It’s October; don’t mess it up

October fall halloween decoration

October can be a beautiful month if we don’t mess it up.

October is my favorite month. October is the month of acceptance. It’s when we come to grips with the reality that summer is gone. It’s the opposite of September — which is the month of denial and anger. During September we mourned for the sudden and unexpected loss of both July and August. September hugs and comforts us. It also shakes us when we think we are going to ignore the falling leaves and hit the pool.

“Yes it’s still hot. But summer is gone,” September says. “We talked on Labor Day, remember? Prepare to rake leaves.”

“But I’m still having to mow the grass!”

September doesn’t care. Tough love.

October, though, is like a fresh start. The air is crisper than it has been in a long time. The sky is bluer. That grass — that somehow still has to be cut — has a different smell. The high school marching band practices in the distance. Candy corn is 99 cents a bag for Heaven’s sake!

But with this crispy new nirvana comes responsibility. We have to resist some urges this time of year.

For starters, decorate responsibly for Halloween. You don’t want the neighbors referring to you as “Halloween Man” all year long. If you can’t carry your Halloween decorations down from the attic in one load, you’re overdoing it. And have you seen that big 20-foot inflatable witch at the big home improvement store? Overkill. I was going to post the link but couldn’t find it online. That’s probably for the best because you do have to see it in person to believe it.

Lots of people pay money for fake spider webs to put all over their shrubs. I am much more interested in getting rid of the ones that occur naturally all year long.

I do encourage you to go buy a pumpkin and carve a jack-o-lantern. But resist the urge to get one of those patterns that lets you carve George Clooney’s face in it. Triangle eyes and nose, jagged mouth and a candle. Then, poof. Classic Halloween. And if you’ve never roasted the pumpkin seeds, I highly recommend it.

And finally… Ladies, don’t dress up like Miley Cyrus for trick-or-treating. Just don’t. If I see one foam finger coming toward the porch, I’m going to turn off the light, lock the door and twerk on to bed. And when I wake up, it will be November — the month that gives us that classic traditional American holiday: Black Friday.

Doreen Taylor Part 2 of 2

Doreen taylor masthead 2Cover Photo: John Hayes

10 Questions with Doreen Taylor:
The goose bump factor, on being an indie artist and more

Talk about your influences. I early on was exposed to all different types of music. I like heavy stuff, I like classical. I just like music in general. Music is just part of my life, and there’s not really any genre that I can say I really don’t like – maybe rap, I’m not a big fan. But I appreciate it for what it is. But that’s about the only one you’re not going to hear me playing during the day.


Photo: Bobby Quillard

Don’t you have to be southern to be country? That seems to be the common misconception that you can’t be a southern type of singer if you’re not raised in the south, and I totally disagree with that. When I sing opera, I may sing an Italian opera, but I’ve never been to Italy. And yet I can sing it… and do the roles beautifully. Country, honestly is not so much the style, it’s what it says. Country still has something to say versus pop music that just repeats the same line over and over and over again (laughs). I’m a very strong lyricist, so immediately my lyrics lend themselves to country. It just made sense when I did it. It’s like I always say, I didn’t pick country; country picked me.

Which songs on “Magic” are your favorites? It’s hard because I always say that since I wrote them all it’s kind of like picking your favorite child. You might have favorites but you don’t really want to say it because it will hurt the feelings of the other songs (laughs). I can honestly say there are about three that really pop out to me really every time I hear them… I hear “Heartbeat” and that song still gives me goose bumps. I hear “Judgment Day,” and that song still gives me goose bumps. And “Another Rainy Night in Memphis”  — same thing. It’s the goose bump factor I call it.  And if a song still does that to me I know there’s something special about that song. I love my other stuff, like “Good Girls Wanna Be Bad” or “K.I.S.S.” or all these other songs. They’re great songs, but they don’t necessarily move me in such a way as those other three songs do.


Photo: Bobby Quillard

We like “Rainy Night in Memphis.” What are your plans for it? I want to release that. I want to do something very special with that song. We’re actually talking about that right now. That’s my soul. That song is really the closest to me on the album that’s really showing who I am, so I want to do something special if I’m going to do it.

You’re an indie artist. Talk about that. And that’s by choice. I actually have had offers from labels but I deliberately choose not to because I’ve said, ‘hey granted I’m not going to be the superstar status maybe of someone they put millions of dollars behind.’ But at the same time when my fans and my followers – that connection to me is very, very important – and I’ve had meetings, sat there in front of some of the biggest people you can think of, some of the biggest executives and they’ve told me you’re great, you’re perfect. Now change. And they want to change everything about me. They want to change my message. They want to dumb it down. They want to put me into a box and make me like everyone else. And I’m not like everyone else. And I always said if I’m going to do this, I’m going to do it my own original way, and sink or swim, I’m going to try. And it seems that people really appreciate that. It’s amazing that I don’t have that machine behind me and I’m still somehow being recognized in the industry. I’m still every day growing exponentially. People all over the world are hearing of me. “Judgment Day,” the video, went viral and got over 400,000 views. I mean, that’s amazing for this little girl from Buffalo, New York, who really isn’t a Katy Perry, isn’t a Carrie Underwood and doesn’t have that kind of exposure or that money behind it, to still be able to do it, it’s incredible.

Visit Doreen’s Web Site     |     Follow her on twitter     |     Like her on Facebook

Why are you enjoying such success at the moment? I think it’s kind of succeeding because I’m not forcing it to go anywhere — just because it’s so new and I really have no expectations. I’m just kind of enjoying the ride and seeing what is this path I’m supposed to take and where is this going to go. And every day, something new is coming up – it’s amazing. I’m getting goose bumps talking about it. It feels like it’s just affirmation after affirmation that this is the right path. People always say it’s an overnight success. It’s not. I joke about that with people and believe me, I’ve been doing this since I can remember; I’ve been somehow in the industry.  But the success of this album and where I’m being recognized as a real mainstream artist who is touring, headlining their own show and winning awards is amazing.

How did you get where you are today, career-wise? My whole career has been very unconventional. Since the day I started I’ve done everything  — maybe because I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m succeeding because I’m not playing by the playbook. I’m just kind of doing what feels normal or feels like what I’m supposed to be doing. It’s like this little voice in my head saying, “Let’s do it this way.” So many ideas I’ve had have been right before I’m going to sleep or right as I wake up. A thought pops into my head and I’m like, “yeah, I’ve got to do that.” And it really seems to be what’s motivating me. The response from the album “Magic” has been outstanding, and when we decided to do the show we said there’s a need to start touring with this. And especially getting out of this area and start becoming like a virus and spreading across the planet (laughs). And it just seems like it’s resonating with people. (Follow the Beaver Dam on twitter.)

Sum up “Magic.” The whole album was written as kind of a biographical story of myself – kind of a story as my journey. Some of it’s pretty, some of it’s not. There’s a lot of negativity. It’s about me as a woman, and it’s about me trying to persevere in an industry that’s really not so great. Buy the CD here. Purchase downloads here.

Put a label on your style. I consider myself more southern rock. I’m country and I consider Southern rock to be country, but it still has that really edgy kind of rock-n-roll sound with a country flavor. So especially my live show, it’s definitely geared more toward that Lynyrd Skynyrd-kind-of-ZZ Top feel where it’s got that southern edge but yeah, it’s still rock-n-roll.

Wait, that’s only 9 questions… Okay, what did you think about Miley Cyrus at the VMA’s? I’m more offended that is what the music industry says is good. It’s offensive to me that we’re supposed to accept that this is what music is now. And I don’t want that. I don’t want somebody telling me this is what’s good. I want to make my own mind up. Maybe I’m crazy that way, but I like to speak my own mind.

Watch Doreen’s powerful video for the song “Judgment Day” here: Finest Craft Beers from America’s Best Micro Breweries- 728x90 banner