If liking a band is a competition, I win with Mew. No one can touch me on my fandom for this Danish band, which, as of late, has started to (finally) experience the soft rush of an avalanche of popularity here in America. But it wasn't always like that. To namedrop the band just a few years back would lead to blank stares, or the sympathetic response of, "Oh, do you mean Muse?" No, no, I did not mean Muse. I meant Mew.
Mew's grandiloquent songs that endlessly build, topped dramatically by singer Jonas Bjerre's incredibly high, childlike voice, were an easy sell. The main reason for my aggressive support of Mew was that their records were painful purchases here in the states. Earlier material was a Holy Grail of a find, but even a record like 2003's Frengers was an import that commanded close to $40. This frustration was compounded by the fact that the band was signed to Sony, which released its records the world over, just not here. Thus began my nonstop unofficial lobbying on behalf of the band. I told friends, I wrote articles, and I even got in contact with their management company, annoyingly pestering them for a US release date for Frengers. Thank god, I didn't have any contacts at Sony, because had I, I'd be sifting through restraining orders from Tommy Mottola right now.
Thankfully my aggressive cheerleading took a backseat when Sony finally caved and put out And the Glass Handed Kites in 2006, a year after the record had been released everywhere else. Granted, my spreading of the word did little in the scheme of things, but I'm happy to now sit back and watch the band build a fanatic—yet more well-behaved than yours truly—fanbase, which has led to the recent reissue of Frengers in America.
Granted, liking a Danish rock band more than someone else is not necessarily something to boast about. But with Mew, my first introduction to the band still stands out as a landmark moment in my life. I can remember the first song I heard, where I was, and whom I was with—all these things resonate with crystal clarity. It's horribly embarrassing to admit these moments of gushing fandom—but I suppose it's acts like this that make us true music fans. At a time when songs are little more than files to be anonymously traded online in large volume, it's all right to just let go and admit how you feel for a band. A band you support with your wallet, your big mouth, and any other means you have at your disposal. I have used all these things for Mew, so I guess because of that, I win.
Mew performs at the Aladdin Theater, Wednesday, April 4.