Lucy Hearn recently did what so many musicians and artists before her have done when she made the big move to New York, hoping to find a bigger audience and a more “intense” environment. But instead of leaving Sydney, Australia behind in a flurry of middle fingers and broken shot glasses, Hearn (who fronts an indie pop band called Fieldings) is taking a piece of her hometown with her.
As an active member of the scrappy arts community in Sydney, she founded Strange Cuts, a rotating event that functioned as a live-music space, homemade goods market, and art show. On Saturday, May 21, at Secret Project Robot, Hearn and her organizing partner Caitlin Pasko of Drunken Piano, will host the very first Brooklyn Strange Cuts. It’ll feature performances by Fieldings as well as a slew of other local bands like Baby Birds Don’t Drink Milk. Plus, there’ll be visual art and cool things to throw your money at brought to you by independent purveyors of handmade objects, garments, and book things.
Strange Cuts, which will convene once every season, is opening in a very different sort of environment from the one it grew out of. As Hearn explained, “The Sydney music scene is in a difficult period right now.” She described the density of interesting bands as “patchy” at best.
“The arts are suffering from really awful lockout and licensing laws, which there have actually been protests about,” Hearn said. “They’re killing nightlife in a really intense way.” Artists and especially musicians had to get creative– hence Strange Cuts, an event that brings together visual artists, craftspeople, and musicians under one roof. “There are these events that are spoken word, and a lecture, and a panel, and there will be music– it’s just really inclusive, with lots of stuff going on. This stuff happens a lot in Sydney because there isn’t a scene that can support just music events, so you have these really tight-knit communities that spring up around arts in general.”
Hearn acknowledged that there are no shortage of amazing bands and art shows in New York, but she said that there aren’t quite as many “interdisciplinary vibes” in the DIY scene here. That said, the approach is slowly starting to catch on. Strange Cuts, then, will offer another opportunity to dip into all different kinds of creative stimuli at once. Think the Brooklyn Night Bazaar only on a much smaller scale, and with a stronger thematic thread. “We want this to feel like a cross between a gallery opening and a house show,” Hearn explained.
For now, that means a bunch of bands, BBQ, visual art, and a slew of “makers” selling their wares. Tunes will span bubbly, lighthearted rock (Baby Birds Don’t Drink Milk and Very Fresh) to weird noise pop (Tiny Hazard), and simply the purist of pure pop (Erica Eso)– all stuff that falls under the umbrella of “indie,” which Brooklyn does so damn well. (More bands TBA leading up to the event.)
As for the shopping, look out for everything from handmade capes by Catbat Shop to goods from a seller who specializes in books, films, bootlegs, and zines. “We’ve selected people who are subverting form or subject matter in some way– for example, Shirst has shirts made out of jeans,” Hearn laughed. “It’s just a small thing– nothing truly obscene. The goal is just to make a space that’s fun, challenging and weird at the same time.”
Strange Cuts is happening Saturday May 21 at Secret Project Robot in Bushwick, tickets: $13.65