Category Archives: Events

Matcha Art Throwdown at Black & White Coffee in Wake Forest – February 27th!


On Tuesday, February 27th the new Black & White Coffee Café in Wake Forest is hosting a Matcha Art Throwdown where local baristas will compete head to head. The event is free and open to the public, but if you want to compete it is just $5 to enter the contest. This throwdown is similar to a latte art throwdown, except instead of using espresso coffee based lattes the baristas will be creating their art with colorful matcha green tea lattes.

Black and White Coffee is a wonderful coffee shop located on Brooks Street in downtown Wake Forest in the former Back Alley Coffee location. I highly recommend any local coffee lover check out as they are producing some wonderful coffee there. It is owned and operated by two US Barista Champions and has recently undergone renovations to redesign the interior and add more seating. They roast their own coffee and offer a full menu of excellent coffee and espresso drinks as well as an assortment of baked good from Stong Arm Baking. It has quickly become one of my favorite places in the Triangle for a great cup of coffee. Add them to your list!

Black & White Coffee Roasters
314 Brooks Street
Wake Forest, NC 27587


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RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles is Spectacular at DPAC!


My wife and I went on a Durham Date Night Friday evening at DPAC to see RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles. The show was amazing! I recommend you try to catch one of the two remaining performances they have today (there is a 2pm and 8pm performance on Saturday). There are a limited number of “rush” tickets available for just $20-$30.

The show was an amazing display of musical talent as the members of Rain channeled the fab four and recreated hit after hit on stage in a completely LIVE musical performance. The show travels the full arc of the Beatles from their arrival to the US and appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show and concert at Shea Stadium to the development of the magical Abbey Road Album just before their breakup.

In addition to excellent note for note recreation of the Beatle’s hits, the stage also set with a great digital backdrop highlighting Beatles footage and news clips and from the 1960’s marking milestones in their career and the turbulent times the country was facing during that period. Marking the 50th anniversary of its release, their is special homage paid to the songs from Seargant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band which adds a colorful vibrancy and energy to the show after a brief intermission.

This was the first concert I have experienced at DPAC and it was a great venue for the occasion and it was wonderful to see so many Beatles fans, both young and old reliving the wonderful songs. and singing along. By the end of the night everyone was on their feet dancing, waving their arms and signing along for an energetic finish to the show.

This is a limited engagement at DPAC so don’t miss your chance to see these world class musicians bring the magic of the Beatles to life on stage.

RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles will perform at DPAC on Friday and Saturday February 23rd and 24th. For tickets visit

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Picture of the Week: The Beers of Brewery Bhavana

I haven’t been to Bhavana in downtown Raleigh to eat yet (something I hope to remedy soon) but last week I was lucky enough to find some of their great beers for sale in the Pelagic Bottle shop along Person Street. The beers were AMAZING! All three were excellent, but my favorite was the “Grove” which is their Double IPA. I loved its fruity notes and overall citrus flavor.

I have heard wonderful things about the restaurant itself which is part bookstore, part flower shop, and part dining area / bar with a menu that focuses on dim sum dishes. Since opening it has quickly become a very popular place to eat and reservations can be hard to come by on the weekends without looking a few months ahead.

My hope is that my wife and I will be able to pay them a visit on a weekday sometime soon when perhaps they are not quite as busy so we can score a table. I look forward to sharing about our visit soon!


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RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles – Comes to DPAC Next Week for the Ultimate Beatles Experience


Rain: A Tribute to The Beatles
(Photo by Richard Lovrich)

My love for The Beatles started all the way back in my elementary school days. My 6th grad class had an amazing music teacher who would sometimes play records and tell the class stories about the great musicians. One semester she focused on the music of The Beatles. Afterwards I bought a few of their albums on cassette tapes and listened to them until I wore them out.

The Beatles were before my time so I missed my chance to see them perform live, but now we all have the chance to experience the magic of their music live when RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles, comes to the Durham Performing Arts Center for performances on Friday and Saturday February 23rd & 24th.


Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles
(Photo by Steve Lovrich)

This show is much more than just a tribute band.  The talented band members embody the Fab Four. The music is 100 percent performed live and and the show uses technology, historical media footage and large projection screens to add to the experience and take you back in time.  The result is a note-for note theatrical event that is just like seeing the band live in person.

The performance is two hours long with a brief intermission and will showcase the full range of The Beatles’ discography, and celebrates the 50th anniversary of the release of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band!


Steve Landes as John Lennon
(Photo by Richard Lovrich)

I  recently caught up with Steve Landes, who plays John Lennon in the show. As John he plays various instruments throughout the performance including piano, rhythm guitar and harmonica and of course the vocals for John.

Steve is a self-taught guitarist and  a life-long Beatles fan and an incredible musician in his own right. By the age of 13, he played in a Top 40 cover band in Philly. By 17 he was touring the world with Beatlemania. He join rain Rain as John Lennon in back in 1998 and has been with them ever since.

What is it about Rain that has made it such a successful tribute to The Beatles?
There is a fine line between impersonating and mimicking. We try to embody each member of the Beatles and not just impersonate them. We are all top level musicians and have worked really hard to recreate the sound just like people remember it from the albums. This creates its own challengs becuase some of the songs we all know so well were actually never performed live. So we work hard to bring that sound to you live on stage in a way that is 100% accurate to how you remember hearing it.

What is it like playing John Lennon?

John is a complex person to embody. There are so many facets to him. He was the leader of the band and over time became the hippy psychedelic version of John and it influenced his songs and lyrics. Then there was the John Lennon with a beard, who was all about peace and love. Depending on who you ask you could get a 1,000 different descriptions of what John Lennon was like and I try to embody him throughout his entire arc with the band. I try to portray the John Lennon I envisioned him as and hope that resonates with the fans.

How has the show changed over the years?
The outfits have been updated over the years and so has the set. Songs have been changed out over the years, but of course there are certain favorites that we will always play. We have added the entirety of the Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and that has been incredibly popular. One of the biggest additions over the years has been the technology and multimedia experience which has really added some magic to incorporate past footage of the band and really draws the audience in to feeling like they are at those iconic performances.

Why do you think the music of The Beatles remains so popular to this day?
Their music has a timeless quality. They just had really good taste in music and they have so many influences because they loved to listen to all kinds of music. They took these influences and transcended musically to create music that was both melodic and catchy and is steeped in emotions we all feel even today. Even now that we are well beyond the 1960’s it still speaks to you and people connect to the messages in their music.

Want to win two FREE tickets to see the show? Leave a comment below and a random winner will be selected! Good Luck! 

RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles will perform at DPAC on Friday and Saturday February 23rd and 24th. For tickets visit


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Weekend Pick: Samedi Gras – Great Big Fat Saturday Bash in Durham!

Bulltown Strutters

The Bulltown Strutters Perform this Saturday along with Ellis Dyson & The Shambles
(Photo courtesy The American Tobacco Campus)

Take one part New Orleans, one part Carolina, add a dash of Durham craziness and toss in your dancing shoes. What do you get? How about the hottest way for you to spend your Mardi Gras Saturday night? It’s brought to you by the same folks who every year bring you the biggest Fat Tuesday celebration around, Durham Mardi Gras, so you know they know how to get the party started!

Kick off the weekend with “Fat Saturday Night” New Orleans style with the area’s most beloved second line band, the Bulltown Strutters and  follow that up with a taste of Carolina in the form of the frenetic, hyperkinetic and wildly popular Ellis Dyson and the Shambles. That’s two bands in a row that you can’t not dance to!


Ellis Dyson and the Shambles
(Photo Courtesy Kendall Bailey Photography)

Still not enough? The event organizers are following the old New Orleans tradition and giving away a bowl of FREE red beans and rice to the first 100 people in the door. And, you can wash it down with the finest beer in the Triangle, on tap from Hillsborough’s Mystery Brewing Company.

Tickets just $12. All proceeds benefit Durham Mardi Gras to help provide a free and open Fat Tuesday for all of Durham.

Samedi Gras Great Big Fat Saturday Bash
Saturday, February 10, Music 8pm-11pm
3717 Murphy School Road, Durham

For more information go to:

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