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Remembering: Erik Petersen of Mischief Brew w/ Features Writer Catherine Dempsey

Photo courtesy of Polo Itona (IG: @poloitona)

I thought I had more articles to write about Erik. I thought I had more interviews to do. I thought I had more shows to attend. More friends to make. More memories to share. More laughter. More cheer. Joy. I thought I had more time. I thought I had more time. I thought I had more time. My heart is weeping.

Learning of his passing made me feel sick to my stomach. It’s going to take me a while to process it, but in the meantime, I’d like to dedicate a bit of my own words and feelings regarding Erik’s life and the legacy he’s left behind for all of us to enjoy. It may be somewhat of a ramble, but I’ll try my best.

It’s hard to talk about Erik without mentioning the fact that he was truly a great guy. He loved big. He laughed loud. He was a family man to his wife Denise and his little pugs. He was a hero to all the wayward kids that didn’t fit in and never would. He stood up for what he believed in and he always stuck by his values. Erik was the kind of guy who surpassed all clichés. He was a different breed. Irreplaceable.

There was something really special about Erik. He was humble as humble gets. He had a calming vibe about him, a feeling that’s tough to place. I’ll miss his addictive smile, his contagious laugh, and his magnetic personality. Through all my years of knowing Erik, I never got the chance to tell him how much he meant to me. How much his music moved me. I regret it now.

Erik and I weren’t close. We didn’t have a solid relationship outside the realm of music. But every interaction with him felt like home. He had a way of making you feel like you were the most important person in the room. He listened with his heart. He was unapologetically kind and gentle. Erik was a fucking rock star, but not in the dictionary definition way. He was a master songwriter who didn’t see his craft for what it was. Magic.

I was a fan first and a friend second. We kept in contact and updated each other on what we were doing. I always made a point to let him know every time I snagged a new writing gig with the intention of writing about him more in the future. Erik had a warmth to him and would congratulate me whenever I accomplished a new goal. He helped me believe in myself, whether it was through speaking to me or through his music and lyrics.

Erik’s music cut me deep. “Roll Me Through The Gates of Hell” made me feel powerful. “Bury Me In Analog” made me contemplate my life. “Love and Rage” made me want to burn shit and cry. “On The Sly” got my heart to beat twice as fast. I could go on and on about how influential his music was to my existence. I shouldn’t be writing about it in the past tense. It still fucks me up in a good way. Erik had such a strong grasp on language and expression. He was a master of melody. Absolutely unmatched.

Seeing Erik play was always a special treat for me. His shows were so energetic, and each one was drastically different from the last. He had a habit of switching up his set list as much as possible, always throwing in a surprise track here and there, while delivering a couple of crowd-pleasers. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen him play, either solo or with Mischief Brew, but each time I went, Erik always took my requests. He went out of his way to make sure you were having a good time at his show.

I had the honor and the pleasure of getting to interview Erik. It’s something that I could never forget, even if I tried. It was January and cold as hell in Brooklyn. We huddled together outside the back entrance of Sunnyvale as a few snowflakes fell upon our heads. He never complained.

In the middle of our lengthy interview, my recorder stopped working. I never told him. I was too embarrassed, and I didn’t want to burden him by asking the same questions to re-record the answers. So I wrote up the interview based on my memory and the small amount of audio I managed to capture.

One thing that stuck out to me from that interview was how overwhelmed he was when he spoke about his fan base. He was awestruck that there were people on this planet who loved his music, who sang along and knew all the words to his songs. It boggled him. He was eternally grateful to have had that kind of influence on the world. I think he felt rather weird about it. Erik was chronically modest.

My respect and adoration for Erik was endless. I think he knew that. If he didn’t, I hope he knows now in some far out cosmic way. I hope he knows how loved and valued he was. How needed and admired. He was here, and now he’s gone. Let’s celebrate his life, for all he was and all he ever will be. It’s what he would have wanted.

I’m ending this off with my favorite memory with Erik. This is when he played my request, “Bury Me In Analog,” at the Grand Victory in Brooklyn last Christmas. He absolutely killed it that night. I’ll never forget this. Sorry to Erik for enthusiastically screaming the lyrics in his face. Thanks to Jeff Schaer-Moses for the footage.

The dreams of the morning
Let me not die mourning
May the devils come a’crying
Carry me away a’laughing
As we all go a’laughing to storytelling graves
-
E.P. 



Mischief Brew releases official statement regarding the passing of singer Erik Petersen

Philadelphia folk-punk band Mischief Brew has confirmed and released an official statement on facebook regarding the tragic loss of their frontman Erik Petersen. What exactly happened is remaining a private matter between close friends and family but the facebook post did state that the band’s upcoming European tour has, not surprisingly, been cancelled and that Erik’s label, Fistolo Records, will carry on. Read the entire statement below.

I never got to meet Erik in person but we communicated quite a number of times over the years via email. As a huge fan of his music I was always struck by how incredibly humble and kind spirited a person he was and I remember how proud I was that he was willing to contribute an unreleased Mischief Brew track to the first comp I ever put out. For some reason I never expect somebody so talented to be so kind and gracious but he was exactly that. I think I speak for a lot of us when I say he and his music will be sorely missed.

Mischief Brew last released a compilation album Bacchanal ‘n’ Philadelphia in January through Square of Opposition Records. Their latest studio album was This Is Not For Children, which came out in June of 2015 via Alternative Tentacles.



Mischief Brew’s Erik Petersen passes away

Punknews is reporting that Erik Petersen, the frontman and founder of Philadelphia folk-punk band Mischief Brew, has passed away. The band has not released a statement regarding Petersen’s passing, but we will let you know if and when they do.

Mischief Brew was getting ready to embark on a European tour later this month, but it’s safe to assume it has been cancelled.

It goes without saying that our hearts go out to Mischief Brew. We will be keeping Erik’s friends and family in our thoughts.

Update: On July 12th, the Upper Darby Police Department’s official Twitter page reported that Petersen was missing and “may be having some emotional issues.”



Mike Frazier (folk-punk) releases music video for “Parrot King”

Virginia folk-punk-americana-etc artist Mike Frazier has released a music video for his song “Parrot King”, a song that is his observation of the current state of American politics and the 2016 race for the white house. In addition, Mike has decided to run for POTUS himself. Here’s his official notice:

“Hello, my name is Mike Frazier, and I am announcing my candidacy for President of the United States of America.

The President is the highest ranking official in the United States. I don’t think I need to tell anyone that our nation is at a crisis point. The decisions we make now will impact this nation, and the world it inhabits for the centuries that follow. You can feel it in the air of the Rockies, you can hear it in the music on the airwaves, you can smell it in the fields of Virginia, and you can see it in the eyes of the generations rising to prominence: America will change. It is up to all of us to make it for the better. As the highest ranking official in these United States, I will enact lasting change for our children, their children, and the generations that will follow.

I have seen these United States for what they are. I have spoken to individuals from every region. I have heard their thoughts, their concerns, and their plans. I will echo them through the halls of this nation’s capital.

With their voices ringing in my ears, and their images burned into my mind, I begin this campaign. For them, for their loved ones, and for the folks that will follow them.

If you put one name on your ticket this November, make it Frazier.”

Will do, Mike! Check out the video for “Parrot King” below.

Mike Frazier last released the EP Virginia Son on August 11th, 2015 via Geneva Records.



New Music: Skinny Lister stream “Wanted” off upcoming full-length, “The Devil, The Heart & The Fight”

UK-based folk rock band Skinny Lister have announced plans for their third full-length studio album. It’s called “The Devil, The Heart & The Fight,” and it’s due out September 30th via Xtra Mile Recordings. The album was recording only a few short months ago and was written primarily on the road with the likes of labelmate Frank Turner.

To whet your appetite for their ever-evolving sound, the sextet are streaming the lead single, “Wanted.” Check it out below!

“The Devil, The Heart & The Fight” serves as follow-up to the band’s 2014 stellar sophomore release, “Down on Deptford Broadway.” Pre-orders for the new release are available right here.



This Wild Life announces details around upcoming album “Low Tides”; music video for “Pull Me Out”

Long Beach, California acoustic duo This Wild Life has just announced details around their upcoming album “Low Tides” which is set to be released September 9th through Epitaph Records.

You can view album artwork at left <<<<——- and have a look at the track list below.

Additionally, the band has released a new music video for their song “Pull Me Out” which appears on the upcoming album. You can also watch that below.

This Wild Life last released “Clouded” back in 2014 on Epitaph Records.



The Manx stream new album “Voyage In Bad Taste” in its entirety

As of July 1st, Los Angeles folk-punks The Manx have released their first full-length LP “Voyage In Bad Taste”, and have made it available to buy on either CD or digital download via the band’s Bandcamp page. The album is set to be released on vinyl in the fall, but is now available for pre-order here.

Having previously streamed four songs from the album prior to its release, the band has now made the entire album available to stream. So let the riotous folk sounds of “Voyage In Bad Taste” wisp you away, or maybe kick you in the teeth… but either way, check out the full album below!



The Old Ironsides stream new EP “Stay Wild”

New York folk punk band The Old Ironsides has just released their newest EP entitled Stay Wild, and has made the entire work available to stream.

Check it out below.

Stay Wild was released on July 2nd, 2016.



AJJ announce new album “The Bible 2,” release music video for lead single

AJJ (formerly known as Andrew Jackson Jihad) have announced they will be releasing a new album titled The Bible 2 on August 19th through SideOneDummy Records. They’ve also premiered a music video for the LP’s lead single “Goodbye, Oh Goodbye.”

You can check out the video as well as the record’s tracklist and cover art below. Pre-orders are available here.

The Bible 2 will be the band’s 6th full-length album, and their first since shortening their name to “AJJ.” Their last LP Christmas Island was released in May of 2014.



AJJ tease new music in perhaps the strangest way possible

When AJJ (formerly Andrew Jackson Jihad) announced that their new album would be releasing sometime this year, I for one was absolutely brimming with excitement. I guess the band must have sensed the general anticipation, because ever since releasing the video for “Top of My Game”, they’ve switched to teasing their music in the most esoteric way possible. Members of the group have been posting weird Vlogs to Facebook of themselves eating cereal, opening random boxes, and even digging through their own trash, all of which have been accompanied by brief snippets of their coming songs. The videos themselves are funny, in a typically weird AJJ kind of way, and from what I’m hearing, this could be shaping up to be an awesome album. You can check them out here.



Andrew Cream streams new album “Self-Portrait”

Leeds based folk-punk Andrew Cream is currently streaming his self-titled debut album Self-Portait.  

You can give it a listen here.

Self-Portrait was released on June 8th.



Introducing Folk-Punk Act: The Radical Loneliness

Folk Punk quartet from Edmonton, Canada, The Radical Loneliness, are set to release their debut album ‘Anecdotes’ via Conscious Will Productions on June 17. I’ve only heard one song from this release but its pretty damn good and I recommend you check it out below.



Free Music: Mischief Brew – “Folkadelphia Session”

Folkadelphia is giving you a free download of their session with Philly folk-punk group Mischief Brew. Listen and/or download below.

The six-song acoustic set was recorded at the WXPN Performance Studio on December 20, 2015. If you’re not familiar with Folkadelphia, it’s a folk music organization and radio show, obviously in Philadelphia. Find out more here.

Mischief Brew last released a compilation album Bacchanal ‘n’ Philadelphia in January through Square of Opposition Records.

Their latest studio album was This Is Not For Children, which came out in June of 2015 via Alternative Tentacles.



Stöj Snak releases music video for “Hu-Men”

Danish folk/acoustic-punk poet Stöj Snak has a new music video out for his track, “Hu-Men.” You can watch it below.

The song will appear on Stöj Snak’s upcoming album,ScreamerSongwriter, which is set for release on June 9, 2016. Fortunately for you, we premiered a stream of the full album and you can listen to it immediately right here



Hoist The Colors releasing new album “Mourners,” offer free download of single

Los Angeles folk-infused punk band Hoist The Colors have announced they’ll be releasing a new album titled Mourners on September 24th through Hardline Entertainment.

The LP’s title track is available to stream and download for free, right here. Pre-orders can be placed here.

Mourners will be Hoist The Colors’ first album in 4 years, serving as a follow-up to 2012′s Miles to Go Before We Sleep.