The Wonderstrucks
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The Wonderstrucks

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"...When one of Emerson’s [friends], Aaron Duran of the Web site GeekintheCity.com, got married in 2006, the event was predictably nerdy. Held at the Hollywood Theatre, the wedding guests were seated by an usher dressed as the “Star Wars” character Boba Fett, and the bridal march was the theme from “The Muppet Movie.” A light-saber salute followed the vows.

To honor Duran and his bride, Jenn, Emerson sang a song he wrote for the occasion. Accompanied by Jairus Minsky, guitarist for Emerson’s band the Wonderstrucks, his ode to geek love was charming, funny and unapologetically sappy:

Sweet imagination of wizards, myths and wands

Books and film and television, and dreams of worlds beyond

Then one night I met you, and the stories came to life

Too scared to even let myself believe

You’re a geek like me

“That’s a common theme among people who read comics and love sci-fi and do geeky things,” Duran says. “You never think you’ll meet anyone who’ll understand you. I still get a little teary when I hear it.”

“It was so sincere and sweet — really romantic,” Dylan recalls. “I remember Rick expressing the desire to sing, and I was a little afraid. But he has a really nice voice, and I didn’t have to pretend to like it.”

Emerson was working on an EP of Wonderstrucks songs at the time but had no plans for “Geek Like Me.” At the insistence of friends, he added it to the CD, which is available online at Wonderstrucks.com or through iTunes.

Then, at the end of December, came the “Geek Like Me” video.

“I was going to do a video for one of the other songs, ‘Charlie’s Girls,’ but it would require outdoor location shooting and the weather was terrible,” he says. “I have no filmmaking talent at all, but I sat down and it took me a couple of hours to cobble something together. I never thought anyone would see it, but I did it just so I could check it off the list.”

Emerson put the video, a slideshow of Trekkies, pirates and renaissance-fair wedding pictures set to the song, on YouTube. When he checked the next day, 30 people had viewed it. The next day, the site registered 4,000 views. Within a week, more than 40,000 people had heard “Geek Like Me.” The video currently clocks in at close to 130,000 views.

“At one point, it was something like the 30th most viewed music video on YouTube,” he says. “If you ever told me that over 100,000 people would look at something I made in under two hours — well, it’s insane.”
In Norway, they cried

Comments and e-mails arrived from around the world. A woman in Canada linked to the song on her blog, announcing that she’d be using it at her own wedding. A man from Norway wrote that the song “really describes what happens when geekyboy meets geekygirl. … Both me and my girlfriend cried.”

Emerson believes that the song has been embraced “for the same reason our radio show resonates with people — all of us are into stuff that earned us scorn when we grew up. Even if it didn’t get you beaten up, it certainly didn’t get you anywhere.”

“Geek Like Me” will get the classical treatment April 11, when Emerson will be accompanied by the Portland Cello Project at the Aladdin Theater.

Billing itself as “a multi-genre collaboration of 8 to 16 cellists in Portland who are all classically trained, but who have chosen to perform in venues not traditionally associated with the cello,” the group will collaborate with Emerson, Stephanie Schneiderman (Dirty Martini) and Keith Schreiner (Dahlia) and the blues and gospel ensemble the Builders and the Butchers."

-Dawn Taylor, writing for The Portland Tribune - The Portland Tribune


Discography

An American Education - EP, released 2007

Photos

Bio

The Wonderstrucks know that life is too short for bad music. Each and every Wonderstrucks track is their shot at writing the greatest song ever---a dizzying mixture of sweetness and snarl.

Melding pure pop songcraft with bristling guitars, The Wonderstrucks aim for equal parts Cheap Trick and Brian Wilson; a perfect balance between The Ramones and The Raspberries. There are no wasted moments.