Erik Peterson is an amazing singer/songwriter. I've been listening to his music for about five years now and have only met two other people who have heard of his music... that is until I went to go see him and met three others who had heard of him.

It started off as an unlikely sounding rumor that he was really going to be playing here - Santa Cruz of all places... and at the "new" Jury Room, a seedy bar for haggard drunk losers. Nothing but the same regulars who practically live there, and wait around in front at 5:30 in the morning for it to open at six. Me and my friend had heard through our other friend that he was going to be playing there. So we thought - what the hell... Might as well cruise by and see if it's really happening. We had been looking earlier online everywhere and couldn't find a single thing on the show.

So we get to the Jury Room and ask who's playing tonight. The bartender looked at us and said, "some local bands and some Pittsburgh band called uh... Mischief... Mischief Brew, yeah." We smiled. Mischief Brew was Erik's band, although I'm pretty sure he is the band.

We waited around outside the bar for a while. A bunch of squatter/anarchist-looking kids were hanging around in front. My friend approached one of them, "Hey man, do you know when Mischief Brew is coming on?" The guy turned around.
"Oh yeah... After this band - it's just gonna be me and my guitar though."
"Hang on... Are... Are you Erik?"
"Yep. That's me."
Our mouths hung open. We were awestruck. Here was one of our biggest idols, this guy we started listening to together when we were thirteen. One of our biggest musical inspirations.
"It's an honor." We both shook his hand.

We were both underage and the bartender wouldn't let us go inside. "You guys aren't 21?" Erik asked, "You guys look like you are... I mean - that's a compliment. You guys look 21 or something. I think it's the tattoo's. But hey - I'll tell you what. After the show we can go to the park and I'll play you some songs. There's three kids over there who drove like nine hours to be here tonight and they aren't 21 either. We can all have a mini show in the park. Sound good?"
"Hell yeah!"

We met the three kids who drove from Riverside, CA which is south of Los Angeles. That's one far drive just to see Erik. Erik's from Pittsburgh, I think he's a lot more well-known on the East Coast, but there are a handful of people this side of the tracks who have heard him.

Mischief Brew started off, the drunks in the bar were clapping and singing, shouting for more. His angsty voice filled the air with songs of liberty, rebellion and raw acoustic guitar. I was standing outside the door with the four other underage kids. We were the only five who knew any of the words. Every now and then drunk people would stumble out and say, "How's it goin', choir!" A drunk rockabilly girl stood next to us for the second half of the set bitching about the bouncer and pizza.

At last we heard, "Well uh - this is gonna be my last song.... It's dedicated to the underage kids outside!" We cheered really loud, as did everyone else in the bar. A bunch of people peered outside to get a good look at us and smiled, moved away so we could see better.

"I am a leader but you will not follow me! I ain't no preacher for I'm full of blasphemy, see you in hell boys, see you in hell! Like an angel who's been dancin' with some devils. I'm a bad girl with a hope of better days. My laughter is spiced with mischief. I won't toss salt, kiss it up or pray. If you offer pink or blue I'll take the blackest, if you offer only two i'll offer three! If you point me in a direction I'll run backwards. And at the border of Utopia I'll toast to anarchy! 'Cos fire and rock I'm comin' home to you. I'm pickin' the bones out of my dinner stew, open up the gates of hell and roll me through! Fire and rock I'm comin' home to you. I am a leader but you will not follow me! I ain't no preacher for I'm full of blasphemy, see you in hell boys! See you in hell! See you in hell boys. Well they're sayin' satan's army's risin' up soon. Well if it is I'm secretary of no state! Got wrenches, rocks and bottles in my tool pouch! My desire is society's jail bait......

We cheered, the show ended. Me and the other underage kids kicked rocks around outside for a good hour. We exchanged stories of Leftover Crack and shitty jobs we've had. Erik never did come out - apparently he ended up getting wasted and passing out at the bar. Oh well - so much for our free show in the park. Would've been cool, anyway.

Mischief Brew's Discography:

DEMOS/CASSETTES/CDrs (all OUT OF PRINT)

* "Mirth, or Certain Verses Composed and Fitted to Tunes, for the Delight and Recreation of All" (FISTOLO)
(8-song demo cassette)
* "Live in Ray's Basement" split cassette with Robert Blake (SQUARE OF OPPOSITION)
* "Live on WKDU 91.7 FM" CDr (FISTOLO)
* "Don't Spoil Yer Supper!" (FISTOLO)
(collection of songs from previous demos)

EPs/7"s/CDeps

* "Bakenal" CDep (FISTOLO) *out of print*
* "Oh Sweet Misery" 7" single (ART OF THE UNDERGROUND) *out of print*
* "Two Boxcars" 7" split with David Dondero (FISTOLO)
* "Loved But Unrespected" 7" split with Bread & Roses (FISTOLO)

LPs/CDs

* "Bellingham & Philadelphia" LP/CD split with Robert Blake (ART OF THE UNDERGROUND)
* "Smash the Windows" CD (FISTOLO)
* "Songs From Under the Sink" LP/CD (FISTOLO)

COMPILATIONS

* "Where the Wild Things Rock: Philly Punk Comp" Song: Weapons
* "This is War!" Double Zine and Comp. Song: Liberty Unmasked (radio performance)
* "Artists Fight the System" (Pacifica Radio) Song: Every Town Will Celebrate
* Art of the Underground Sampler CD. Song: Boycott Me!
* "Beyond the Ballot" CD. Song: The Lowly Carpenter (radio performance)
* "Up the Stairs and Through the Hall" 2xCD (Sherman Arts). Song: Departure Arriva

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