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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Mia Brandenburg: Jub Up Family by Moonriders


There are many strange stories waiting in the annals of pop culture. This one starts in Tokyo, Japan with a man named Keiichi Suzuki.
In 1975 or 76 (depending on your source,) Keiichi Suzuki, Tohru Okada, Tetsuroh Kashibuchi, Ryomei Shurai, Hirobumi Suzuki, and Masahiro Takekawa formed the band Keiichi Suzuki and the Moonriders, later simply Moonriders. Their style is difficult to pin down, as they took influences from many styles of music, not unlike Yellow Magic Orchestra, whose former drummer Yukihiro Takahashi has played with Keiichi Suzuki in more recent days. Some would prefer to just lump them into the broadly defined category of new wave, but Moonriders almost justify their own category.


Though it is difficult to easily find their music in a format accessible to non-Japanese speakers (or legally,) I came across their delightfully odd song "Jub Up Family," off the album Nouvelles Vagues, through a favorite game of mine: EarthBound, known as Mother 2 in Japan. As it turns out, Keiichi Suzuki has done far more than playing in bands (though, given how famous Moonriders are in Japan, that is a feat in itself.) He has written everything from video game soundtracks, to movie scores, to commercial jingles. Of particular interest is his work in the Mother series, which has been widely praised as some of the most brilliant, unsettling, and catchy music in video games, period. (For a taste of this, I highly suggest looking up the battle tracks.)

In the U.S., he is still mostly famous for his work in Mother and Mother 2. But, for just this moment, let us take in the strange goodness that is "Jub Up Family."

Music video



  (I couldn't find the lyrics for it. I apologize. If I find them, I'll update this with the lyrics.)

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