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by Hunter

FYI: Best Way To Get Around Qingdao

April 10, 2011 in Polls

The QINGDAO(nese) FYI poll results are in.

When it comes to getting around Qingdao, walking lands in the top spot. With a total of 62 voters, the top answer to this FYI poll was ‘Walk’, with 29% of the total, or 18 Votes. Full poll results are listed below. Please vote on the new poll and let us know where to get the best coffee in Qingdao.

“What’s the best way to get around Qingdao?”

Walk

18 Votes / 29%

Bus

12 Votes / 19%

Taxi

12 Votes / 19%

Bike

10 Votes / 16%

Drive

10 Votes / 16%

Please note that percentages are rounded up or down to nearest whole number and may not add up to exactly 100%

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by Steven

Yu.Quan 4.13

April 10, 2011 in Events, Music

Yu.Quan (羽.泉) performs at the Qingdao Grand Theatre in Laoshan district on April 13, 2011. The famous pop band is fronted by duo Chen Yu Fan and Hu Hai Quan, known for hit songs including Nan Dao (难道) – a classic that is usually the first song taught to beginner guitarists in China. Yu.Quan recordings often feature Li Yanliang of the metal band Overload (Chao Zai/超载). Li has been called “the most famous guitarist in China”. No word yet on whether he will appear with Yu.Quan in Qingdao but the show show be enjoyable for fans of Chinese pop culture nonetheless. Tickets range from 80 to 680 yuan and are available online or by calling 5557.3637.

Listen to Yu.Quan (羽.泉) on Baidu mp3.

When: April 13, 7.30 pm
Venue: Qingdao Grand Theatre / 青岛大剧院
Location: 5 Yunling Lu, Laoshan district / 云岭路5号
Tickets: 80-680 yuan (RMB)
More Info: 8066.5555

Relevant Links:
Yu Quan Fan Website (Chinese)

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by Cherie

Fushan

April 7, 2011 in About Qingdao

The Fushan (Fu Mountain/浮山) range is a popular hiking alternative to Laoshan as it is closer to the city. There are no roads – instead, huge boulders, meadows, natural trails, and pine trees make Fushan a desirable destination for outdoor enthusiasts. More information about Qingdao’s Fushan from QINGDAO(nese) contributor Cherie.

Fushan’s original name was Fu Feng Shan (浮峰山) and it was also once called Wen Feng Shan (文峰山). It is about 5 kilometers long and 2 kilometers wide with an area of 7.5 square kilometers. The main peak is the highest in Qingdao at approximately 384 meters. Fushan is at the junction of Qingdao and Laoshan, also separating the north and south of the city in the eastern end of the Qingdao peninsula. Fushan offers great views of the city and the ocean. Qingdao University and Ocean University are both at the foot of Fushan and are well known departure points for climbing. Fushan Xin Qu, the Qingdao International Beer City and Shilaoren (Old Stone Man/石老人) beach resort area all border Fushan.

There are many different kinds of trees growing on Fushan Mountain, but most are black pines (hei song/黑松). The mountains are turning green now, and the green symbolizes the vigor and vitality of this area. The springs of Fushan are also worth mentioning. The water is fragrant and sweet, and people living nearby use some to make tea every morning, as tea made with spring water is extremely refreshing.

One final precautionary note: be safe and respectful of the mountains when hiking in Fushan. The lack of accessibility and remoteness of the area makes it extra important that you follow general common safety sense. Fire prevention is another important thing to consider when visiting Fushan. Historically, instances of fire on Fushan have led to severe injuries. The cause was said to be lit cigarettes discarded by smokers or burning papers used to pay respects to ancestors over Qing Ming. We are to have fun, enjoy the vigorous environment, be healthy, and seek other positive goals while climbing Fushan. We shouldn’t take risks or encounter danger. I am here to advocate that everyone be careful when in the mountains.

Better safe than sorry. Take care. Be happy. Enjoy the best hiking in eastern Qingdao, check out some photos below.

Fushan Qingdao Adventures Shilaoren Sea

Fushan Qingdao Hiking Trails

Fushan Qingdao University

Fushan Rock Climbing Qingdao Adventures

Relevant Links:
Downtown Qingdao from Fushan

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by Kevin

Post Su Yang & Li Zhi

April 6, 2011 in Music

A review of the Su Yang (苏阳) & Li Zhi (李志) show in Taidong on April 2, 2011 from a Qingdao based Austinite.

As an amateur parlor guitarist, I try to keep an open and respectful mind for all song forms and the oral tradition. I play a bit around Qingdao with the usual suspects and admit that I have more fun with free-form, blues-based jam sessions than I do with the occasional gig-cum-variety show where the band stands on a stage (usually at an automobile dealership) and cranks out Country Roads or Hotel California between juggling, dancing and magic acts, clowns, sand calligraphy artists, and svelte, 7-foot-tall, female fiddlers playing air violins to the strains of midi files churning out canned Russian folk songs or circus music.

Give me Chinese folk music any day.

On that note, my mate invited me to accompany him to a live concert at the SY Theatre in Taidong the other night, featuring popular Chinese folk performers, Su Yang and Li Zhi.

Su Yang kicked off the show with a rousing, quasi-militaristic, and deafening beating of a steel-string Hummingbird knock-off, that had the mostly college-age audience reeling and on their feet by the sheer power of his delivery. The music wasn’t melodious and it could have galvanized boot-camp grunts to march in unison, but the audience was definitely jazzed. Su played non-stop and full on for an hour or so, during which time I wish I had brought my Hearos Xtreme ear plugs. After the first two numbers, his music was more tedium than anything else, his singing reminding me of a whip-cracking cattle driver in a western film, running 10,000 longhorns south from Texas to Mexico.

I gained some valuable insight into the collective musical psyche of Chinese youth, their likes and their idols … I mean, who gives a shit about Hotel California, anyway?

During the concert, it dawned on me that Su Yang’s appeal lay not in his explosive “melodies”, but in his lyrics and his ability to deliver those lyrics with the force of a drill sergeant pumping up his men for a very long hike… to a battlefield. Of course, the lyrics were lost on me, but who cares whether or not I can relate to them?

(After writing the above, I came across an Internet reference to Su Yang as “a man who sees himself not as a musician but rather as a kind of messenger through whom music comes.” – China Radio International, 2007-10-14)

Su Yang Post Review Qingdao Music

Su Yang exited the stage and Li Zhi, the headliner, slinked up, looking like a cross between a lanky, self-conscious Harry Potter and that geeky kid with glasses that everyone picked on in middle school. He didn’t greet the audience, being rather preoccupied with his boyish hair and scratching his scalp à la Stan Laurel. (Nervous tic? Primping?) He reached for a single-cutaway nylon-string which, in my mind, showed promise of a respite from the previous barker, and perhaps a little musical virtuosity (lacking in the opening act).

Taking a chair, Li Zhi checked the tuning of the guitar, wiped the fingerboard with a felt cloth, and opened with a ballad that took me completely off guard. There was melody and timbre, yet I wasn’t prepared to hear a voice somewhere between bass and baritone come out of the mouth of this skinny kid who didn’t look a day over 14. He may have looked a bit squeaky, but he sounded like Leonard Cohen or Serge Gainsbourg singing Je T’aime without the breathy Jane Birkin. Truly a paradoxical moment that confused my muddled brain for, somehow, the voice simply did not match the stage persona. I turned to my mate and remarked: “Boy, I sure hope his voice cracks someday!”

I plan to enhance my repertoire and add a few numbers I heard at SY Theatre that night: Su Yang’s “Xian Liang” and Li Zhi’s “Ta Men”.

Li Zhi’s guitar playing was more accomplished than Su Yang’s, although at one point he attempted to amuse by playing (badly) a few measures of the anonymous Romance, a classical Spanish guitar piece every trained guitarist learns at the age of 4. In all fairness, both lads did a superlative job in “connecting people”. The audience knew the lyrics of most of the songs rendered, sang along with abandon, took lots of mobile phone pics (both still and moving) and generally had a smashing time.

For this hackneyed critic, the show was an eye-opener. I gained some valuable insight into the collective musical psyche of Chinese youth, their likes and their idols … I mean, who gives a shit about Hotel California, anyway? The music that resonates in the minds and hearts of today’s youth in China and touches their most inner core is uniquely Chinese. This should come as no surprise and as a musician, I need this sort of reality check every now and then, just to keep my ear to the ground, come off my high musical horse, and maybe learn something new in the bargain.

And I will. I plan to enhance my repertoire and add a few numbers I heard at SY Theatre that night: Su Yang’s “Xian Liang” and Li Zhi’s “Ta Men”. Both songs are easy to play and get a huge response from an audience. The question begs to be asked, though: will they fly at my next gig at the Mercedes Benz dealership?

Stay tuned…

Austinite

Relevant Links:
Su Yang on Douban
Li Zhi on Douban

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by Steven

Qingdao Panto: Robin Hood 5.06-08

April 6, 2011 in Arts, Events

Full schedule for the 2011 Qingdao Panto production of Robin Hood

  • May 6 @ 7 pm
  • May 7 @ 2 pm & 7pm
  • May 8 @ 2 pm

Tickets are available at Redstar, ssLPG, Terrazzo, The Book Nook, Canvas, QISS, and Joy’s Kindergarten. Call 152.6929.8353 for more information.

2011 Sponsors:
Cash donations: IKEA, Bank of Qingdao, Stihl, Briton, Canvas, LPG, La Villa, Salsa Q, QISS, QISS Teachers, Touch Spa, MicMac, Lovely Nails

Other Donations: YCIS, Resourcepro, Redstar, Intercontinental, Mins Magazine, QINGDAO(nese), Qingdao Expat Magazine, Japanese Bakery-Boulangerie Levain Naturel, Terrazzo

Qingdao International Drama Group presents Robin Hood at the Intercontinental Hotel in Qingdao on May 6-8, 2011. The Qingdao Panto has been a fixture on the local arts scene since its first performance in 2007 of Rumpelstiltskin. Subsequent shows included Aladdin (2008), Robinson Crusoe (2009), and Cinderella (2010).

The pantomime has a long tradition in Britain and differs from its silent American cousin. Qingdao pantomime includes speech, song, and dance in a rowdy slapstick comedy manner that encourages the audience to vocally participate. Proceeds from the Qingdao Panto go to local charities associated with the Qingdao Expat Group. Qingdao International Drama Group is also known as the Qingdao Expat Drama Group.

The actors and crew for the Qingdao Panto (pictured in the collage above) need your help. Their efforts to build a better community through the arts includes charity work around Qingdao. Please see below for more information on sponsorship opportunities and how to help this year’s effort to put on the best panto yet. All donations are equally important – no matter how small, donations are always welcome from private sponsors.

When: May 6-8, 2011 (see full schedule above)
Venue: Intercontinental Hotel 3F
Location: Qingdao Olympic Sailing Center / 青岛奥帆中心
Tickets: Adults: 100 yuan (RMB); Children/Students: 50 yuan (RMB)
More Info: 152.6929.8353 / qdpanto2011@gmail.com

More info from the Qingdao Expat Drama Group:

Our mission
Bringing dramatic arts, music, dance & comedy together to celebrate our international community and give something back to Qingdao and her people.

Brief description of our group
Qingdao Expat Drama Group was formed 5 years ago by expats living and working in Qingdao. The production team is made up of 6-8 volunteers, and the composition of that team is subject to change each year due to the transient nature of the expat community. While providing a stage for performing arts to develop in the community, Qingdao Expat Drama Group is also committed to charity work. Our objective is to raise money in support of the already established Qingdao Expat Charity, or other worthy local causes, through presenting live performances of pantomimes, music shows or drama/plays. The money collected will help to support underprivileged children in the Qingdao area. We have been able to raise funds to provide children with life-saving operations. The generous support of your company would make a difference to these people‘s lives!!

The performance this year will be Robin Hood, with a cast of around 40 people and crew of 15 to 20. The dates of the show will be from 6 -8 May, with 4 shows including matinees.

What we need
As much support as possible to raise charity funds for our community. This support can be in expressed in different ways, such as:

  • Offering different in-kind contributions (service or products) that will facilitate the preparation process and the performances of the show;
  • Offering different products that can be sold to the audience during performance and raise money for charity;
  • Donation of money which will be used for paying all the show expenses and/or fundraising for charity.
    Whatever amount and kind of contribution is welcomed!!!

2011 Pantomime already has a theatre
The great news this year is that we have already found the first sponsor, which will offer the venue. The show this year will be in the Theatre of the Intercontinental Hotel. We consider this a great opportunity based on the wonderful conditions and location of this theatre.

The catalogue of advertising materials to offer our sponsors:

  • Inclusion in our web site www.qingdaopanto.org;
  • Direct link with Qingdao Expat Group website www.qingdaoexpat.com;
  • Inclusion in our Show programme (size to be agreed based on contribution);
  • Inclusion in the Tickets (can be styled to include very important Sponsor);
  • Leaflets and/or posters to show sponsor name/logo (see attachment);
  • Joint advertising in local journals (REDSTAR, Mins, Qingdao Expat Magazine, or any possible means of communication with public);
  • Mentioning of the main sponsors during the performance and also in between 2 acts;
  • Shared opportunity to sell food and drinks before, during and after each performance (to be discussed further);
  • Recognition by the local community that the Sponsor supports local good causes.

How last year’s funds were used
The funds raised during last year’s Panto were given to Qingdao Expat Charity Group, which is a group of volunteers that has been assisting the Qingdao community for the last 10 years. QECG regularly cooperates with Qingdao Children’s Hospital Heart Centre, University Hospital in Qingdao, cancer diagnosed children and different primary, middle and high schools.

Its main aim is to assist children in rural areas in:

  • Offering financal assistance for heart surgeries and special medical treatments;
  • Assisting schools to build infrastructure;
  • Helping impoverished children to attend schools.

Among the most important achievements in 2010:

  • Financial assistance in order to receive medical treatment, surgery and medicine for 3 children;
  • Financial assistance for 1 child diagnosed with cancer;
  • Internal reconstruction of one school in Laixi, changing windows, doors, etc;
  • Installation of new heating system for one school in Pingdu;
  • Supported several students in those schools to pay tuition fees, school uniforms, insurance and books, etc (9 primary school, 2 middle school and 2 high school).

2010 Panto Sponsors

Major Sponsors:

  • QISS (offered their school theatre, free of charge)
  • Shangri-la (donating all the food for “Show & canapé” ticket holders)
  • IKEA and Bank of Qingdao (main Sponsors)
  • FL Schmidt
  • JM Huber
  • Bitron
  • Keebler

Smaller Donations:
Bellaire International Clinic, Grease Monkey, Sleeping Lotus, Lovely Nails, Walk Inn, Boulangerie Levain Au Naturel Baker, Rania Vivona Designs, Gogovivi Designs, Robert’s Furniture, Albert from Defa the German Butcher, Alina Zhang, Resource Pro, Daddy Design, Han Xiang Yi Yoga Center, YCIS Yew Chung International School.

Additional Information
In case you would be interested to contribute, please provide your company details, such as name, address, logo, colours as soon as possible in order to have them appear in our advertising materials/channels. Please note our specific situation regarding bill providing. We will provide you a receipt for any cash donation but very difficult to do so for in-kind contributions. Based on the amount of your contribution we will find a mutually agreed upon solution for advertising opportunities.

Qingdao Panto Cinderella

Qingdao Panto Privates

Qingdao Panto Cindersmella

Qingdao Panto Drama Group Cinderella

Qingdao Panto Drama Group

Relevant Links:
Qingdao Expat Drama Group

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by Steven

Jean-Pierre Armengaud 4.22

April 3, 2011 in Events, Music

Jean-Pierre Armengaud performs in Qingdao at the Qingdao Concert Hall on April 22, 2011. The program includes works by French composers Erik Satie, Jean-Yves Bosseur, Debussy and Ravel. Contact Alliance Française du Shandong for more information.

When: April 22, 7:30 pm
Venue: Qingdao Concert Hall / 青岛音乐厅
Location: 1 Lanshan Lu / 蓝山路1号
Tickets and Info: 8590.6232

Relevant Links:
Alliance Française En Chine
Alliance Française Du Shandong

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by Steven

Dream Machine 4.16

April 3, 2011 in Events, Music

Dream Machine performs at the Owl Bar (sHooters/猫头鹰酒吧) in the Qingdao Olympic Sailing Center on April 16, 2011. Dream Machine is electronica duo Song Xiao Yang (music) and Du Wu Meng (vocals). Listen to Dream Machine on Douban. Sponsored by veteran Qingdao music promoter Free Cuba (Zi You Gu Ba/自由古巴), this performance is free of charge.

When: April 16, 8.30 pm
Venue: Owl Bar (sHooters) / 猫头鹰酒吧
Location: Olympic Center Bar Street / 奥帆中心酒吧街
Tickets: Free
More Info: 136.6886.6600

Dream Machine Composer Music Song Xiao Yang

Relevant Links:
Dream Machine Site on Douban
Song Xiao Yang Paintings

Photo Credit @ Helen Du

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by Steven

Shanghai Opera Ensemble 4.09

April 2, 2011 in Events, Music

The Shanghai Opera Ensemble performs at the Qingdao Grand Theatre in Laoshan district on April 9, 2011. Soloists and chorus performers will be showcasing songs from all around China, including versions of regional and ethnic folk standards from Sichuan, Qinghai, and Yunnan. The Opera Ensemble will also draw upon their foreign repertoire with On Wings of Song (Auf Flügeln des Gesanges), lyrics by Heinrich Heine, music by Felix Mendelssohn. Tickets rang from 30 to 100 yuan and are available from the theatre box office.

When: April 9, 7.30 pm
Venue: Qingdao Grand Theatre / 青岛大剧院
Location: 5 Yunling Lu, Laoshan district / 云岭路5号
Tickets: 30-100 yuan (RMB)
More Info: 8066.5555

Relevant Links:
Shanghai Opera House

Photo Credit @ gmp

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by Admin

The Beijing Beatles 4.22-23

March 31, 2011 in Events, Music

The Beijing Beatles will appear at Club New York on April 22 and 23, 2011. The band is composed of four foreigners based in Beijing singing songs by the Beatles.

When: April 22-23, 2012
Venue: Club New York
Location: 41 Hong Kong Middle Road / 香港中路41号
Tickets: Free

The Beijing Beatles set list includes songs from the early days, such as Help!, Can’t Buy Me Love, and I Want To Hold Your Hand, as well as tunes from the later years of the band – standards like Come Together, Hey Jude, and Let It Be. This isn’t the first time that Club New York has heard from the Fab Four – those who were around in the mid 00′s might remember Qingdao’s version of The Cheatles.

Relevant Links:
The Beijing Beatles
Club New York Place Page on Google Maps

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by Hunter

Kurt Cobain Tributes 4.08-09

March 31, 2011 in Events, Music

Qingdao musicians and fans of Nirvana singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain will memorialize the influential songwriter with live music tributes. On April 8, Qingdao bands including members of The Dama Llamas, Mr Cat, Firehouse, and Toad are planning to gather at Creative 100 (1F) to salute Cobain’s music and life. The following day, the Sailing Club bar (Xi Hai Ju Le Bu) next to the Ibis Hotel in Qingdao’s Huangdao Kaifaqu (the Development Zone between Huangdao and Xuejiadao) will be the scene of the 11th annual tribute to Kurt Cobain and the music of Nirvana, featuring local bands Ping Yuan Si Ji, Xian Qin, Empty, Dream Machine, and more. Details below.

Qingdao

When: April 8, 8.30 pm
Venue: Creative 100 / 创议100
Location: 100 Nanjing Lu (north of Jiangxi Lu) / 南京路100号
Tickets: 30 yuan (RMB), Advance 20 / 现场30元, 预售20元
More info: 138.5421.8850

Huangdao Kaifaqu

When: April 9, 7 pm
Venue: Sailing Bar / 西海国际俱乐部
Location: Huangdao Kaifaqu / 开发区 (区政府对面广场)
Tickets: 10 yuan (RMB) / 现场10元
More info: 159.5409.8300

Relevant Links:
Kurt Cobain Biography
Kurt Cobain News and Info

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by Steven

Gamma 24 4.04

March 29, 2011 in Events, Music

Qingdao based punk band Gamma 24 plays the Old Church Lounge (Kaiyue Youth Hostel) on April 4. The band is coming off a well received supermoon gig with The Dama Llamas. The evening gets an early start at 8 pm in the lower level of this historic building. The streets around Kaiyue are home to many kao rou restaurants serving the bbq kebobs famous in Qingdao. It’s also adjacent to some of the last remaining liyuan in the city. Worth heading out there early for dinner and a look around at lifestyles and architecture of Qingdao’s past.

When: April 4, 8 pm
Venue: Old Church Lounge / 老教堂吧
Location: 31 Jining Lu / 济宁路31号
More info: 8284-5450

Relevant Links:
Old Church Lounge/Kaiyue Youth Hostel
Old Church Lounge/Kaiyue Youth Hostel on Google Maps

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by Steven

Su Yang & Li Zhi 4.02

March 29, 2011 in Events, Music

Su Yang (苏阳) and Li Zhi (李志) perform in Qingdao at SY Theatre on April 2, 2011. The SY Theatre is on Shunxing Lu west of Amy’s Bakery and Gunshi Music Shop in Taidong near the Weihai Lu Pedestrian Street. The show starts at 7.30 pm and is scheduled to last 2 hours. Advance tickets are available at the Xiao Xian Noodle Shop (小咸汤面) at 43 Jiangxi Lu (江西路43号) across from the Shandong Foreign Trade College.

When: April 2, 7:30 pm
Venue: SY Theater / 青岛SY实验剧场
Location: 26 Shunxing Lu / 顺兴路26号
Tickets: 120 yuan (Advance and students 100) / 预售和学生¥100 现场¥120
More Info: 8383.1883 / 186.5327.4612

The concert poster bills the performance as Youth, Like Grass and carries the following poem:

youth like a flower, blooming on the grave without grass.
many people live, the same as you live.
flowers, blooming on the grave. withered bodies buried under the soil.
just like grass just like grass

Listen to the music of Su Yang on Douban and watch a video of Li Zhi on Sina.

Relevant Links:
Li Zhi on Douban
Video of Su Yang
Video of Li Zhi
Concert Poster on Douban