Screenshot: YouTube

The Hoodies, “Funkmaster Flex Freestyle”

Stop what you are doing, immediately, and watch the above video by the fraternal rap duo The Hoodies. It will be the best six minutes you’ve spent on the internet in months. The pairing of 11-year-old Young Poppa and his older brother E Class results in some of the most exuberant, funny, wise, and technically virtuosic emceeing I’ve heard this year. The two have backstory, charisma, and a clear, instantly apparent rapport that can’t be faked, finishing each other’s lines and geeking out over each other’s best flows. They’ve got a bunch of videos like this making the rounds, many of which are self-filmed while idling in cars, inspiring an avalanche of hype and rumors of signings by various industry stalwarts. It’s the type of story that often ends in label mis-management and endless release-date delays, but boy, right now, here’s hoping they find a home that brings out the best in them. Rap doesn’t get much more fun than moments like this. [Clayton Purdom]


Takeshi Terauchi, “Tsugaru Jongara Bushi”

With the release of a new Super Mario game comes a new Super Mario soundtrack for video game music fans to obsess over. Super Mario Odyssey’s score is as eclectic as you’d expect for a game about traveling the world, but the one track I’ve seen buzzed about the most is the theme from the Wooded Kingdom, “Steam Gardens.” It’s an oddity among Mario music, a combination of laidback surf rock and a muted breakbeat, and seeing everyone on my Twitter feed fawn over it sent me plunging back into a very peculiar obsession I’d picked up a while ago: the music of Japanese surf-guitar master Takeshi Terauchi. Whether with The Bunnys or The Blue Jeans, the man’s work was a fascinating fusion of surf and punk with traditional Japanese music, particularly the fast-paced, percussive Tsugaru-shamisen style. Like Dick Dale’s rebetiko-influenced guitar work, it’s a natural fit. His discography is full of varied albums and compilations—covers of surf standards, ’60s pop hits, even Western classical music—but of course, no song shows off that confluence quite like his take on the most famous Tsugaru-shamisen composition, “Tsugaru Jongara Bushi.” [Matt Gerardi]


The Replacements, “Bastards Of Young” (live in Hoboken)

During their original run, The Replacements had a well-earned reputation for polarized and polarizing live performances. On those occasions when the band wasn’t too drunk or ornery to play well (or play their own songs), they were transcendent. But there were plenty of nights when they weren’t entertainingly bad, they were just sloppy. A recently unearthed live show was just released as For Sale: Live At Maxwell’s 1986, and it caught the Minneapolis band at pretty much the perfect time and place. It’s the classic lineup (with Bob Stinson), playing with raucous abandon during the period between Tim and Pleased To Meet Me. You’ll want to hear the whole thing, but if you only have time for one song, start with Tim’s classic “Bastards Of Young,” which sounds just as good—probably better—than its studio-recorded counterpart, all snot and aggression. And did you know that the chorus is, in fact, “Wait on the sons of no one” and not “We are the sons of no one?” True fact. [Josh Modell]