|Also known as|
|Origin||Philadelphia, United States|
Mischief Brew was an American band from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, which played DIY anarcho-punk music, incorporating a variety of styles including American folk, swing, and Gypsy-punk.
It was started by Erik Petersen as a solo project, but eventually grew into a band. Petersen drew inspiration from the protest movements of the 1960s, "the idea that rebellion in music didn't originate in punk rock" (Profane Existence No. 54, 2007), and anti-establishment artists like Woody Guthrie and Crass. Petersen's lyrics often pay homage to American labor radicalism of the early 20th century.
Mischief Brew has released albums and EPs on many different labels, notably Art of the Underground, Gunner Records, and Fistolo Records. In support of these records, Mischief Brew toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe. When playing live, they performed with four to five people, incorporating such instruments as junk/found percussion, trumpet, accordion, violin, mandolin, and vibraphone into their set.
Mischief Brew started after Erik Petersen's previous band, The Orphans, broke up in 2000. At first, the band consisted of only Petersen on an acoustic guitar or mandolin, playing songs off of the Mirth demo. In 2003, Petersen released the Bellingham & Philadelphia split with Robert Blake, and the Bakenal CDEP. After extensive acoustic touring in support of the first two releases, Petersen assembled the first full-band incarnation of Mischief Brew, featuring Chris "Doc" Kulp (of Red Devil) on drums and Sean "Shantz" Yantz (of Evil Robot Us' and Abusing the Word) on bass. In 2005, Petersen released his first full-length, Smash The Windows, featuring guest spots by artists from Leftöver Crack, World/Inferno Friendship Society, and Guignol. This release saw him experiment more musically, with styles ranging from gypsy-folk to swing.
The second album was Songs From Under the Sink, a collection of songs written between 1997 and 2002 which stresses his anarchist beliefs and is complemented by his clever guitar melodies. Yantz left the band shortly after Songs from Under the Sink was released, and was replaced for a few shows by Kevin Holland and later by Shawn St. Clair (of Endless Nightmare, Lost Cause, Stations, the Bad Dudes and Wrought With Sickness), who currently plays bass.
In 2009, two versions of the song "Punx Win!" appeared on a split with Andrew Jackson Jihad. Rather than a traditional 7" single, Pirates Press Records released the record as an 8" with parallel grooves, therefore able to play either version of the track depending on where the needle is dropped.
Petersen and Guignol collaborated in 2009 on Fight Dirty. Mischief Brew released The Stone Operation in May 2011. The previous year, on October 18, 2010, an unmastered track from the album, "Dallas In Romania," was previewed by Y-Rock on WXPN.
Mischief Brew members
At the time of Erik Petersen's death in 2016, Mischief Brew consisted of three members—brothers Erik and Chris Petersen and Shawn St. Clair.
- Erik Petersen – vocals, guitar, mandolin (2000–2016; deceased)
- Shawn St. Clair – bass (2006–2016)
- Christopher Petersen – drums, percussion (?–2016)
- Christopher "Doc" Kulp – drums, percussion, guitar (2003–?)
- Sean Yantz – bass (2003–2006)
Original bassist Sean Yantz was briefly replaced by Kevin Holland (for a few shows) and later Shawn St. Clair, who remained with the band until its end. As well, original drummer Christopher "Doc" Kulp, who had played with Erik since Kettle Rebellion and was replaced by Erik's brother Chris, continued to make guest appearances with the band following his departure. Along with these members, the band regularly featured other musicians such as Franz Nicolay and Tom Swafford, as well as other guests and early members.
Kettle Rebellion members
Kettle Rebellion was the first "full-band" group that later became Mischief Brew. The group was formed in 2001 following the Mirth demo, and they recorded eight songs in 2002, which were later discovered and released on an eponymous EP in 2014.
- Erik Petersen – vocals, guitar, mandolin
- Jon Foy – bass, backing vocals
- Christopher "Doc" Kulp – drums, percussion, backing vocals, bugle
|Bellingham & Philadelphia
(As Erik Petersen)
||Split with Robert Blake|
|Smash The Windows||
||Reissued March 22, 2016|
|Songs From Under The Sink||
|Photographs From The Shoebox||
||Split with Joe Jack Talcum, reissued January 22, 2014|
||Collaboration with Guignol|
|The Stone Operation||
|This Is Not For Children||
||3 music videos released|
|Bacchanal 'N' Philadelphia||
Leading up to and following the release of This Is Not For Children, Mischief Brew released three music videos for their songs "O, Pennsyltucky!" (Fistolo, 2014), "City of Black Fridays" (Shibby Pictures, 2015), and "Squatter Envy" (Shibby Pictures, 2016), all three of which appeared on the album.
Extended plays and 7"s
Mischief Brew regularly released extended plays and 7"s throughout their time as a band, many of which were split with other bands. The Under The Table 7" was originally part of Suburban Home Records' Under The Influence series. The Kettle Rebellion EP was a long-lost EP with studio songs from Mirth; the master tape was stolen from Petersen's house and leaked online with incorrect song titles, but the EP was properly released.
- Bakenal EP (Fistolo, 2003)
- Oh Sweet Misery 7" (Art of the Underground, 2005)
- Two Boxcars 7" (Fistolo, 2005) – split with David Dondero
- Loved, But Unrespected 7" (Fistolo, 2006) – split with Bread and Roses
- Jobs in Steeltown 7" (Fistolo, 2008)
- Partners In Crime No. 2 7" (Fistolo/Crafty, 2009) – split with Guitar Bomb, Wingnut Dishwashers Union, Endless Mike and the Beagle Club
- Punx Win! 8" (Pirates Press, 2009) – split with AJJ
- Rhapsody For Knives 7" EP (Fistolo, 2012)
- Free Radical Radio Fever 7" (Gunner, 2013)
- Under The Table 7" (Silver Sprocket Bicycle Club, 2013) – split with Franz Nicolay
- Kettle Rebellion EP (Fistolo/Different Circle, 2014)
- Mirth, or Certain Verses Composed and Fitted to Tunes, for the Delight and Recreation of All (Fistolo, 2000)
- Live on WKDU 91.7 FM (Fistolo, 2001)
- Live in Ray's Basement (Square of Opposition, 2002) – split with Robert Blake
- Don't Spoil Yer Supper! (Fistolo, 2003)
- Boiling Breakfast Early (Dead Format, 2008) – a collection of early demos
- Fight Dirty (The Cottage Records, 2009) – collaboration with Guignol
- Thanks, Bastards! (Fistolo, 2014) – collection of unreleased demos, Bandcamp only
- O, Pennsyltucky! (Fistolo, 2014) – cassette single, later released on This is Not For Children
- Where the Wild Things Rock - Philly Punk Comp. (song: "Weapons")
- This is War! - Comp. & Double Zine (song: "Liberty Unmasked (radio performance)")
- Artists Fight the System - Pacifica Radio Double Disc (song: "Every Town Will Celebrate")
- Art of the Underground Sampler CD - Art of the Underground (song: "Boycott Me!")
- Beyond the Ballot (song: "The Lowly Carpenter (radio performance)")
- Up the Stairs and Through the Hall - Sherman Arts Comp. (song: "Departure Arrival")
- Rising Tide - Riotfolk (song: "Save a City...")
- A Wrench in the Works: Radical Library Benefit CD - (song: "The Lowly Carpenter (radio performance)")
- Never Forgotten, Never Forgiven - Profane Existence Records (song: "A Liquor Never Brewed")
- 0 to 60 in 59 Bands - No!No Records (song: "Ode to a Safecracker")
- Profane Existence No. 54 - Sampler and interview with Mischief Brew (song: "Tell Me A Story")
- The State I'm In - Crafty Records (song: "A Peasant's Rebellion")
- Mancubbers - Mancub Tribute compilation (song: "An Open Letter to the North American Continent")
- Still Kicking - Kebele Benefit Comp. (song: "All About the Class War")
- And You Call This Civilization? - Pumpkin Records (song: "The Riverflow")
- A Benefit For Anthony Poynter - Get Better Records (song: "The Midnight Special 2002 (Country Mile Version)")
- Too Punk To Folk - Dying Scene (song: "Catch Fire")
- A Tribute To Rudimentary Peni - Pumpkin Records (song: "Drinking Song From The Tomb")
- WKDU Live!!!! Volume One: Resurrect Music On Planet Earth - WKDU (song: "Liberty Unmasked (radio performance)")
- The Songs Of Neutral Milk Hotel: A Tribute - Fringe Sound/Swamp Cabbage Records (song: "The Fool")
- My Org Cassette Mixtape - Punknews (song: "Progress," Flux Of Pink Indians cover)
- Punks Vs. Pigs - LATFO Records (song: "Working Class Pride," 2.5 Children Inc. cover)
- ''Art of the Underground Single Series: Year 1'' 7" (Art of the Underground, 2005)
- Con Artist - 2009 (song: "Fight Dirty")
- The Farmer And The Horse - 2010 (song: "Olde Tyme Mem'ry")
- Live At Punx Picnic Baltimore (Acoustic set recorded in 2004, mix of originals and covers by The Pogues, Doom, Culture Shock, and Chumbawamba)
- Live At Coyle Street Collective Apartment (Acoustic set recorded on April 24, 2005 in Portland, Maine)
- Live At The Bike Barn (Live set recorded on August 2, 2005 in Falmouth, Maine)
- "Folk the System". Mischief Brew. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
- Kristen A. Williams. “‘Old Time Mem'ry’: Contemporary Urban Craftivism and the Politics of Doing-It-Yourself in Postindustrial America.” Utopian Studies, vol. 22, no. 2, 2011, pp. 303–320. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/10.5325/utopianstudies.22.2.0303.
- Avery-Natale, E. A. (2012). NARRATIVE IDENTIFICATIONS AMONG ANARCHO-PUNKS IN PHILADELPHIA(Doctoral dissertation, Temple University) [Abstract]. Retrieved April 28, 2019, from https://search.proquest.com/openview/94c7ba037490392bc3e9294ede7a9e47/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=18750&diss=y (UMI No. 3509026.)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-03-17. Retrieved 2008-02-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Folk the System". Mischief Brew. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
- "ARTNOISE is punk rock webzine on DM » mischief brew (Erik petersen) /…". Archived from the original on 2005-12-20.
- "Mischief Brew and Franz Nicolay's Guignol release new collaboration". Punknews.org. 2009-10-16. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
- "Philly Local Philes: Upper Darby's Mischief Brew sings about "Dallas In Romania" - The Key". Thekey.xpn.org. 2010-10-18. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
- "Erik Petersen - Every Town Will Celebrate". YouTube. 2007-04-06. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
- "OCCUPY NORTH CAROLINA/WASHINGTON, DC/PHILADELPHIA: THE ONE PEOPLE'S PROJECT REPORT, PART 5". Onepeoplesproject.com. 2011-10-25. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
- "RIP Erik Petersen". Mischief Brew. Retrieved 5 September 2016.
- Gentile, John (17 July 2016). "Erik Petersen of Mischief Brew has passed away". Punknews.org. Retrieved 5 September 2016.
- Kelly, Kim (18 July 2016). "A Final Farewell to Erik Petersen, the Punk Poet of Philadelphia". Vice. Retrieved 5 September 2016.
- "Mischief Brew biography". mischiefbrew.com. Retrieved 2020-08-21.
- Kroll, Yoni (2016-07-21). "Remembering Erik Petersen of Mischief Brew". www.phillyvoice.com. Retrieved 2020-08-21.
- "Kettle Rebellion, by Kettle Rebellion". Mischief Brew. Retrieved 2020-08-21.