If there’s one thing Nashville doesn’t have enough of, its psychedelic soul bands. Seriously, of all the bands and groups that seem to crop up instantaneously every day, all Nashville needs is someone with the airy vocal timbre of Kevin Parker, but the cool aesthetic of The Roots on ayahuasca. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, here – the desire for such an act is certainly not an endorsement for any young enterprising musician to go out and start taking spiritual medicines of the Amazon – especially considering the fact it looks like Nashville may have found such one such Tame Impala-The Roots hybrid in Modern Inventors.
A space wave two-piece by way of Philly, Modern Inventors is the braintrust of Josh Benus and Matt Kass have brought their cool creep vibe of space funk and R&B to its fullest realization on their premier single, “Closer.” The track opens with a cool paddling groove of synth pulses and bass riffs as vocals by committee (that evoke moments of Chaz Bundick if he joined Pond) shimmer throughout the first verse, bleeding into a percussive hyperdrive courtesy of long time Jack White skins-man Daru Jones. From that point on, the track reaches maximum groove potential, as Jones and longtime bassist for The Roots, Owen Biddle, hold it down in the pocket while Benus and Kass continue to hook you with their sultry space croons.
Having modern titans of jazz and hip-hop like Jones and Biddle has got to be as solid an endorsement as any when it comes to establishing oneself as Nashville’s preeminent space wave group, and that’s exactly what Brenus and Kass appear to have done on “Closer.” If you want to get up on the vibe before the rest of the galaxy does, Modern Inventors will play The Basement this Saturday, August 20th, with Alex Wong.
In the mean time, check out Brenus and Kass’ combined Nashville Five of their top 5 places to eat when they’re pining for Philly.
Top 5 Places in Nashville to Eat When We’re Homesick
- Mitchells Deli
Coming down to Nashville from the Northeast, we didn’t expect any one sandwich shop to really rival things we had access to in Philly/NYC. We take our sandwiches seriously up north, and when we moved to Inglewood, everyone told us that we’d be eating at Mitchell’s Deli all the time. They were right. It doesn’t hurt that we live 5 blocks away…but if you go to Mitchell’s, chances are you might see us.
Our favorites include; Turkey Avocado, Asian Flank Steak (w au jus on the side) , Caprese & Bahn Mi (or Tofu Bahn Mi)
- VN Pho & Deli
It’s a bit of Philadelphia folklore that a proper bowl of Pho can cure all ailments. Kind of like mom’s chicken soup, a good Pho can completely rejuvenate the most hungover or rundown person. The secret is in the broth, which can take days to prepare. Philly has one of the largest Vietnamese populations on the east coast, and there are some stellar Pho restaurants. Before we moved here, a friend took us out to VN Pho for lunch, claiming that it rivaled anything we might have tried in Philly. He was right, and our apprehensions about moving slowly started to fade. Also, the BBQ Bahn Mi is amazing here. It’s cash only and has weird hours, so check the website before you head over there.
Try the the spicy, Bo Bun Hue w pigs feet.
- Proper Bagel
The New York area is famous for the best bagels in the country. Some say it’s the mineral content of the water, that makes them taste amazing. Moving down here, we couldn’t find a bagel place that held a candle to what we’d been used up north. We even went as far as smuggling bagels back in our suitcases and having coolers of bagels and smoked fish shipped from Russ and Daughters in NYC, to get our fix. Then all of a sudden, we started hearing about this bagel place over by belmont called “Proper Bagel” and how it was a seriously legit spot for not only bagels but whitefish, nova and any kind of cream cheese you can think of. We went over, met Heather the owner, and hit it off. She took care of us, sent us home with a dozen bagels and the rest is history. They get their fish flown in from Acme fish in NYC. PROPER.
Try the Whitefish Salad Sandwich on spinach everything bagel and Nova Sandwich on sesame bagel (not toasted)
- 5 Points Pizza
We’ve had Pizza in all different areas of the country. Some people like greek style, which is kind of thick and greasy, some go for chicago deep dish, and some even like to dip their pizza in Ranch dressing or Buffalo sauce. Not us. Give us a thin plain slice like we used to get on the lower east side of manhattan or an artisanal personal size pizza, like the famous shop underneath the BK bridge and we’re happy. That’s real pizza to us, and 5 Points somehow manages to combine the two, with legit NYC style pizza by the slice, and creative, gourmet specials. And its open late…another rarity round these parts.
Try the garlic knots…but only if you LOVE garlic.
- Butcher and Bee
We’re used to having gastropubs on almost every corner, with great sharing plates and a solid burger to choose from. So when Butcher and Bee opened up late last year, and we got a early view of the menu we made it a point to check it out. The owners are Israeli, and we’ve spent a decent amount of time in Israel, visiting cousins and even studying abroad, so when we saw the Humus, Tahina, Baba Ghanoush, and Israeli Salad, we had to come see for ourselves. They killed it with pretty much everything, and a few mezze plates can definitely serve as a light dinner.
Try the Whipped Feta, Octopus Poke, Bacon Wrapped Dates &The Burger