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ALTERNATIVE TENTACLES

This Is Not For Children

by Mischief Brew

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about

Philly anarcho-punk/folk troubadours Mischief Brew celebrate their fifteenth year not with a champagne toast, but by barreling into the bar and slamming down This Is Not For Children, their fourth studio album and debut on Alternative Tentacles Records. Recorded at Permanent Hearing Damage by Steve Roche—who recorded many of the band’s early releases including "Songs From Under the Sink"—it breathes and bleeds a tough spirit that could only have been born in the streets, bars and empty warehouses of Philadelphia, PA. Songs about everything from squatting to baseball to horror director William Castle (which is how the album gets its name).

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released June 22, 2015

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Mischief Brew Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Emerging from the undead ashes of PA punk troupe The Orphans, Mischief Brew started with a scratchy demo tape in 2000 and has since spread the good word of anarchy, hilarity, and rebellion across state lines and even the Atlantic Ocean a few times. We've managed to exist for over 13 years in one form or another by kissing nobody's ass and doing everything ourselves, for the most part. No rules! ... more

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Track Name: Two Nickels
I read a warning on the bus
Said, "Turn it down and bundle up."
A penny saved, a dollar spent
So trim the wick and get to bed
Oil and kerosene
Stove will throw a little heat
Smell of propane in the halls
And scraping wax off floor and walls

And everybody on the block
Is talkin' bout the weather, not the war
But will we crack when the houses all go black
And the radiators knock no more?

I saw a story on the screen
Everybody in the street
Another early morning blaze
They got out, but not okay
Spread out on the kitchen floor
Just trying to keep warm
Mayor, landlord, tell 'em now
To bundle up and turn it down

And everybody on the block
Is talkin' bout the weather, not the war
But will we crack when the houses all go black
And the radiators knock no more?

One way or another, we're going south for the winter
So let's go
Track Name: Bad Heart
Hope you've enjoyed the show
I'll be in the back, it's "take the make-up off,
Box the dummy, away we go..."
Alleyways the whole way home
I always like to start with a song
About a side you've never known

So hit me with everything you've got
And maybe you’ll break me
Crack me if you can, my friend
Prove me something other than machine
That does it all, except one small thing

It’s a tough good fight to win
When you got a bad heart
And with a beat so bad
Do we freeze it then break it apart
Or can we take it from the start?

Did you have a real good cry?
I can’t join, but how I’ve tried
They gave you that part, forgot mine
It ain’t like knockin’ on hollow tin
Yea, I know there’s something there
But it’s barely pumpin’

So hit me with everything you’ve got
And maybe you’ll shake me
Crack me if you can, my friend
Help me find some evidence
That I wasn’t just a poor design

It’s a tough good fight to win
When you got a bad heart
And with a beat so bad
Do we freeze it then break it apart
Ain't no takin' it from the start

Good guy, bad bad heart
Incomplete
But harvestin’ parts
Gonna build a classic car

So hit me with everything you’ve got
And maybe you’ll slay me
Crack me if you can, and then
I’ll be fully human
And we’ll sync/sink like we never knew of rhythm

It’s a tough good fight to win
When you got a bad heart
And with a beat so bad
Do we freeze it then break it apart
It's a tough good fight to win
When you got a bad heart
Bad heart
Bad heart
Bad...
Track Name: Lancaster Avenue Blues
Forget our faces
Don’t you know they’ve never been too good with names?
Call it like they see it
Wring the blood out of the rocks of real estate
I was walking east on Fairmount, up to Broad
How far the “Art Museum Area” tag has gone
And I wanna ask the neighbors
If that’s how the agents pitched the place they bought

Long before the chains were wrapped around the block,
They were sellin’ us it’s something that it’s not
Long before the taxes and the rents went up
They were stretching out the posts and taking shots

“This is where we live, this ain’t your ground to stomp,”
We shout against your roaring
But it’s a game of names, and once it’s underway
That is our early warning

40 ounces, Hoagie City, east on 30, from the woods
I was raised up in West Philly by a pack of crazy wolves
You got your wreckin’ balls and eminent domain
You got your buildings where we work, and used to play
But we knew the night was over when Univer-City banners came

From the dealers to the punks to pioneers
Into boxes where the students slam their beers
It’s an investment, not a place we live no more
Stop me if you think you’ve heard this real bad joke before

“This is where we live, this ain’t your ground to stomp,”
We shout against your roaring
But it’s a game of names, and once it’s underway
That is our early warning
This is where we rolled, into a parking lot
I think you know the story
First they draw the bounds then come the hare and hounds
And then the land is foreign

They were lining up at tables, for the meals in the parks
Others signing, trying to shut ‘em down and out of their back yards
They say it’s dignity, not “out of sight and mind”
They say it’s cleanliness, not tourists walkin’ by
It’s not displacement or an exile down on Main
It’s not dispossession, just a change of name

Forget our faces
Don’t you know they’ve never been too good with names?

“This is where we live, this ain’t your ground to stomp,”
We shout against your roaring
But it’s a game of names, and once it’s underway
That is our early warning
This is your early warning
Track Name: City Of Black Fridays
I hear the sound of angry fans
I’m walkin’ by, they’re crushing cans
And throwing them at their sets again
You know I’ve heard this thing before
Every year, at least times four
It’s a city built on stubs and scars
We swear, “No not next year”
But led back to the wooder, here we are
You know we feed them ‘til they’re packed
Tickertape is way too much to ask

Here in the streets and the dives, you can feel it
While back in the stands, swing and miss, you can hear it
These seasons are new, zero=love, but we fear it

Barb from South Philly calls again
She was just a kid in ‘64
But remembers her dad cursing at the same old radio
Now they Phold like it’s the only thing they know

I hear the ghosts of Billy Penn
They’re wailing, “Oh no not again,”
And talkin’ bout the disappointment that’s on deck
But don’t sleep ‘til it’s over
(Cause it brings us together)

These arenas are like scenes of a crime
Soft goals and turnovers
20,000 grunts turn into sighs
And the national condemns…to hell with them
You know I’d throw snow again

Here on the jobs, in the halls, you can feel it
While back in the stands, 6-4-3, you can hear it
These seasons are new, zero love, and we fear it

I hear the ghosts of Billy Penn
They’re wailing, “Oh no not again,”
And talkin’ bout the disappointment that’s on deck
But don’t sleep ‘til it’s over
Cause it brings us together
I hear the ghosts of Billy Penn
I see your goats and your Bartmans
But don’t worry bout it
The piper’s passing out the checks
From the Bull back to the wall
To the top of city hall
We are beaten, full of crow
But I know I’d never call another home “home.”
Track Name: Squatter Envy
(CHORUS): You’ve got squatter envy
As the hours drag on like a day
The desire to toss the banker, landlord, and boss
It was brimming but you pissed it away

Better put down the irons and woods
There are chains to be cut
I say it’s time for you to find out what it’s really like
To hit in the rough
Come on, your posh garden parties ain’t foolin’ no one
As you flash your cash clips out,
They must weigh a ton
I’m tellin’ you, your life would be so much better
If you just fucked it up

(CHORUS)

Here’s your new church, blood, body
No god, no priest
Cause you can’t get to heaven
Bustin’ unions, spillin’ jobs in the sea
Let the Ash n’ Palm robber barons send their amens
Then go back to their bunkers, food rotting in bins
Hate the kids, crash the cars, send the checks in
Sweetly singing, “Kill me please.”

(CHORUS)

Rich is poor
Poor is rich
I say bullshit
Gold is grime
Hey, that’s just fine
Cause I want yours and you want mine

Now gather around, I got a far-fetched story to spin
Where we sling, swing, drive, dig, cook, clean, teach for the life you live in
And we’ll take the hard knocks if the wages are right
But you’ve shown time and time again, you can’t play nice
I hope the ropes and pistols send you packin’
On the great junk train to paradise

(CHORUS)
Track Name: Danger: Falling Pianos
I got a fence to lean against over the cliffs
I see a kid climbing over the stones
Big man in uniform come around
Say, “Get down!”
Kid says, “No sign says no.”
I got a line I’m standing behind
Everyday as the train rolls into the dock
And voice on the air, it says, “Beware,
All legs and arms inside the ride until a complete stop.”

They say, “Don’t go where you ain’t been,
Diggin’ a hole and gonna fall right in,
You never know who you’re gonna meet.
Better stay in and get a good night’s sleep.”
They say, “Don’t get caught down on that side of the tracks.”
Gimme danger, disbeware of this and that

I got a gate stuck in the way
Over the wires and through the imaginary property signs
It’s getting night, dinnertime
“You could have died,” it’s gonna be
But I feel so alive
The travel guide says stay in at night
Avoid the red lights, North East South and West sides
And no taxi fare will take you there
But that’s what I do
I trip and fall and no, I ain’t gonna sue

Can’t you take me somewhere we don’t own?
Into the woods and leave me all alone?
No crumbs, no pebbles or paint on trees
Just fires and bottles on the beach
As I see rich kids wrapped up, happy to be tracked
Gimme danger, disbeware of this and that

And I’m hangin’ by a single thread
And they say it’s troubled water
Stop only to catch your breath
Why else would you even bother?
Slap a sticker on and call it safe
New world anything but brave
I know the car alarm by heart
But what’s behind your down-crime-rate?
And would it be the same if help wasn’t just a 9-1-1 away?

You got a gun beside your bed
You ain’t afraid to shoot to kill in the name of defense
If they decide to hit again
You got a can rack stashed and a mask for the gas attack
And there you’ll hide, last one alive
As the jokers all choke and the clowns all cry
You plan in your mind behind the line,
Fence and the guide, the gate, the wire
Stuck on your side of the sign

They say, “Don’t go where you ain’t been,
Diggin’ a hole and gonna fall right in,
You never know who you’re gonna meet.
Better stay in and get a good night’s sleep.”
They say, “Don’t get caught down on that side of the tracks.”
Gimme danger, disbeware of this and that
Track Name: O, Pennsyltucky!
We sat on the Bulb rocks
With plum wine and we watched
The fog roll and swallow the bridge on the bay
I thought, “I could live here,”
But I’m still in high gear
And sweating and freezing 3,000 away

O Pennsyltucky!
Your three mile islands
The coal fires buckle the miners’ highways
I love just to leave you
But it’s good to see you
And old Filthadelph
Hostile City, PA

Where we all come from
Most died of the Black Lung
Another, a browbeater, boxer, and saint
When he finally got caught,
The cops made a few calls
They opened his cell
Never fought him again

In O Pennsyltucky!
Your three mile islands
The coal fires buckle the miners’ highways
I love just to leave you
But it’s good to see you
And old Filthadelph
Hostile City, PA

Wake me when Steel City’s roadwork signs
Shine in my face
Whew, now I’m safe

Was that a peepshow
With drive-thru windows?
The gun show’s got carousels and funnel cakes
It says “Church” in neon
And asks me what’s beyond
If I had to guess, I’d say more of the same

In O’ Pennsyltucky!
Your three mile islands
The coal fires buckle the miners’ highways
I love just to leave you
But it’s good to see you
And old Filthadelph
Hostile City, PA
O Pennsyltucky… how your coal fires rumble
I love just to leave you
But it’s good to see you
And old Filthadelph
Hostile City, PA
Track Name: This Is Not For Children
Lay down your pistols
Pick up a can of red paint
Don’t curse the papers
Think of all the friends that you could make
We the masters and deceivers run the show
I ain’t spewing out the truth for any fool to know
You’ve got strings so we’ve got wires to control
As the film rolls
It’s what we owe
Entertainment, more than tickets sold

Is this a playhouse
Or a funhouse where the world outside goes black?
“It’s just a movie”
So you say until your seats are zapped
We’ve got nurses, should you faint at any time
We’ve got hearses revved up at the ready, should you die
It’s all covered here, in print, above the dotted line
So go ahead and sign
And down go the lights
Entertainment, out of black and white

King of the show, lord of the lies
Master of a thousand faces masked in disguise
I got thrills, but if you like ‘em cheap
Then here’s a TV
Stay home and sleep
And make way for the tricksters
Who make way for the treats

Do not enter
This is not for children, guaranteed
Caveat Emptor
All this make you wanna come and see?
And if halfway through, you’re far too afraid
You can have your money back
And I’ll still be paid
No one’s ever stood and walked out to this very day
And that’s entertained
Terrified and amazed
Like tall coasters roll, it’s what you’re owed
Now that’s what I call a show
Track Name: No Candlesticks
Where do I begin?
Chamber, take a spin
Snake eyes coming down the road again
With the trouble in my lap
In a ride without a map
Somehow always find my way back in
Too chicken to retreat
Losers never cheat
It wasn’t pretty, but hey, a win’s a win
Prodding at the clocks
Dancing on the rocks
Both ends got a wick
No candlesticks

Throw it down and bottoms up
Join in our ode of reckless lunacy
Double wick, no candlesticks
Until we burn, and that’s a way to be

Some friends from better days
They wax and buff their names
And I think I’m the one pulling up lame
I howl until I’m hoarse
Then crash into the floor
In the corner, on my face
Trapped in by paint
Track Name: Slow Death Hymn
2000 was fired out from a cannon
The neighbors shot up at the lamps
We piled in the street and stood for our anthems
On top of the cars with bottles in hands
This year crept up, who could see it coming?
No one saw the signs, if any were there
The distant funeral marches drumming
I’ll take life, don’t care if it’s fair

Read too many tales with terrible endings
Gods and machines that get in the way
You thought we were home
Turns out we were renting
Until I am gone, I’m here to stay
Taken away, our friends, our lovers
By cancer, heroin, tragedy
It’s not the wakes I’m worried over
It’s knowing we have to go to sleep

If it’s a highway
I am trying just to drive
I am trying just to drive
Stay awake and stay alive
If it’s a highway
I want you there at the side
I want you there at the side
Still awake and still alive

The songs we thought we’d have to bury
We faced ‘em head on right away
Every reason to cry, not one to worry
Drive faster and further is my only change
So tattoo our arms and raise our glasses
Call out your names this New Years Eve
And may the next time we kneel at a casket
We say, “At least the story’s complete.”

If it’s a highway
I am trying just to drive
I am trying just to drive
Stay awake and stay alive
If it’s a highway
I want you there at the side
I want you there at the side
Still awake and still alive