On most nights, Park Snakes resemble a punk band crashing the cocktail lounge — smoky melodies and guitars that go clang. But on Saturday night, the D.C. quartet is crashing Bestworld Supermarket, the Mount Pleasant grocery store where the group’s lead singer, Nenet, does her weekly shopping.
It isn’t a stunt. When word spread this year that CVS was eyeing Bestworld’s location for a shiny new pharmacy, community leaders vowed to save the supermarket, which has been serving low-income residents in Mount Pleasant for years. Efforts have included petitions and on-site benefit concerts. “So now there’s gonna be a punk show in the produce aisle,” Nenet says.
Even with relentless gentrification sucking dollars from every block in the District, our city’s most activism-minded musicians are still staking out new spaces to make noise. Park Snakes — having played the club circuit, various DIY venues, even the Smithsonian American Art Museum — have plenty to show for it. The group’s debut album, “Silk,” sounds stylish, but even more than that, adaptable. “In different rooms with different people, we try things that we’ve never tried before,” Nenet says. “Trying to play at lower volumes or at different tempos.”
Nenet has had to make her own adjustments. A native of Buenos Aires, she moved to the District six years ago, and she remains heartened by the hospitality and tenacity of its punk scene. “This city has so many talented, humble people, it’s insane,” she says. “Any given week, there’s an amazing show happening.”
The next one goes down on Saturday night between the bananas and the avocados.
Show: With Priests and Los Gallos Negros. Oct. 20 at 9 p.m. at Bestworld Supermarket, 3178 Mount Pleasant St. NW. $500 tickets available, otherwise sold out. Proceeds benefit Bestworld. punkintheproduce.brownpapertickets.com