Look Up Fest:MARS
A Space Age Mini Music Fest For MARS
9.7.19 🔴 4PM - 1AM 🔴 SUBSTATION
Look Up Fest is a curated conceptual mini music festival organized by Look Up Records. For our 3rd Look Up Fest, we featured space age dreamy music from the Pacific Northwest and beyond, paired with Martian vibes and a terraforming cause.
Thank you to all musicians, crew, volunteers, photographers, visual artists, and others who made this event possible!
Emerging from the wreckage of his childhood band The Pharmacy, Scott Yoder arrived clad in a black cloak, stomping to the beat of his own sparkling tambourine. Over the course of two LPs & half a dozen singles he has toured the world, espousing a more intimate distillation of his song craft. Nearly always on the road, he has honed his live act with a crunching, yet sensitive backing band. The glitter-folk balladeer, adorned in mascara & bell bottoms invites you to sway to his entrancing charm as he releases a series of 6 singles in 2019.
As Baja Boy, 16-year-old Christian Taylor has captured the hearts and souls of Washington’s music scene. After eating Taco Bell for two months straight, the name Baja Boy was given to Christian for his affection for the Baja Blast. When he is not eating Crunch Wrap Supremes, Baja Boy writes, produces and records groovy synth packed indie pop that has been wowing crowded basements and DIY venues all over the Pacific Northwest. Baja Boy’s dreamy swirling soundscape of music contains lyrics that are personal and relatable to, by all. In March, Baja Boy, did an in studio performance of the songs “Lonely” & “Tums” at the radio station KEXP, they also placed 2nd in the 2019 Museum of Pop Culture's Soundoff Competition. Baja Boy’s song “Lonely” has over 100,000 streams.
Seattle's Medejin create lush, moody, ethereal pop with expressive vocals, delicate, delay-soaked guitar melodies, and spare rhythms with a mesmeric edge. The dreamwave project of songwriter Jenn Taranto (vocals/keyboard/guitar) is named after her birth place in Colombia and features Matthew Cooke on drums, Rebecca Gutterman on guitar and Ramsey Troxel on bass. With a feeling that is equal parts nostalgic and jubilant, their live performances tend to be both passionate and intimate. The band’s debut EP, Eleni - produced by Simon Nicol of Leava and released November 2018, has garnered attention and airplay from KEXP 90.3 FM. They also have been featured on Larry Rose's "Music that Matters" podcast as well as an in-studio performance on "Audioasis" with Eva Walker.
Alt-psych rock duo brings swirling delays, stratospheric reverb, and phase-shifted everything. SWYM is the manifestation of Jesse Holden and Ryan Brum in sonic form. Since meeting in high school during the late 2000s the duo has evolved from their jazz & folk roots to swirling, dreamy psychedelic rock. Originating from Somerville, Massachusetts, their journey has taken them across the country - quite literally through the mid-west where they traipsed through the cornfields of Nebraska, mountains of Colorado, and forests of Utah. As an ultimate vessel of reflection, Mirror Box was borne from that adventure. Now settled amongst the cloudy backdrop of the Pacific Northwest, SWYM continueS to meld their visions with their follow up EP, Strange Hallucinations.
With guitar driven hooks, crystalline vocal melodies, and powerful songwriting, Darksoft will haunt your very digital mainframe. Evoking a nostalgia for 90s sadcore, Darksoft uses a haunting yet soothing vocal style and shoegazer guitar crunch. In this concept-driven project, every song is named after an infamous computer virus like Heartbleed, Mydoom, Code Red, ILOVEYOU, and others. Bill Darksoft, from Seattle, leads the project, supported by Patrick McCabe on drums and Jesse Montana on Bass. Bill studied creative writing at UW, and founded Look Up Records in 2017. He is the impressario of Look Up Fest. Bill loves the Seattle music community, and has played in a few bands over the years.
Sealife brings love-coated psychedelic pop from Seattle straight to your heart. Their sonic storytelling paints a landscape of vulnerable lullabies. Originating from bedroom pop and stream-of-consciousness songwriting, Sealife pulls from Sade, Steely Dan, and The Smiths to craft lush sonic dreams. With a nod to Seattle grunge, Sealife is no stranger to fuzz or esoteric lyrics. Brennan Moring, lead for Sealife, also sings and plays keys for Seattle psych poppers Peyote Ugly. Brennan began writing poetry and playing guitar at an early age, but after learning piano, he began a conquest for total instrumental control in his songwriting and storytelling. Now, with Sealife, he’s writing love songs from the perspective of the ghost that quietly waits up for you at night.
La Fonda is a lyrically-driven indie dream pop band, defined by sister singer-songwriters Veronica and Valerie Topacio, exploring love, longing and loss with harmonically rich vocals, reverberating, 60s surf-esque guitars, driving bass lines and synths. Now working on their debut, full-length album, which set to release in late 2019, La Fonda’s songs are about living paycheck-to-paycheck, heartbreak and healing, the lingering effects of infidelity, stripped confidence, and adolescent traumas. The band hopes their music steers people closer to their core, reminding listeners that the world needs more people dedicated to showing up fully in love and life as their most authentic, confident and beautifully vulnerable selves.
An ectodelic synth-psych threesome from Seattle. With a name like Peyote Ugly, there’s no shortage of imagery that comes to mind. The synth-psych trio lives up to the hype of their moniker. The band has spent the last couple years in Seattle’s dives and playing a wealth of shows as they fine-tuned the songs that would eventually become the Peyote Ugly EP. The result is a collection of songs that feel like a rare cool breeze waving through the barren desert. Not really “ugly”, but you can feel notes of spacey peyote in the mix.
From touring in bands that idolized Refused and At the Drive In, to mimicking the sounds of the Shoegaze noise aficionados of the 90’s, Adam Piddington has always embodied the sounds of his idols. His band Daysleeper indulged in loud fuzzed out guitars not unlike Sonic Youth (album was mixed by Alex Newport who also produced At the Drive In’s In/Casino/Out”) while Lanterns played their best versions of rock'n roll epics similar to the Smashing Pumpkins. But not until recently, after years in his home studio, has Adam stumbled upon what is Graduation, an amalgamation of all his influences. With inspiration from Dilla, to My Bloody Valentine, Graduation was born. A project that bodes lush synths, dreamy vocals, and melodies reminiscent of 60’s psych pioneers The Beach Boys.
Sea Salt is an indie pop band founded by Kurt Roy. Kurt was first introduced to the music industry when he started interning at the legendary Chicago Recording Company, where he assisted with artists like Jeremih and Cody ChestnuTT, but mostly got coffee and ran errands for clients like Lady Gaga. After studying under Grammy award winning engineers like Chris Shepard, Kurt began recording and mixing bands on his own. This eventually lead to the formation of Sea Salt, Kurt’s creative musical outlet. Trying to find his sound, Kurt released Ep’s “Songs You Can Sing Underwater” and “same”. After enduring major personal loss coupled with a move to Seattle, Kurt began redefining his sound and started writing songs for his first debut album ”Block It Out”, which draws heavy influence from bands like Wild Nothing, Beach Fossils and No Vacation, and will be released late summer of 2019.
BIRD & SHOOTER
Bird & Shooter are a brand new 6 piece psych-pop band from Bellingham, WA. Their first single "Using You For The Fire" was released on April 5th. The band formed in late 2018 and consists of Max Johnson (Vocals/Guitar), Chandler Trey Johnson (Vocals, Drums), Nate Arthur (Guitar), Aaron Kawaguchi (Keys), Nick Barker (Bass), Asa Morris (Aux/Percussion). Drawing from dream pop, jazz, and lo-fi indie rock Bird & Shooter explore a unique set of sounds and textures making it difficult to hold them to one genre alone. They are expected to release 3 more songs in late 2019.
Smooth Kiwi formed in Bellingham, WA in 2019. Like a fresh kiwi, their music is vibrant, sweet, and satisfying. Together Carly, Connor, Bobby, and Joseph blend groove-centric jams with sensual vocals, funky bass-lines, tasteful drumming and exploration of atmospheric guitar tones, to establish a wide variety of sound from song to song
Blazinspace is a local VJ that creates great live visuals, music videos, and stories. At Look Up Fest: Mars he’ll set things ablaze with Martian landscapes, teleporting our minds to the red dusty rock planet with stunning floor-to-ceiling projections.
A map of the strange, wonderful, unusual, and unexpected. Liminal.Earth (originally Liminal Seattle) is a curated map maintained by the Society for Liminal Cartography. At Look Up Fest: Mars, Liminal Earth will summon a Martian UFO using a ritual magic, Powerpoint presentation, and audience participation with interactive soundscapes and weird HAM radio props. This will be their 3rd Look Up Fest!
Space is deep. And you need Willis Fader, your multidimensional audio-friend, along for the ride. Yes. That's right. Just chill. Think. Feel. Focus. Converse. Share moments with friends and loved ones. Let the sensuous beds of Willis Fader audioscapes enmesh your world.
At Look Up Fest: Mars, the good witch CobwebMD will offer free guided forest bathing sessions in a little terraformed patch of the festival. CobwebMD is Emily Wittenhagen, a certified nutritionist and community herbalist based in Georgetown, Seattle, offering nutrition and herbal consultation, individual and group forest, sound & energy therapy sessions, and a network of local people recommended for body work and other forms of healing.
Spectra is a physical piece you you can play with to the beat, which is then projected into a kaleidoscopic image featuring a special lens that reveals the light spectrum. Mystifying objects are set on a rotating platform which can be spun, which has a camera that is receiving live feed of interaction, and these images are projected back out in fantastical kaleidoscope patterns split with every color of the spectrum! Guests are invited to spin, play, and create together in this interactive piece.
Acculturate to Martian society by testing out TOG TOG, a prototype Martian musical instrument built by Darksoft. Two can TOG! Or u can Tog solo.
We’re excited to host this event at Substation, a staple venue in Fremont/Ballard with a track record of supporting the DIY and weird. We booked all the dark hallways, stages, and spooky rooms they had available.
BEACON FOOD FOREST
Before we terraform Mars, there's a lot we can do to improve living ecosystems on Earth. For this event, our raffle will be raising funds for the Beacon Food Forest (BFF). The BFF is a unique open harvest model, a community-supported urban garden that’s completely open to the public to forage. Their mission: "To improve public health by regenerating our public land into an edible forest ecosystem. We work to reduce agricultural climate impact, improve our local food security, provide educational opportunities, and celebrate growing food for the benefit of all species.”
Support music on MARS
There is currently no music on Mars. There are no Martian artist grants. There are no venues, no recording studios, not even a CD player. It’s depressing AF. We want to change that.
A MIX Tape for Martian colonists
We’re putting together a mixtape that colonists can take with them when they go to Mars. It’s going to be a long, isolated journey, so we might as well entertain them. The album will be made of songs from musicians that perform at Look Up Fest: Mars and will be available for sale at the event.
Dear NASA and spaceX:
The mixtape for astronauts will be mailed to SpaceX, NASA, and other entities proposing Martian travel, along with a message of goodwill:
Hey there. We like what you’re doing. We think its cool. We just want to make sure Martian colonies and other future terraformed human existences are full of art, inspiration, and retain goodwill toward all lifeforms. We’re sending you this mix tape to play when you’re bored. Let’s keep space safe.
Always looking up,
— Seattle-based weirdos
LOOK UP RECORDS: #1 RECORD LABEL ON MARS
Mars presents a fresh start for the music industry.
We are proud to embark on this journey with you.
MUSICIANS/BANDS: SUBMISSIONS ARE CLOSED
Look Up Fest is artist-run, community-driven event. We need your help to make this happen! Any other ideas, collabs, partnerships, or art submissions are welcome to use this form too.