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Last Minute Metal w/ Book of Black Earth, Landmine Marathon, Embers @ Thee Parkside, 8/11/09

August 12, 2009

Today was a weird fucking day.

One major show canceled; another major one confirmed. And my new hairstylist called me the ‘G’ word. Luckily Umlaut reminded me of a metal show at Thee Parkside, which is now walking distance from my home. Metal therapy!

When Thee Parkside uses the tagline ‘San Francisco’s Premier Dive Venue’, they ain’t lyin’. But it’s got a great charm to it, they book some stellar shows, and the crowd is always passionately unruly. It does smell, though.

When I walked in shortly after 10pm, Oakland’s Embers was finishing up their set. Fronted by a female who looks like a metal version of Lara Flynn Boyle, I just got a sample of their mellow brand of black metal. I’ll have to catch a full set next time around.

Umlaut really talked up Landmine Marathon, and I have to admit, when I saw the front woman get up on stage, I was very skeptical. It’s not that she looks innocent- that fucking word I get called all the time- she just…doesn’t look like what she performs like.


30 seconds in, I almost cried. I know, that sounds weird. But, when I saw the look of rage craze on her face, I felt something deep within- a visceral memory of what I felt like doing when my first serious boyfriend cheated on me. The way she gets in her guitarist’s face, smears her hands across her face and tousles her hair, and shakes her head from side to side like an epileptic……it brought back memories. Strong, angry, hateful memories.


After I shook that off, I enjoyed the rest of their set- hard, pounding metal that makes your heart race. As much as I tried to survey the rest of the band’s skills, I couldn’t stop watching her. Umlaut had told me that she broke her nose at a show a few days ago….some teeth are next as she looked like she was going to shove the mic down her throat a couple times (not in a sexual way- don’t go there guys). She also hit herself repeatedly in the head with it during one song. And for the finale, she stepped on the monitors and hung onto a fixture on the ceiling, and then dove into the crowd.

She’s my new hero.

I saw Book of Black Earth open for Cattle Decapitation earlier this year. They filled the little room with fog, which I’ve discovered makes me yawn even when I’m not tired. Their Seattle death metal did me good. This is the second Seattle band I’ve seen in the past week– dreads are the common theme. They’re dramatic without being over the top, and technically precise. These guys are really pounding the pavement this year- they’ll be back again in October.


On my way out, I was given a shirt from Embers- in my size, no less! Way to advertise!


  1. Great review. Just wanted to add that on their last song, Grace was actually standing on the barricade railing and at first she was grabbing onto the fixture but then switched up and had her fingers in a random hole in the ceiling, which she was using to dangle off of. I hope you go and check out The Funeral Pyre (who Landmine Marathon did a split with) on Wed. 8/26 at the Knockout Room. Should be a good show.

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