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  • 7:12:13 pm
  • Monday
  • 24 June 2024

Teddy Geiger: Underage Thinking

A brief encounter with a handsome, blue-eyed corporate product. His new single is “For You I Will (Confidence).”

Over the winter I was invited to interview Teddy Geiger, a handsome young troubadour from upstate New York. I met him at the studio in midtown Manhattan where I was glad-handed by a gaggle of corporate crackers in fleece zip-ups and musty musk, reveling in their new Backstreet Boys poster. I’d like to think that this was in stark contrast to my Williamsburg neighborhood but the reality is both are yuppie environments. The former buys in and the latter pretends not to, but does anyway. (Where would we hipsters be without the iPod?)

Moving on, Teddy is quite the looker. He’s a pretty boy with a mediocre voice which does quite nicely when opening for Hillary Duff on tour. Oh yes, I said Hillary Duff. His vapid lyrics are well suited for the stuffy mother-daughter Disney crowd. Like Duff, Teddy has a finger in the film pie as well. He makes occasional appearances on the new CBS show Love Monkey, though his primary job is to lend music to the script. Teddy is a marketing gem: He’s got the looks, he plays pop music, and he’s taken up acting to boot. Go get ‘em Geiger!

Now according to Teddy’s online biography there’s been a steady grassroots buzz growing over the past year in anticipation of his new record Underage Thinking. By “grassroots” the author of his bio most likely means “contacting various publications of indie-ilk [including Tweed] and pressuring them to do positive interviews in order to artificially build street credit.” Brilliant. This is exactly what an artist pays their management to do. In fact, it’s not far off from Tweed’s world-dominiation strategy. The difference, of course, is the enviable corporate weight behind young Geiger. That’s hardly underage thinking.

By the way, the record itself is worthless unless, like me, you get a kick out of whacking CDs with a 20 year-old tennis racquet. It’s amazing. Nine times out of ten the CD bounces right off the racquet and sails a good distance through the air. And then *BAM!* Finally the CD shatters into a cloud of tiny shiny fragments off the racquet’s strings even though you didn’t hit it any harder than before. Absolutely stupifying.

As for the interview, there’s no need to repeat it verbatim. The Cliff’s Notes synopsis goes something like this:

Uh... Most of my fans are teenage girls. Uh... I live upstate, I don’t actually know anything about New York City. My lyrics don’t mean anything—and that’s not a conscious decision. Wha? War in Iraq? Thousands of dead civilians and American soldiers? Doesn’t seem worth writing about, even though my taxes pay for the war. I’m going to be a star.
There was one interesting blip on the radar. During our interview Teddy confessed his admiration for John Mayer, a fellow ex-prisoner of my hometown suburbs. This was a pleasant surprise as I was expecting a rehearsed lineage involving Conor Oberst—capitalizing on his indie fan-base. While not a fan of Mayer’s music I do think the guy is smart and has a great sense of humor. (Also, I sprayed his mom’s weeds one summer while moonlighting as a lawn boy.) John started out playing his guitar behind the counter at the gas station where he worked. He had a dream. Why do I get the feeling a good deal of Teddy’s stuff is underwritten by someone else’s dream?

Ok, that’s all been a bit harsh. I suppose the animosity comes from meeting this mild-mannered kid with more financial backing and personal attention than I will ever receive as your humble narrator. All of this potential to broadcast some great message to the masses and yet no message. No substance. No thinking, underage or otherwise.

But this is merely where Teddy Geiger finds himself as of early 2006. He’s young, incredibly so, and there’s great potential for him to grow as an artist and as a person. Teddy, take these criticisms to heart but don’t let me get you down. Just keep your chin up and try harder. Send me your next record. I want you to prove me wrong.

Stewart Smith
Friday, 31 March 2006

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