Playland at the Beach

by Great Apes

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  • Digital Album
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  • Full Digital Discography Full Digital Discography

    Get all 10 Great Apes releases available on Bandcamp and save 25%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of The Mill - White Helmets Charity Digital Single, California Heart, Grey Tapes, Playland at the Beach, Live at Thee Parkside 1/4/2014, Thread, Split 7" with Know Your Saints, Split 7" with Daikon, and 2 more. , and , .

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  • 12" EP
    Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    An EP about San Francisco's past, current state of flux, and future, inspired by and told from the perspective of different sites and locales in the city.

    1. Rough in the Diamond (A Conversation Between Vesuvio and Specs)
    2. Go Niners (As Told by Telegraph Hill)
    3. Milk: It Does a City Good (By the Civic Center Stairs)
    4. Paint Job (The Lament of 1492 Valencia Street)
    5. Whitney's Playland at the Beach (The Dutch Windmill of Golden Gate Park Speaks)

    Includes unlimited streaming of Playland at the Beach via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

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1.
The first track, Rough in the Diamond is sung from the perspectives of Vesuvio and Specs’, two longstanding North Beach bars, who have fallen towards each other to share a drink in the middle of the street well after last call. I can't sleep tonight I can't either let's lean to the street let's drink some ether It was all popped collars and stiletto squeals I like a man with calloused hands and a pen like steel with friends like these who needs a writer in the dark the maritime and reckless the urchins from the park they'll cash us out and drain the swill but we've got each other we've got cheap thrills where are all the Singletons? where's Barbary Lane? thrown out with the eighty sixed but I can't complain I've got postcards to read I've got Corso's spite their stories steam from the storm drains beneath City Lights with friends like these who needs a writer in the dark the maritime and reckless the urchins from the park they'll cash us out and drain the swill but we've got each other we've got cheap thrills I hear things are worse along the wharf where it's all regal bows and flying corks I can hear our friends in the fog stirring staring down with thirsty eyes and slurring let's cope until we choke and try not to care about that arrow's aim as we toast the air it tears here's to the dispossessed, caught in catastrophe and new Bohemia, wherever it may be
2.
Go Niners! is the story of the Gold Rush, both old and 2.0, as told by the omniscient Telegraph Hill. a wooden bow stabs through the shroud of grey a wake in the water a knife in the Bay harbinger bell on a silent dock a boot in the mud trees shudder / birds flock (a black venom ooze crawling eastward) ravenous come pouring through the Golden Gate allure of promise axe drawn / claim staked a tent in the hillside a brick in the eye cancer sprawling multiply and divide (I feel sick) the few and the fortunate smirk from rooftops while new metropolis starts to grow while the foreign-faced and all the common mass teem in the blood and piss below an empire of partition built on shining ores and railroad tracks they’ll imprison them all with poverty if the work don’t break their backs the lottery of life – it’s competition at its worst foundation built upon always putting yourself first they call it civilized, but it’s just a primal feast just because you build machines doesn’t mean that you’re not beasts eureka.
3.
Centered around the work and resonance of the late Harvey Milk and the murder trial of Dan White, Milk: It Does a City Good is sung by the Civic Center steps. stepping stones for shined shoes greased-palm façade a ladder to the backrooms of self-service and fraud between the press pass handshakes and demolition smiles I’ve seen hope in a neck tie every once in a while… a healing hand for the outcasts’ reach from the labor yards to Castro Street let the silent sing through the martyr’s song let the candles burn from the protest lawn saint of mothers and teachers hushed lovers and freaks while the stubborn stewed scowling in trembling council seats oh how the threats came daily inked in fear with the chill of premonition a speaking ghost appears White in the office police-issued .38 a Twinkie for the judge while the jury deliberates let the bullet shatter every closet door every landlord's lust, every profiteer's war let it scream the tune of justice and humility in the ivory halls let it call for responsibility
4.
Paint Job features 1492 Valencia, an apartment building above the Dovre Club in the Mission District, lamenting about the neighborhood’s current state of affairs and reminiscing over times and tenants gone. glass me in with shiny new sills frankly I prefer a bit of dirt all these sheep in suits’ clothing with their boutiques, parlors, and desserts I miss the smell of posole the feel of children’s footsteps in my halls and the verse of the taxi the choruses of language in my walls new monotone – the cellular drone a pink moustache, a bus-sized limousine culture collage – now blotted out it’s uniform, it’s hollow, it’s so pristine there are specters in the dust specs this paint job’s looking suspect history’s vibrant hues, they’ve all been painted white my stories sing in creaking pipes give me your tired give me your needy give me distortion from the park cover me in graffiti give me givers you can keep the greedy back when it felt like home they just called it seedy lost in the echoes of low rider roar the skin of the Women’s Building back in ‘94 the bidders will swarm and the values will soar while my longing hearth crumbles through the floor there are specters in the dust specs this paint job’s looking suspect history’s vibrant hues, they’ve all been painted white my stories sing in creaking pipes the slow death of the decades from the Irish to the tech craze history’s vibrant hues, they’ve all been painted white my stories sing in creaking pipes weary window eyes with pigeon lashes watch as condos stalk from the down street all these memories rest in rotten beams tear me down – just let me sleep pray and wait for the great quake to bring hell cleansing through the crust we'll be better off when we're all splintered and shaken back to dust
5.
The final song and title track, Whitney’s Playland at the Beach is sung by one of the Dutch Windmills of Golden Gate Park, who celebrates a past of fond memories and joy while welcoming and finding beauty in the inevitability of change and life and death’s cyclical nature. antiquated, but I really don’t mind oh, what’s the point in shaking wooden fists at time? the dunes will shift / the tides will change it’s so inevitable, nothing here will ever stay the same framed by memories, without nostalgia’s decay on the city’s edge, watching over Great Highway salt corrodes, while my blades count years wind erodes (I can hear the coaster’s cheers)… I was nineteen when the Dipper was built and fifty two when they ripped it down to stilts I watched the Ferris wheel rise above the spray and set behind the Park Chalet let it spin let it twist find your faith in a child’s laugh or a lover’s kiss let it crash just let it be it has and always will be Playland by the Sea dilapidated, but I feel fine oh, what’s the point in longing for eaves left behind? the fog will ebb, past the ruins of the pier and where the pilings stood, new structure will appear my veins pumped water down park paths and I was there when the fire took the Baths when the ocean’s cold hands stretch and reach I’ll fall calm and quiet to the beach let it spin let it twist find your faith in a child’s laugh or a lover’s kiss let it crash just let it be it has and always will be Playland by the Sea in seventy two I saw a boy, elated at the age of eight, outside the park’s closing gates high atop his father’s shoulders, staring up to space, with an It’s It smeared on his face he showed up again in two thousand ten, youth now erased, with a son of his own in his place the same breeze that keeps me breathing, that keeps my lungs awake, held his kite up with grace

about

Playland at the Beach is conceptually built around San Francisco’s history, culture, and current state of rapid change, with each song being narrated from the perspective of a building or landmark.

All downloads come with digital photos representing each song and the lyric sheets

Available on vinyl from Asian Man Records.

credits

released November 12, 2014

Great Apes are:
Brian Moss: vocals and guitar
Rob Carter: vocals and guitar
Ryan Marshall: bass and vocals
Matthew Kadi: drums

Additional vocals were provided by Morgan Herrell.
Playland was engineered, mixed, and mastered by Jack
Shirley at Atomic Garden in East Palo Alto in June of 2014.

Romanticized version of the Dutch Windmill in
Golden Gate Park by Peter Glanting.
The image was used with permission.

Cover photograph was used with permission from the San
Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.
Taken at Whitney’s Playland at the Beach in
San Francisco on November 26th, 1949.

Layout, insert photography by Matthew Kadi
Font assistance by David Holtz

Thank you: Mike Park, Leslie Hampton, Jack Shirley, Bob Vielma, Marty Ploy, Harry Jerkface, Ziggy, MP Shows, Scott Alcoholocaust, Jesse Townley, Laura Lee Mattingly, Eric Urbach, Luke Andrews, John No, Winston Smith, Richelle Cullen, Sean Hills, Adam Gecking, David Holtz, Mike Maciel, Thee Parkside, 924 Gilman, Bottom of the Hill, Void Boys, The Lawrence Arms, Bastards of Young, Ma Jolie, and Hard Girls.

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Great Apes San Francisco, California

Insert hype-up descriptors here. Plain and simple, San Francisco's Great Apes are a lyrical punk band. Music, much like a bio, is often at its best when it’s spit out intensely and quickly, with concision and honesty.

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