Photos by Angie Stong
Written by Serena Detwyler
Last Friday, Nov. 4, Graveface Records and Curiosities celebrated five years of survival in the Starland district. The street surrounding the shop was blocked off, filled with flash sales, vendors, food trucks and live music all evening long.
The store has always had a steady stream of customers, sometimes so many that it was difficult to move. Ian McCarthy, an employee at Graveface was happy to see the store so busy.
“We didn’t always have a record store, and then Graveface opened up and was kind of the only one in town- it has always been a good spot to provide Savannah with something new and interesting that they didn’t always have,” said McCarthy.
“Five years of survival in the small business game in Savannah is a big thing to celebrate. If you’re in my age bracket, it’s like everything nostalgic to when I was growing up you can find right in his shop,” said vendor, Ryan Koch, pulling out a couple packs of Yo! MTV Raps trading cards from his vest to prove it.
This celebration focused solely on the anniversary of the shop. Graveface Records has been around for 16 years with a current roster of 23 artists.
“A bunch of us left the SCAD record fair and came over here to check out the soft opening,” said COEDS band member, Anna Chandler, when asked about how she found out about Graveface.
She’s known Ryan Graveface since he moved to Savannah five years ago.
“We always appreciate everything he’s done for the community. He asked us to play, so we were more than happy to be on board.”
As part of Savannah Art March, this block party hosted local vendors, selling their wares from stickers and patches to t-shirts and hair accessories. One of those vendors was Candy Animals, ran by SCAD alumna Brandy Kennedy Koch and her husband Ryan Koch.
“We’ve been in local bands in the past, and to have a hub right near you that can help you create an album, get it to the people, and get you shows, that’s the main part of being in a local band,” said Brandy.
Brandy and her husband have been in local bands in the past, and what Graveface is doing for local artists has helped them with that.
“You need somewhere that can help you push what you’re doing and have a whole community to show up and support you, makes the difference for sure,” said Ryan.
Now that Grave face has made it to their fifth anniversary, there are some hopes for the 10th anniversary and beyond could mean for the records and oddity shop.
“In another five years, I would just hope that we’re still here and that we’re still able to celebrate bringing something new and interesting, and fun and cool for Savannah,” said Ian.
Graveface is currently working on finding all-age venues so that live performances can start up again. They should have a better idea by the end of this month, so keep your ears open.