eventually, the songs I was writing at the time became a part of the film. In 2011, I finished the first draft of a screenplay about a band called, A Carnage in the Lovetrees. I named the band after my former professor (now friend) Richard Greenfield's first book of poems of the same name.
Pre-production of the script began in early 2012, but as the film's production delayed, I kept building the band's history, catalog, experiences, and even began crafting a visible narrative--performances through social media, video media, live performances in Chicago as Carnage. At a certain point, we pulled back on the production of the film, so I could develop an archive and history of the band. We (my twin and I) felt that the film would have more to work from with a history assembled.
I started culling through years of photos and posters and ephemera from my days in bands, touring and playing. I started to craft a narrative out of the photos, and started making posters and flyers, and hired artists to design and illustrate, filmmakers to shoot and edit. My former band, The Braille Tapes, had two unreleased records that I appropriated for the first two records in the discography.
The set lists, posters, pictures, a/v, and other materials represent what’s left of the history of a band. There are well-designed posters and perfectly framed pictures, high quality recordings and video, next to poorly designed posters, random pictures pulled from a digital camera, demos and silly music videos. A band (or artist) is not simply the shiny artifacts they chose to bring into the world, but all the other stuff that’s less stylized and planned—the mistakes and regrets and the forgotten. A history is built with a lot of stuff not everyone is proud of; sometimes it’s a mess.
At its heart, this project is a love letter to the bands making music and making records today that kept me afloat this last decade. It’s a love letter to the venues and bands and people I met while playing in bands and touring—some of them are in the pictures, some of them took the pictures. It’s a love letter to the people we all have met playing music. It’s a love letter to making art.
The bands and places and people I love (or dreamed about playing with/at) will occasionally make appearances in this project—maybe it’s them, maybe it’s a fictional version of this band/person I love. If you see your band here (or a facsimile of your band), know that your music’s been with me through all of it, through changes, through the work, through thinking about how bands exist in the world. Love to you all.
Joshua Young, January 2019