High Five

Jeremy Messersmith, capturing the hearts of nerd

Jeremy Messersmith is a Twin Cities-based indie-rocker with an acoustic guitar, and a twist. His songs not only capture the existential crises, love, and heartbreak of human experience, but also the hearts of nerds, calling out to all who can relate to him with geek-friendly song titles like “Tatooine.” Messersmith, who performs at Brighton Music Hall Saturday night, listed for us the five sci-fi films that have most influenced his life and music.

1. “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope” (Tatooine sunset scene) “A young hero looking into the future. It gives you the hope to dream. I grew up on a farm in the desert like Luke, and I felt the same way. I thought, ‘Maybe I can do something crazy,’ and that’s what I do now.”

2. “Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace” “It was a massive disappointment. I saw it and was wearing a “Star Wars” T-shirt and everything — I was crushed. It was the beginning of what I call an existential crisis. . . . I tried to write about a lot of those kinds of themes on the last record.”


3. “Star Trek”: “This Side
of Paradise” (Season 1,
Episode 24)
“Spock beams out to a planet, gets sprayed with a flower, and becomes a free spirit who falls in love with a woman. Kirk rescues Spock and brings him back to logical Spock, but has to explain to this woman who is in love with him about the prisons of the mind that he built and has to live in. I think we can be our own worst enemies when it comes to loving people.” ”

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4. “2001: A Space Odyssey” “Kubrick wanted to answer question of humankind’s place in the cosmos: Where are we in the grand perspective of things? I wish that all science fiction movies answered that question.”

5. “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” “A light sci-fi — we see what happens when people fall in love, forget, and meet again, knowing all the things that could have happened and the heartbreak, yet choosing to do it again. It’s the complete irrationality of love. ”

Alex Stills

Jeremy Messersmith plays with Tristen at Brighton Music Hall, Saturday, 6 p.m. Tickets: $12 (in advance). 617-779-0140,

Alex Stills can be reached at