Vaud And The Villains: A 19-Piece Time Traveling Band

Vaud And The Villains: A 19-Piece Time Traveling Band

Every villain has a story.
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If you were to take a modern band, and then have them time travel to perform in a film noir, you would get Vaud and the Villains - a traveling cabaret roadshow with nineteen members. The band's saxophonist Vaud Overstreet and his wife Peaches Mahoney formed the band several years ago and they have been forming their own genre-bending niche ever since. I caught their performance at Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF) in Black Mountain, NC and interviewed six of the members: vocalist Sugar Cherie, vocalist Alabama Blu, vocalist and dancer Peaches Mahoney, dancer Racy Raven, dancer Charlotte Charmaine, and vocalist and saxophonist Vaud Overstreet.


How did the band create its signature performing style?

Peaches Mahoney: Our music and performing style don't really fit into a traditional genre, and that was by design. My husband [Vaud Overstreet] and I started the band eight years ago when we were getting married and we wanted a band, and we couldn't find one, so we decided to start one ourselves. We met with our friend who is a club owner and he gave us five dates. We needed more than just the two of us, so we went on Craigslist and found musicians. The first rehearsal was ugly, but great. Then we played for about six months for almost no money, and we started getting a following through word of mouth.

Each member has stage names - so how do those stage names happen?

PM: Creating the stage names is my job, which by the way has become a task that I really hate! When there's a new person in the band, we get to know them through touring because when we go on tour we have way too much fun - we have just as much fun as it looks like we're having. So then I know who they are. I'm like, "Oh, this is your name."

Sugar Cherie: Everyone has a villainous story about them. I'm the madame.

Alabama Blu: I'm the southern belle that ran away from my father. I had nothing, but then I found these guys and they turned me over.

PM: I love history and we read about women in the 1920s and in the Great Depression who ran away. There was this great story of this southern belle whose dad was a very rich person who killed himself. All she had were her pearls.

AB: That's my story.

Vaud Overstreet: We had this idea of an ensemble show. My grandma was a dancer in vaudeville, so vaudeville came to mind, villains was born out of that, so "Vaud and the Villains" happened.

You were inspired by Bruce Springsteen's Seeger Sessions, so how did you go from that folk sound to your current one?

VO: We kind of played it to death - we played it every single weekend. For the first few months of performing we had more people on stage than in the crowd. Then, we got a circus in LA to let us play with them, and they had sort of a film noir and Cirque de Soleil feel. We played those folk songs with them for an entire summer, but we wanted to do more.

What are you working on currently?

VO: We're starting to tour more. It's really costly to get out with so many members, so right now we're able to tour through little stabs of long weekends; five days here, five days there. We're writing new songs all the time, so the next thing to do would be to record them and keep getting our name out there.

PM: We do radio shows too. We just did one in Colorado, it was so fun!

Where is the coolest place you have ever performed?

Charlotte Charmaine: France.

PM: It was just the two of us and they didn't have stages, so we had to perform on the floor. And she just had a baby a month before.

What's the biggest challenge of having so many members? How do you manage touring?

PM: Everyone is directionless! I'm driving one of the buses and there's ten other guys in it. Everyone is making different hand gestures so I'm like, "what is left and what is right?"

VO: If you ever want to hear really interesting stories about old-timey American jazz, go into the boys' dressing room. If you want to get your ears chunked out with an ice pick, go into the girls' dressing room.

PM: We talk about interesting things and they talk about band camp. Literally, band camp! They're adorable though. We have the best guys.

What about driving?

VO: Driving is the worst part. Everyone else is asleep but I don't get to sleep. With our budget, we have to fly into where we end, rent the vans, and then drive the vans to where we begin, and then drive back. Driving is definitely the hardest part.

AB: And tomorrow [October 22] we're heading to Nashville, so that's another five hours.

What has your day at the LEAF festival been like?

SC: It's been a great day. There are so many wonderful people, I love the vibe here, and I think we all agree it's like a big family, just like our band.

AB: Everyone is so friendly. When we go to new areas we don't expect everyone to take to us as well, but they do and they enjoy you, so it's like this transfer of good energy.

PM: Initially I was hesitant about playing the LEAF festival because I wasn't sure if we fit the vibe. But then when I got to meet people I was like 'We're so this vibe!' I loved the crowd, I thought it was a great experience. We had too much fun.

Racy Raven: I didn't expect anything less because I'm a fellow North Carolinian. You guys are always warm and welcoming.

CC: I'm an LA native, so for me to travel outside of LA is amazing. I love being in the mountains, and this fresh air - I almost don't know what to do with it - there's no smog!

VO: There are so many families here at LEAF, there's a warm vibe going on, it's wonderful! Not every band gets to do this. It's really, really, really extraordinary.

Want to catch them on tour? Here are the upcoming dates.


Cover Image Credit: Sophie Harris

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.
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Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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10 Places From Movies And TV You Can Visit In Real Life

It's like stepping into Hollywood!

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I am constantly so enamored by the world of Hollywood and by going to visit places I have seen on screen. It's always such an unreal feeling to see where my favorite pieces of entertainment were shot. Here are 10 places from some of our favorite movies to see and visit in the real world!

The High School from "10 Things I Hate About You"

If you have ever wanted to dance on the same stairs as Heath Ledger or just stand in the same courtyard as Julia Stiles then you're in luck! Along the water in Tacoma, Washington, Stadium High School is located which was used both inside and out as the high school from one of the greatest teen movies of all time. This school is massive and so beautiful it's almost Hogwarts level stunning.

Pacific Coast Academy from  "Zoey 101"

Growing up I always dreamed about going to Pacific Coast Academy and being best friends with Jamie Lynn Spears and one of those things can (kinda) become a reality! Located in Malibu is a beautiful campus called Pepperdine University and it is the school they used to shoot scenes of Zoey and the gang at PCA. It is a christian based college and is prestigious in it's own right so if unlike me you are smart enough you can live out my dreams.

Central City Police Department from "The Flash"

Have you ever wanted to show up to Detective Joe West's place of work? Well head to the Vancouver City Hall in Vancouver, Canada and you will recognize your surroundings as the Central City Police Department! If you are lucky enough to show up on a filming day, you might even seen the man himself — Barry Allen.

Forks High School from The Twilight Saga

Personally, I am more invested in Bella and Jacob but for all my Team Edward ladies (and gentleman) you can visit the real-life school where Bella and Edward first met and their love blossomed into whatever obsessive weird thing it was. They also used the parking lot at this school to film the infamous scene where Edward saves Bella from getting crushed by a car. The school is called Kalama High School and is located in Kalama, Washington

Max And Dani's House from "Hocus Pocus"

Anyone with taste loves the movie Hocus Pocus — that's just facts! And I have some good news for fans of the film...you can visit the infamous Denison house! Located in none other than Salem, Massachusetts you will find this beautiful home where my favorite siblings once lived.

Silent Hill from "Silent Hill"

I will say before talking about this place that visiting it is EXTREMELY dangerous as just like in the movie the town as been burning from below for years and years. This small town is called Centralia and is located Pennsylvania and has a roaring population of about four people.

Hobbiton from "Lord Of The Rings"

I am personally not a fan of Lord of the Rings but I know a lot of people are so I wanted to include this super cool place on the list. If you ever find yourself in New Zealand you can visit Hobbinton from the movies and spend a day living like your favorite characters.

Platform 9 3/4 from the Harry Potter Series

Now this place will unfortunately be packed with muggles of course but you can find it at King's Cross Station in London! If you are anything like me and are obsessed with these magical movies this is a dream destination just don't run too hard at the wall if you're a muggle it will probably end in a concussion.

East High from the High School Musical Saga

Located in Salt Lake City Utah is the real life East High that was used in the filming of all three High School Musical movies. It is my absolute dream to attend this high school and walk the halls of the greatest high school of all time. They used both the outside and inside and the school so every inch of the school will remind you of these great teen movies.

Gus and Hazel's Bench from "The Fault in Our Stars" 

If you ever wanted to visit the site of this kiss between star crossed lovers you're in luck! Located along a canal in Amsterdam is a bench that is clearly marked by all the fault in our stars graffiti. Recreate this cute picture with your significant other and use a quote from the movie — then you'll just win in life.

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