Five Knives’ Guide to Nashville

Image by Kenneth Cappello

Since most of the bold-faced names to have risen from the honky tonks of Nashville have names like Chet, Waylon, Emmylou and, err… Miley, you’d be excused for thinking that country is its only musical export. Not so fast says Fives Knives front woman Anna M’Queen – rock and roll is alive and well there if you know where to look. (Or you’re a close personal friend of Jack White.)

Let’s start with Five Knives themselves. Signed to Red Bull Records, home of definitely not-country bands AWOLNATION and Beartooth, amongst others, they’ve got leather jackets, asymmetrical haircuts and an assembly of synthesizers and electronics you’re more likely to come across in the Dusseldorf underground.

That Five Knives remain in Nashville is in no small part due to the availability of urban distractions that cater to a certain Southern species of hipsterati — and because nothing called “artisanal BBQ” would be even vaguely tolerated.

We caught up with them just before their tour stop at NYC’s Santos Party House this Thursday June 18 to chat about where they’ve been hanging in “Nashvegas.”


Image by Jill Augusto

Five Knives’ Guide to Nashville:

Third Man Records: Jack White’s complex houses said store, a venue, and the offices of his label. The coolest address in Nashville.

The Basement East: Or Beast, as we call it. The new East Nashville outpost of rocker dive The Basement (see below).

Welcome to 1979: Analog studio at Charlotte Pike where lots of hip indie bands record.

Peter Nappi: Custom boots designed in Nashville and made in Italy.

Imogen & Willie: Custom jeans made to fit in Nashville.  They’ve really embraced the rock scene and do shows in the backyard.  Their storefront is an old gas station and really helped to define the area 12th South, which is now very hip.

Kitty: dope new women’s clothing store in East Nashville.


Savant Vintage: So cool she won’t even sell some of the stuff that’s out for sale.

The basement bar at The Sutler – sort of the vibe of the Patterson House, but not as exclusive.

Dino’s East Nashville: The oldest dive bar in Nashville just changed hands, but didn’t change the vibe much.  It’s now a great late night place for a burger and beer.

Mas Tacos in East Nashville.

Hattie B’s: Yeah, it’s super well known, but it really is the best hot chicken in Nashville. We like to go to the location on Charlotte Pike, which isn’t so busy with tourists and parents from Vanderbilt.

Robert’s: If you need to get your country fix this is definitely the best, it’s really more rockabilly vs. people singing covers of the latest Tim McGraw hit.  But to avoid the crowds don’t go on a Friday or Saturday.

Grimey’s Records: A record store, with downstairs venue The Basement, that proves rock music is alive and well in Nashville.

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