I ended up being in downtown Savannah, Georgia for Record Store Day. I figured that due to the fact that I took up lodging in downtown, right near SCAD, that I would find a plethora of vinyl around the local shops. I couldn’t have been more wrong about my assumptions. (I did find a bunch of laser discs at a Goodwill off of Broughton Street.) There was nothing worth mentioning in the whole Bay Street downtown area. I was pretty sure that I’d miss out on some great digging. I’m sure the local record stores in the Charleston area were gearing up for the day and I’m sure some of my DJ/Digger friends and acquaintances were lining up waiting for the doors to open. I knew I was missing out on some good finds.
I pulled up good old Yelp and searched for local record shops. Graveface Records and Curiosities popped. The pictures on Yelp made this place out to be a junk shop that had a few crates of vinyl in it. I figured,”What the hell, I’m down here and I haven’t had much luck so far. Might as well take a small trip south towards Victory Drive. After all, the place does have Curiosities in it’s business name.” I parked in the parking lot across the street. Walking towards the building. I began to see the oddities that made this record store unique. The outside window blazoned it’s very fitting skull logo. This crest, if you will, was surrounded by Halloween decorations. There was a sign that also stated “Tarot Readings. $25” For a moment, I wondered if I could actually get a card reading inside. I knew this place was going to be a bit different than the run of the mill record stores.
The Yelp pictures didn’t do this place one bit of justice. Sure, there were some familiarities that the pictures showed but too truly appreciate the store all you had to do was walk in. Vinyl lined the walls and center. Shelves of animal skulls were close by packages of 80’s and 90’s Dinosaurs and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure collectable cards. (I wondered if they had Yo! MTV Raps trading cards. But I didn’t see any.) A cabinet of Ghosts & Goblins bleeped and beaconed me to spend money on a futile attempt to get passed at least the 5th stage. (Thank goodness it’s set to free play. I would have spent too much trying to get a place on the scoreboard.) A severed head of Ronald McDonald loomed above. His plastic smile eerily suggested to me that I was in the right place. I nodded in agreement back at the clown.
The place was already jumping with other diggers. After all, I expected it on Record Store Day. I hoped that after taking in the initial vibe of this place. I hoped this place was always jumping. After all it deserved to be. This was a very cool spot. Despite the size of the shop, there was a lot to dig through. The store has a great selection of genres and thankfully, most folks weren’t digging for dollar bin jams or old funk and soul like I was. I was lucky. A good thing was there wasn’t a whole bunch of crap to sort through. Even in the dollar bin section there wasn’t much work that needed to happen to find a few gems. You better believe that I snagged them up. In the back, there was a set of decks being set up and I thought for a minute to ask if I could jump on them. But unfortunately, I didn’t have the time. (I also didn’t feel like being a douche.)
By the time I left, the store was beyond packed. Even with all the mayhem of record store day, the check out line moved smoothly. In fact, it was moving so quickly that I became that guy playing on his phone holding up everyone else. Sorry about that folks. The staff from what I was able to gather are great people. Despite the chaos, they greeted everyone with a smile and were genuinely happy that I came in to buy records from them. I was happy that I made the trek.
All in all, I’ve got a new spot that I will be hitting up every time I’m in Savannah. If you’re a digger, this is the type of record store you will love every second your fingers touch a dusty piece of vinyl. If you’re not a digger and just want a sense of nostalgia and possibly kill an hour browsing other wares, this is also your place.
Don’t miss out on one of the best spots in Savannah. Visit Graveface Records and Curiosities. You won’t find any place else like this.