I will bet you that the first time I heard Mischief Brew, I was sitting on a dilapidated couch in the basement level of 3210 Chestnut Street, deep within the confines of Drexel University’s non-commercial, free-format, student-run radio station WKDU. That’s where I, and so many open-minded, forward-thinking weirdos cut our teeth, got lost in the vinyl stacks, and figured out for ourselves what was good music. I thank my lucky stars for being in the right place at the right time.
Back to Mischief Brew, I am sure that while hanging out, avoiding academic collegiate activities, long-time and current WKDU DJ and all-around West Philadelphian Yoni Kroll was introducing me to any number of musicians I hold near and dear – like, for instance Robert Sarazin Blake or Dangerbird or countless local bands. Also, to Mischief Brew.
Mischief Brew have an “in-your-face” immediacy and attractiveness to their punk-via-activist folk sound. Fervently DIY with a rotating cast of characters over the years that you might even call the band community-oriented and operated. However at the center, leading the charge, is Erik Petersen – an eminently approachable and excitable guy who draws as much influence from power chords as he does dust bowl ballads. I’m not 100% where to tell you to start to digging into the vast discography of Mischief Brew (perhaps last year’s This Is Not For Children), but I think our in-studio session with Petersen solo and acoustic, performing various songs from his catalog, gives you the essence of what makes Mischief Brew a staple of the Philadelphia scene.