If you’re considering ways to garner attention for your under-the-radar indie band, well make haste and cover Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game.” Over the past year or so, a multitude of indie artists have been releasing covers of Isaak’s 1989 single. It’s an impressive achievement for a song that was originally only a moderate hit. But the ever-expanding catalogue of interpretations is taking “Wicked Game” to a timeless place. Recently, we examined the Wu Lyf’s live cover of the song, and now, Rewards, featuring Alia Shawkat – yes, Maeby from Arrested Development – have released their cover.
There’s no shame in enjoying a dingy college bar with your buddy’s band rambling through a set of well-known covers over a fuzzy sound system. You just don’t expect that sort-of-rehearsed cover band to be We Are Scientists playing in Williamsburg. Wednesday night – supported by Dev Hynes of Lightspeed Champion and Blood Orange, and (when not awkwardly facing the corner) Aaron Pfenning of Rewards – the Brooklyn-based duo loosely bumbled through all ten songs off Weezer’s 2001 The Green Album, before closing with their “two favorite Weezer songs.”
The evening was rife with sheepish grins between lead singer Keith Murray and Hynes – who supported on lead guitar – as the two dropped chords and lyrics. Whatever missteps were made along the way didn’t deter the enthusiastic crowd, which was small enough that when Pfenning offered to buy a drink for whomever could predict the two encore songs, you could easily hear someone yell, “Aaron, you don’t have any money.” No one else ventured a response.