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How one little record shop keeps going

THIS weekend, Graveface Records & Curiosities celebrates another turn 'round the sun as one of Savannah’s beloved shopping destinations and cultural hubs.

Founder Ryan Graveface will open an annex to the store for the occasion that will showcase oddities and collectibles like taxidermy, unusual books, old photographs, vintage toys, and all manner of wild findings.

Local musicians, including Graveface’s own Dreamend, Atlantis, Dame Darcy, Rich Animals, COEDS, and Rude Dude & The Creek Freaks, will perform. Food trucks will sling fresh eats, vendors will peddle their wares down Desoto Row, and the shop will run flash sales for collectors.

click to enlarge GEOFF L. JOHNSON
  • Geoff L. Johnson

In honor of its anniversary, we look at what keeps the Starland District record and curiosity shop ticking.

6 years since the shop opened in the Starland District. Graveface helped pave the way for Starland's success as a neighborhood and hoppin' business district.

Tourists make up the majority of Graveface's clientele. Thanks to the shop's great pricing, folks drive hours to scoop up the good stuff.

“In Atlanta and Orlando and Charleston where most of our people are coming from, it’s double the price,” Graveface says.

“A sick Coltrane first press record is going to be $20-30 more in Atlanta. They come here instead and tend to drop a lot of money.”

$500—the estimated value of some of Graveface's rarest VHS tapes. Fear not, movie nerds: Ryan wants to share the wealth. In the new Graveface annex, he'll have his collection set up and ready to rent.

“I basically have a museum and some of those tapes are that expensive,” he says. “Instead of renting it out, if someone’s interested, they’ll pay, say, a $3 rental fee and I’ll just make them a tape copy. You don’t even have to bring it back, put a deposit down or a hold.”

Metal is the genre that is most popular among Savannah record collectors. "Day One was metal only," Graveface remembers. "Luckily, I started the store with the sickest metal collection of all time. I bought up 2,000 pieces and I sold every single piece."

Graveface reckons that outlaw country albums are the runner-up in popularity.

0 shows that Graveface's project, Dreamend, has played in Savannah as a full band. In the past, he's played as a guitar-drum duo or offered a special acoustic performance. At the Graveface Block Party, Dreamend will perform as a bass, drums, and guitar three-piece. Expect to hear songs from Dreamend's expansive catalog that have never been played here in Savannah.

3-4 storage spaces that have simultaneously held Graveface's collections of oddities, records, and collectibles over the years. Now, surplus lives at his Southside warehouse and screenprinting HQ.

click to enlarge GEOFF L. JOHNSON
  • Geoff L. Johnson

Saturdays are the most popular shopping days for locals. It's also the day that Graveface posts his weekly used record roundup.

“The goal this year was to make the shop more used than new,” says Graveface, who’s been traveling around collecting records and picking through collections. “Now that I’ve opened the door, it’s floods of awesome collections.”

Typically, Graveface will share a video on Instagram and Facebook flipping though his latest treasures. Locals dart to the shop to scoop up his findings.

“On Saturdays, that’s what locals are primarily coming in for,” he says. “Every other day of the week, everyone just buys sealed for the most part, or a new record with a cheaper used record. I’m in record stores all over the country and I see that there is apparently some drought with used. I have not been affected by that yet.”

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Graveface 6th Anniversary Block Party

Graveface Records & Curiosities

Sat., Oct. 21, 5 p.m.

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About The Author

Anna Chandler

Anna Chandler

Bio:
Connect Savannah Arts & Entertainment Editor Anna Chandler started writing about music after growing hoarse from talking about it nonstop. Born in Tennessee and raised in South Carolina, she has been a proud Savannahian for 8 years. She sings & plays guitar & accordion in COEDS and Lovely Locks.

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Connect Today 11.22.2017

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