When a friend recently visited me in Nashville from the throngs of Brooklyn, she took full advantage of the rich musical history in this city; from the platinum tour at The Country Music Hall of Fame, to watching Loretta Lynn at the Ryman, her trip was colored in classic odes to country, to the esteemed industry that has made our city the preeminent global hub for music. “It’s just refreshing,” she noted, “that not every band on stage is using a computer.”
But the rise of technology in an ever changing musical and industry landscape is something that fascinates me, and something for which I secretly pine- synthesized beats built through electricity, underlying raw guitar lines and deeply human lyrics; it’s a complex but harmonious marriage that has found its place with many of today’s greatest artists and producers. Recently, I’ve turned to Five Knives, an electro-punk Nashville outfit that has managed to weave together cuts of technology with classic elements of rock n’ roll. Front woman Anna Worstell sings with boundless, punk-rock energy over the heavy synth, her voice always punching through the tracks with the seductive and sinister attitude as alluring as some of today’s most prominent female hip-hop artists.
Five Knives certainly paints a different picture of the Nashville music scene; one that honors the computer, technological uprisings, and the precarious idea that the “future is now.” Their recent EP, “The Rising Remixes,” was released in June of this year, and complements left lanes on the highway, dark venues drenched in neon, and a fifth cup of coffee; it’s an electronic upper- one that stimulates a true visceral reaction, instead of just causing us to sit around and think about the future.
If I weren’t already convinced that Anna Worstell would be this week’s Woman Crush Wednesday, her list of the five best bars to “get drunk at while in Nashville” has me utterly convinced. Judging by the sheer power of her grunge-ridden voice, she’s the kind of girl I want with me the next time I go through at break up and find myself with a Dark and Stormy in one hand a cheeseburger in the other at Crying Wolf.
And remember- “this is not the best mixology cocktail bars (even though some are great at that)… I’m talking about gettin’ yo drank on bars, social scene, and meeting the coolest people.”
By Anna Worstell of Five Knives
1. Santa’s Pub ::: Santa’s Pub is not necessarily the first tourist attraction when it comes to visiting music city, but take my word for it… It is a “must experience at least once” bar.
This little gem is located in a renovated trailer that is decorated just like Christmas Day and run by none other than Santa himself serving you the cheapest beer in the city.
This is a smoker friendly bar and is usually a great “end of the night spot” after you’ve had a few, but what makes this place so glorious is that it is a karaoke bar in a trailer!! Don’t be fooled be drunken folk though… You will see some of the most talented and sometimes famous singers being spotted at this “one of a kind” joint.
2. Red Door (Midtown) ::: Right in between Nashville suburbia and Downtown is a local bar called Red Door. Surrounded by great restaurants and other walking distance bars, this particular location still wins when it comes to the “Hey, where should we go drink tonight? Don’t be surprised and definitely be prepared to run into someone you know or be prepared to make a million new friends and not remember any of their names the next day.
3. 308 ::: 308 is a locally owned hipster bar located in the heart of East Nashville and owned by extremely cool and talented mixologists. It is a very small location that is easily missed if you aren’t familiar with the area, but make sure to visit and see some of the most beautiful drunk people you’ve ever seen in your life while dancing to a few retro records spun by an in house dj, and enjoy an on the spot house made soda with all your beautifully concocted cocktails.
4. Robert’s Western World ::: Notoriously being known as a honky tonk on the downtown Nashville strip, this little diamond in the rough is the first place I recommend to anyone who wants to experience the country side of downtown Nashville.
Not only will you see the cutest old people dancing choreographed country dances up by the stage, but you will also experience one of the greatest country house bands that will make you feel as though Hank Williams and Johnny Cash are sitting at the bar right behind you.
Also…don’t forget to order the “Recession Special” when you get the munchies. You will indulge in the greatest fried bologna sandwich and PBR beer, all for a whopping $5 bucks!!
5. Crying Wolf ::: Last but not least, this is another one of my favorite “newer” bars on the Eastside of Nashville. The owners look like models (actually one is a model) and the inside is decorated dark rustic urban feel with taxidermy and recycled replenished wood that the owners crafted and used to fix up the joint.
Get ready to meet some more pretty people, followed by a stiff Nashville poured cocktail, a super large social smoker friendly balcony and an old school photobooth to document all your bad choices.