University of Central Arkansas College student Dan Newbie may be intent on getting a college education but he also has a unique set of skills that have recently made him a YouTube sensation. Using unconventional tools, the young musician has recreated an almost flawless rendition of the Super Mario Brothers video game theme with a twist. The theme truly is ear candy to traditional gamers and fans of the arcade style game that came in to play in 1985. Newbie’s video has enough “likes” to be considered a YouTube hit.
Newbie performed the theme song – not with any traditional instruments or digital synthesizers, but with wine glasses and other kitchen tools. When asked about his newfound fame Newbie says he just wants people to be “happy” and sure enough, his performance has not only amazed many, it has caused them to giggle, grin and share the video via social media. This sharing has in turn brought more “hits” to the video.
Newbie recently uploaded his performance to YouTube and the video is rapidly approaching half a million views because his version of the song is unique, entertaining and appeals to the sentimental fun side of gamers young and old. While the younger generation’s comments are of the “I love this song!” flavor, some of the obviously more seasoned viewers have been inspired by the song and expressed a desire to pull out the “old dusty Nintendo and play Mario!”
Using 48 wine glasses filled with various levels of tap water, pencils, a small frying pan and a microphone Newbie applied his quirky but impressive musicality to his rendition of the theme. While some listeners have criticized him for not being “perfect,” others have enthusiastically described his performance as “really great,” and have expressed appreciation for his talent to be able to share the “gift of music.”
The Super Mario Brothers Theme is not the first song that inspired Newbie to take to the wine glasses and not in the traditional sense of most college students. He recently covered the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, a song from the sound track of the movie Despicable Me 2 which was nominated for Best Original Song and performed live at the 2014 Academy Awards Show. After Newbie’s performance of the Super Mario Brothers Theme however, listeners have begun to make requests for other gamer fan faves like the Pokemon Theme, Ballad of the Goddess from Legend of Zelda and Star Light Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog. Newbie will also be carried by his recent claim to fame to the talk show circuit so live wine glass performances are likely on the horizon.
Unfortunately, there are those life scrooges who will always find a way to tear a happy thing down. Some commenters have made remarks about Newbie wasting college funds on wine glasses or other such snarky comments about how he should be applying himself. One commenter with a nose for the state of the nation remarked that Newbie’s skill would give him a “great backup career” for when he graduates and “can’t find a job.” Another remarked in defense of Newbie that clearly the college student is “not the norm” and that it is people like the talented young musician who end up in careers that require “original and independent thinking.”
If the YouTube video continues to have traction, Newbie may actually end up making a profit on his remarkable performance of the Super Mario Brothers Theme. That would be a fortuitous twist that might cause his detractors to, if not regret, at least back off their negative commentary. In any case, for the majority of those who have watched his untraditional musical performance of the much beloved Mario theme, Newbie has been successful in his goal of making people feel happy.
Opinion By Alana Marie Burke
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