As far as video game motifs go, the legendary Koji Kondo's main theme for Nintendo's Super Mario series is the "Wonderwall"—instantly recognisable. The opening six notes are a sonic shorthand for gaming as a whole. Just like "Wonderwall," the song is oversaturated, capable of being a too cute wink-and-nod to some idealized version of "the gamer." It's tough to breathe new life into old favourites (something Nintendo knows too well) but perhaps the Roots may be capable of doing so, with help from none other then iconic Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto himself.
Miyamoto's been out and about helping to plug Super Mario Run, Nintendo's first mobile game, so he stopped by the Tonight Show and jammed with the Roots while he was there. A passionate bluegrass player, Miyamoto strums an acoustic guitar as the rest of the band elaborates the main theme into a medley of the equally well-known Game Over and level clear fanfares. Unions of the gaming and music worlds like this don't happen that often on TV so watch the performance below.
Phil has a dissertation on the use of MIDI sitar in 'Super Mario 64' waiting in the wings. He's on Twitter.