Show Review: Graveface Records Showcase – 4/20/2013
On Saturday, April 20th, Graveface Records and Curiosities opened its doors to musicians and vinyl collectors for a Record Day Extravaganza. Even though it competed with SCAD Radio’s Record Fair, the free concerts, which lasted all day, brought in a larger crowd and a better atmosphere. Local bands such as Mumbledust, Hallucinex, and Dreamend kept the mood perfect for a day solely devoted to the vinyl. The lineup included a fantastic spread of music from folk noir to shoegaze to rock. It was a tight fit in the narrow shop, but there was enough energy and well-played music to bring in a continuous flow of people and keep others—such as myself—there for most of the day.
As an extra enticement, there were free doughnuts from Duddy’s Donuts, cold apple cider, and Boo-Berry and Franken-Berry Fruit Roll-ups. I raced over from the record fair and made it just in time to see Hallucinex. Their sound was so full and layered that I was convinced at first there were more than two members. Taylor Noll used the pedal at his feet to loop in guitar riffs and bass lines. With his soft singing, and the natural and compatible drumming of Paul Goerner, the performance was strong and allowed for a large contrast to the next band up.
Crazy Bag Lady packed the stage and played with such a high level of intensity that noise rang through the surrounding Starland District Amps were loud, drums were loud, practically everything was loud but the vocals. I understood how people would have enjoyed it, but it was not for me. Their show shattered the calm and relaxed mood Hallucinex put me in.
Luckily, Jeff Zagers followed with a soft and dreamy electronic set, which let my mind wander. It gave me time to recover and prepare for the insane rapping of Brooke Schwartz of White Treasure. After the mike check, DJ Ray played heavy beats and Schwartz avidly sang along. Heads bobbed and arms rose in the air. Even though it was typically something I wouldn’t listen to, I really got into it. I enjoyed his energy and the playful and creative beats.
While White Treasure spilled lyrics into the happy crowd, Teepee from Miami—originally scheduled to go on before Jeff Zagers—showed up. Schwartz rapped up and Teepee quickly set up, lit incense, took out a mason jar of clear liquid, and started with a cold reading of Lou Reed’s Brandenburg Gate. I was very confused until the music started. Layers of noise wandered and built into the loud crashing of cymbals. As the trio played, they admitted it was their last show of a three week tour and, “We are really really really tired.” Their exhaustion showed by weird actions and incongruent statements such as turning off the lights and saying, “let it sleep.”
The set ended with the drummer throwing the head of the Mrs. Piggy costume behind the stage into the crowd. That was not only rude, but it is common knowledge that you should never mess with Kermit’s lady. Storeowner, Ryan Graveface, recovered her head, turned on the lights, and shut off the amps. With the loud noise driven show over, the crowd ached for the Mystery show. Earlier in the day, Graveface told me it was one of bands, but he did not know which one. All he gave me that it was going to be him and a drummer playing, “Probably just improv.”
That eliminated Black Moth Super Rainbow, the Marshmallow Ghosts, and the Casket Girls, which left his personal creative project, Dreamend. He dawned his black and white striped hood mask and the mystery show began. Graveface played his guitar and used shoegaze techniques to create texture while he sang through a mike in his mask that echoed his voice. They played with so much intensity that before they finished their allotted thirty minutes they stopped. “We are done. We are playing too loud.” The shop went silent and—to the absent DJ— Graveface said, “Play records now.”
The drummer, Peter Seeba revealed to me that they hadn’t played together since the last show. That shocked me because the songs were very well structured and sounded complete. Dreamend’s improvisation was short, but very effective.
The performance brought in a large group of people whose anticipation grew for the noir folk duo, mumbledust. With cellist, Sara Odze, the band prepared for a different set full of fresh new material. They introduced themselves with, “Hi.” and soothed everyone’s ears with warm beautiful melodies. They played with precise control and kept in sync through glances of eye contact. The set was short but the perfect fit. They poured their passion into the audience ached for more.
After they cleared the stage, I realized how long I had been in at Graveface records: at least five hours. It was a long day, but filled with so many different genres of music that it seemed like a music festival in which time didn’t exist. The event was a complete success for it kept people circulating through the shop and flipping through records. I was so happy to be around so much music that I bought so many records I got a free t-shirt. It was the most successful day in the store’s two-year history and the most fun I’ve had in a long time. If all of their events are going to be like that extravaganza, I will be at every single one. – Words & Photos by Brandon Dale