Has it really been nearly five years since Milwaukee alt/geek-rock lifer Brett Newski played a surprise show at an area Walmart and got kicked out? It has! In the year of our lord 2023, Brett Newski’s musical moniker may have changed (it’s just NEWSKI now), but his penchant for surprise shows has not. Behold! NEWSKI dropping in, unannounced, at an area Chipotle and playing a new song, “Chemicals”!

“We played an unlicensed show at Chipotle and everyone hated us,” NEWSKI says. Watch it here:

Okay, things didn’t go that badly. The NEWSKI trio (NEWSKI, bassist Sean Anderson, drummer Steve Vorass) delivered a spirited performance while the Chipotle clientele looked on in vague discomfort. One guy smiled. One lady kind of danced. The band saw itself out before getting kicked out.

“Local men were plowing huge burritos and the last thing they needed was a band that sounded loosely like Gin Blossoms rocking in their face,” Anderson says.

“It is only a two minute song, but felt like an eternity,” Vorass says.

“The people of Wal-Mart really love to rock, but Chipotle was a different beast. I thought about ending my own life during the second chorus,” NEWSKI says.

“I thought they were pretty good, but my husband was really angry ’cause he was hungry,” a patron adds.

As always, things are busy in the NEWSKI camp. The group is gearing up for a tour of America, Europe, and Mexico in support of a new record, Friend Rock, which features members of Nada Surf, Guster, Miles Nielsen, H-Burns, and The Verve Pipe. A Milwaukee record release show is set for April 7 at Anodyne on Bruce Street.

There’s the podcast. There’s the Patreon. There’s the book. There are new videos. There’s a very real chance that you may be treated to a NEWSKI performance the next time you’re eating at Qdoba.

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Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.