In the world of video gaming, few games are as iconic as Mario Bros., not just for the characters and precedent setting gameplay, but also (maybe more so) for its 8-bit theme song. The overall-wearing Paisans may have their own movie, but the Mario theme, with its shifting rhythms and indelible melody has a cult of musicians dedicated to interpreting the music on their respective instruments. Here are five super-cool versions of the Super Mario theme song that you and your kids should be grooving to.
1. Flute with Beat Boxing
This guy is just plain nuts. Playing the flute while beatboxing seems super-human to me. Maybe it’s easy; what the hell do I know? I’m just a drummer. But I know this: Greg Pattillo, with his weird mustache and magical flute, kicks ass. See also: Inspector Gadget theme and Flight of the Bumblebee.
2. Drums with Hoodie
Being a drummer, I have watched this video numerous times, marveling at the interpretation and wondering how Vadrum can play in a hoodie. The dude has interpreted a number of themes, including The Simpsons and the William Tell Overture, but this one always stands out to me because of the computerized, 8-bit feel of the original. It lends itself well to the precise metrics of Vadrum’s playing. Instead of wearing a hoodie, he should have dressed like a Mario brother.
3. A Cappella
Here’s a pitch-perfect rendition, in a barbershoppy style that predates this kid by centuries. But damn, he nails it. Bonus points for the Mario decals on his wall. This guy is obsessed, and it shows.
4. Two guitars, One Kid
Zach Kim takes the Stanley Jordan approach to the theme here, albeit with two guitars. The execution isn’t perfect, but this is incredibly hard to do. The independence alone is tough enough to master, especially at Kim’s young age. He plays the Tetris theme, too.
5. Tesla Coils
This ranks high in the list of the Top 10 Coolest Things Ever. Two Tesla coils sending midi signals to a computer triggering musical notes. Science and art in perfect harmony. (If you want to get a feeling of how loud this performance was, click the link in the description below the video on the You Tube page.) Imagine the conversation you and you little one can have regarding Tesla, electricity and music after watching this video. Just fantastic.