After four years screaming in the Orphans, a punk band from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Erik Petersen went solo in June 2000. He confined himself to a basement with an acoustic guitar, a mandolin, a rickety drum kit, and some anarchistic ideologies inspired by the 1960s anti-establishment protest movement. He started performing this new music locally, finally gathering a rhythm section and, as Mischief Brew, performing DIY anarcho-punk music which incorporated elements of American folk, swing and gypsy-influenced punk. The band's most recent album is 2011's The Stone Operation. Mischief Brew is presently comprised of Petersen on vocals, guitar and mandolin, Chris “Doc” Kulp on guitar, Shawn St. Clair on bass, and Christopher Petersen on drums.
Opening for the Subhumans and Sheer Terror tonight at le Poisson Rouge, Mischief Brew seemed to have brought its own following, including many fans who came up on stage to sing along before diving off the stage for some crowd surfing. Petersen projected a struggling working class solidarity, dressed like a laborer and shouting lyrics fit for Occupy Philadelphia. Musically, Mischief Brew often sounded like a street corner busking ensemble or a late night Irish pub jam. Some of the punch in the songs even hinted at the oompah of polka. Filtering these diverse influences through punk energy, Mischief Brew successfully generated a riveting, rousing revelry. Somewhere between the Clash and the Pogues, there is Mischief Brew.
Visit Mischief Brew at www.mischiefbrew.com.