by Steven

Old Observatory Crepe Opening 12.17

December 17, 2010 in Events by Steven

The Old Observatory celebrates a grand (re)opening with a party and seasonal treats on December 17. French crepes, mulled wine, German sausage, free flowing pijiu and DJ Fil on the decks. All you can enjoy for 40 yuan (excluding German sausage). The Old Observatory is located on the top of Guanxiang Shan in the old town – for info and directions, call 8282.2626. Come out and wish AJ well this holiday season.

When: December 17, 8 pm
Venue: Old Observatory Youth Hostel
Location: 21 Guanxiang Er Lu / 观象二路21号
More info: 8282.2626

Relevant Links:
Old Observatory Official Website

by Steven

This, I Love 12.25

December 17, 2010 in About Qingdao, Events by Steven

The Huntsman Bar (aka City Hunter) asks you to bring your friends to meet new friends on Christmas Day 2010. George Sun Zhonghua, one of the organizers of the event called This, I Love, says that he wishes everyone to spend a day similar to his sentimental youth of innocent friendship and the pursuit of happiness in simple pastimes. Meet up at Huntsman at 2 pm and later go for dinner at a nearby restaurant (AA or “each pays one’s own”). The Huntsman Bar is located in Hong Kong Gardens, near Charlie’s Bar and Freeman Cafe. Call 139.5324.5202 (Su Jie) for more info.

When: December 25, 2 pm
Venue: Huntsman Bar and Cafe
Address: 171 Jiangxi Lu, 江西路171号
Info: 139.5324.5202

Relevant Links:
Event on Douban.com

by Steven

Old Church Christmas Eve 12.24

December 17, 2010 in Events by Steven

The Old Church Lounge (Kaiyue Youth Hostel) is holding a Christmas Eve buffet dinner on December 24. The evening’s entertainment includes a live local punk band. The Old Church Lounge is in an historic building in Qingdao’s old town – check out photos and info here and on their website.

When: December 24, 7 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

Image Credit @ Thomas Kinkade

by Steven

Fu Cong 12.24

December 16, 2010 in Events, Music by Steven

Acclaimed pianist Fu Cong (傅聰) performs in Qingdao at the People’s Auditorium on Christmas Eve. The auditorium is on the corner of Taiping Lu and Daxue Lu across from the small bay near Xiao Qingdao and Zhan Qiao pier. Fu was the student of the founder of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Mario Puci, and attended the Warsaw Conservatory (aka the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw). He is considered one of the most authoritative performers of Chopin’s works. For tickets and info, call the advance ticket sales center at the Haitian Hotel 1F gift shop at 8386.5278.

When: December 24, 7.30 pm
Venue: Qingdao People’s Auditorium / 青岛人民会堂
Location: 9 Taiping Lu / 太平路9号
Tickets: 180/380/760 yuan (RMB)
Info: 8386.5278

Relevant Links:
Qingdao People’s Auditorium on Google Maps

by Steven

MAX10 12.16-26

December 16, 2010 in Arts, Events, Music by Steven

MAX10 is the 4th annual Music and Art Exposition organized in Qingdao by Redstar. This year’s MAX opens December 16 and runs until the day after Christmas. Check out the locally created art including painting by Shen Jiarong, calligraphy by Song Wenjing, photography by Wang Yin, sculpture by Li Hongbo, and much more on the 5F of Creative 100 at 100 Nanjing Lu. The musical element of MAX10 will be provided on December 18 in Room 401 of Creative 100, with live performances by The Big Picture, The Dama Llamas, and more.

When: December 16-26
Venue: Creative 100, Redstar / 创意100, 红星
Info: 8388.2269, 135.8320.6332, 139.6395.6913

Relevant Links:
The Big Picture at Redstar
Event on Douban

by Steven

China5 1.08

December 15, 2010 in Events, Music by Steven

Rock band China5 performs in Qingdao at the Owl Bar (aka sHooters) in the Qingdao Olympic Sailing Center on January 8. The band is on tour throughout China to commemorate the release of their EP 一一 (Yi Yi/One One).

When: January 8, 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: 40 yuan RMB (Students 30) / 票价: 40元 (学生30)
More Info: 136.6886.6600

Listen to China5 on Myspace and on Douban.

China5 Live Music Owl Bar Qingdao

Relevant Links:
China5 on Douban
China5 on Myspace

by Redstar

Interview: The Big Picture

December 15, 2010 in About Qingdao, Music by Redstar

The Big Picture performs on December 18 as a part of Redstar’s MAX10 Music and Art Exposition. Check out an interview with the band leader Mikael courtesy of Redstar.

Who is The Big Picture?
The Big Picture is my (Mikael) solo project. When it started back in 2004 or so I was playing with other bands back in Stockholm, and The Big Picture was more of a side project. Those bands later stopped playing together, and The Big Picture became my main thing.
At first it was very much a solo-thing, but now a days, even though I still write all the songs myself, I’m more open to letting other people in to the songwriting and producing process.

The Big Picture bio says this is a long term project of Mikael. Are you now based permanently in China? Is the current line up one that will endure for a while?
I am now accompanied by John Marrett and Luke Hansford when I play in China. They are great, and I’m having a good time playing with them, so this line-up of The Big Picture will probably last as long as we all stay in China. But how long that will be, we don’t really know at the moment.

You’ve just done a China tour, visiting Dalian, playing Mao Live, where else?
In 2009, before I’d started playing with Luke and Vincent, some of my Swedish musician friends came over to China and we played a couple of shows together in Beijing, Shanghai and Kunshan (didn’t go to Dalian). 5 shows in total. The tour wasn’t a great success as such, but we had a blast traveling around together.

You released one album in 2008 that features input from plenty of burgeoning personalities on the Swedish indie scene. and are working on your next. How does that scene compare to Beijing’s? What are your thoughts on the Beijing scene?
The great thing about playing music in Beijing is that there are many places to practice and play shows. In Stockholm it is not that easy to get a show. There aren’t that many places to play, and the places are a lot more selective about who they let on stage. This has it’s good and bad sides. In Beijing anyone can get a show, but that also means you’ll see a lot of… not so great bands. Another difference I’ve noticed is that the Chinese bands tend to focus more on the live show than the recording, while the situation in Sweden might be the opposite – focus is on the recorded music. Personally I’m not that impressed by the Chinese music scene. There are bands who are really good at playing their instruments, there are bands that look really cool, and there are bands with pretty cool sounds, but I feel like China is lacking good songwriters. Also I think there’s an empty gap between the really hard rocking punky stuff and the slick stuff. I miss creative fun indie pop bands. My favourite Chinese artist is probably folk singer Zhang Quan. And P.K.14 are cool.

What if any changes in artistic direction will there be on the new album? Where are you recording it?
The last album was actually a collection of songs from my old demos, which meant that the sound on the different songs weren’t very homogenous. This time all songs were recorded during one period of time and with the intent to end up on a full-length album. I had a very clear idea of what I wanted it to sound like, sound and production wise, and in the end I think we got pretty close to the initial ideal. The album was recorded in Stockholm with the help of my producer friend Johan Svensson Callin, who also played drums on the songs. He’s also been mixing it over there for me. Actually I just received the finished songs the other week, and I’m very happy with the result.

Who are your major influences? Who has styled your songs most?
It’s hard to name a particular influence right now. If you would have asked me when I first started The Big Picture I would probably have said Elliott Smith. Nowadays I consume a lot more music but don’t get as obsessed with one particular thing like I used to when I was younger. Lately I’ve been listening a lot to Sun Kil Moon, Sufjan Stevens and Broken Social Scene.

Where do you find inspiration for writing music and lyrics?
All the songs for the new album were written in Beijing. Some of them touch on the subject of living abroad and living away from people and things that you miss but at the same time really liking it were you are. But a lot of the songs are also on the same topics I’d write about anywhere else in the world. Basically, I write about what I experience. I’ve tried to write about other people’s stories, but it never turns out good for some reason. Music wise, I believe everything I hear kind of nestles its way into my brain in some way and might have an influence on what I write in some way. But more specifically – Good live shows, and listening to songs that make you go “how do they do that?” always gets me inspired. And rock- pop history documentaries.

Relevant Links:
The Big Picture on Myspace
The Big Picture on Douban
The Big Picture on Indie Pages

by Steven

Qingdao Double Star Eagles

December 15, 2010 in Events, Sports by Steven

The 2010-11 CBA season has started and the Qingdao Double Star Eagles are hoping to improve on last year’s less than stellar performance. In the first game of this season, Qingdao defeated the favored Liaoning Panpan Hunters 101 to 93. Newcomer Charles Gaines scored 33 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for the Eagles while ex-Shanghai Shark Li Gen threw in 21 points, 4 rebounds and 7 assists. Qingdao’s team leader Li Guang was back after missing all of last season with an injury, playing 19 minutes but scoring no points. Liaoning’s high scorer was He Tianju with 20 points. Liaoning’s only foreign player, Chris Richard, contributed 17 points, 16 rebounds and 5 blocks in a losing effort for the Panpan Hunters.

The next home game is against Shandong Flaming Bulls at Qingdao University Arena on December 22. Tickets range from 60 to 200 yuan (RMB) and are available at the venue (enter via south gate on Hong Kong East Road). More Info: 8268-4351.

When: December 22 (7:30 pm Tip Off)
Venue: Qingdao University Arena
More Info: 8268-4351

Relevant Links:
CBA 2010-11 Schedule and Info (English)
Official CBA website (Chinese)
Official Qingdao Double Star website (Chinese)
Qingdao Double Star 2010-11 Roster (Chinese)
Qingdao Double Star 2010-11 Schedule (Chinese)
Qingdao Double Star on Sina (Chinese)

by Steven

2010 World Judo Grand Prix 12.17-18

December 13, 2010 in Events, Sports by Steven

The 2010 World Judo Grand Prix will be held in Qingdao on December 17 and 18 at the Guoxin Arena (next to the Qingdao Sports Center Stadium) in Laoshan District. The tournament will count towards qualification points for the 2012 London Olympic Games. This event is free of charge and open to the public.

When: December 17-18
Venue: Qingdao Sports Center Guoxin Stadium / 青岛体育中心国信体育馆
Tickets: Free Admission

Relevant Links:
International Judo Federation

Photo Credit @ Tamas Zahonyi

by Marcus

Chinese Character for Qingdao 2010

December 12, 2010 in About Qingdao by Marcus

As Qingdao’s biting winter winds arrive and 2010 comes to an end, the local newspaper Bandao/半岛 has a post on their BBS encouraging residents to choose one Chinese character which best represents the year 2010 in Qingdao.

“Anything on your heart, some unforgettable moment? Or something leaving you like a fish-bone in the throat, you just won’t be happy until you spit it out? . . . Come use one Chinese character to describe your impressions of the past year.”

On December 10th, Bandao chose five characters from the more than 200 submissions, and are listed below as well as others not chosen for the final five. You can head over and vote on their blog after registering, and we here at QINGDAO(nese) would also love to hear your thoughts about the year 2010 in Qingdao as well, so throw us a word/character or two below in the comments.

Our 2010 was still full to the brim with touching and brilliant moments. Big love has no borders.

Top 5 Choices For Chinese Character of the Year for Qingdao in 2010

涨 – inflation, rise in price
低俗屠夫: Garlic prices increased like mad! Now Qingdao’s baozi shops don’t even offer free garlic anymore, when is the last time that has happened?

堵 – character used to describe a traffic jam, as in 堵车
匹死马: Everyday, every hour, every road, every moment, Qingdao is a city that jams your heart (堵心).

爱 – love
清梦无痕: Although in the past year we have experienced troublesome traffic jams, and before us is the irritating inflation of consumer goods, and every are of the motherland has felt a saddening disaster, however we always have love by our side. Friends’ help, family’s support and fellow compatriots’ unity . . . Our 2010 was still full to the brim with touching and brilliant moments. Big love has no borders.

旱 – drought
岛上拍客: Droughts everywhere, Yunnan at the beginning of the year and now Shandong near the end of the year. Qingdao originally is a city lacking freshwater, and its been quite a while since we have last seen rain. Less water, and the fields of farmers are lacking green sprouts, and the cheeks (describing the suburbs and outlying areas of Qingdao?) of the city are becoming bleak. Water, water, water, Qingdao needs a nice downpour this winter.

新 – new
土豆儿等: Demolish, demolish, demolish, everything is totally being demolished, the city as a whole, a modernized district, a piece of rural villages changing to an urban district, today Qingdao has become an entirely new city.

semolove: We all know, Qingdao is a beautiful city. Lining the sea, scenic areas abound. We shouldn’t look at the troubles in our lives as the norm. Our live is similar to the spreading of a briar vine. Why don’t we record the positive parts of our life. There’s no doubt Qingdao is a beautiful city.

Other characters that didn’t make the final five:

乱 – chaotic
牛后小雪: Just look at traffic during rush hours. Just before evening look at Taidong, no planning.

黑 – black, dark, mafia, swindle
曲动江城:
1) Banks are more similar to supermarkets, ripping off old folks.
2) Use mafia to relocate residents.

累 – tired
小小白杨: Life, work, all the pressure is too much.
三联: This year the only thing that didn’t inflate was my salary. You dare say not exhausted?

美 – beauty
semolove: We all know, Qingdao is a beautiful city. Lining the sea, scenic areas abound. We shouldn’t look at the troubles in our lives as the norm. Our live is similar to the spreading of a briar vine. Why don’t we record the positive parts of our life. There’s no doubt Qingdao is a beautiful city.

Some other characters that made it on the boards:

汗 – perspiration, sweat

高 – high
花逸梦: High buildings, high people, high prices, high.

拆 – common character spray painted on the wall of a building before it is to be demolished
青稞酒: Every buildings are coming down, buildings not even finished being built already coming down, its no wonder real estate prices continue to climb.

牛后小雪: Just look at traffic during rush hours. Just before evening look at Taidong, no planning.

跳 – jump
Old workers retire then their income is too low, hospital bills too expensive, and in order to prevent suffering, or from burdening their children, they jump from a building. So many that in one day more than three suicide attempts may occur.

钱 – money
Prices are inflating, currency value is deflating, corrupt officials appetite is getting larger, but the money in regular citizens pockets is decreasing. All for earning more money, more and more businesses, by fair means or foul, are unscrupulously losing their conscious, and leaving this society greatly confused.

贪 – corruption

闷 – bored, depressed, stifling, stuffy
子文 – Think for a minute what enjoyable event has occurred in Qingdao this year. Its all the same stuff as every year, roads are being repaired, traffic jams have become the norm, oil prices continue to rise. Homes continue to come down, new ones go up, unlivable homes more and more, people turn on each other over real estate, its all family. Public heating is still supplied, yet the common folks are freezing, food prices rice, but our pockets are still flat, people donating still donating money, advertisements popping up all over the place. Knockoff products are becoming more and more popular, if you have no money its crucial. Gold prices are sky-rocketing, if you don’t have gold you can only lament. Disasters continue to happen, and the perished are unable to rest peacefully. The common folk scream out, yet no one pays attention. If you want to ask how was this year in Qingdao, brother I was depressed and have lost my head. What about 2011, guess we will have to watch the newly-appointed party secretary make a move.

盼 – hope
找不到北: Hope for the government to clean up real estate problem and implement policy. Hope for a raise on my salary and no more inflation. Hope that people can be equal, and those evil folks won’t take their anger out on children anymore, can make kindergartens a safe and healthy learning environment. Hope construction on the subway finishes soon, and transportation in Qingdao will further develop, so I don’t have to live in inferior housing outside of the, and get angry every time the bus is overcrowded. Hope every one can have a placid heart, won’t cheat, won’t bully and won’t feel such high pressure. Hopes are so many. We live in a small food, eat poor tea and bland food, go to the square to exercise, go to Laoshan for hiking, just to keep our body healthy and sturdy, hope for good health so we will be ready for that day when when peace and prosperity arrives.

Qingdao Character 2010 Traffic Jam Diagram

晕 – dizzy

愤 – furious

凸 – raised
天阳 – Have only seen inflation, no deflation (凹).

挤 – crowded

挖 – to dig
我不是一百分: Everything in Qingdao has been dug up and made in to an absolute mess.

If you want to ask how was this year in Qingdao, brother I was depressed and have lost my head. What about 2011, guess we will have to watch the newly-appointed party secretary make a move.

尘 – dust
海上黎明: Constructing buildings, fixing roads, dust is floating around everywhere. Especially are those large dump trucks over loaded with dirt. Are they not overloaded? Is there no regulations over them? So dangerous, every time I get on the road I am scared to the dickens.

等 – to wait
good-1606: Wait forever, waiting for Qingdao to not be jammed, not chaotic, not high, not corrupt, not dark, not bewildering, etc. waiting for that day.

假 – fake, false, artificial
Everything is fake, news, competition, lottery, ages, son, emotions, promises, name-brands, name-brands, food, beauty, and lets not forget hymens.

晕 – dizzy
Living in Qingdao, nothing to do, no free time, just the whole day is spent spinning around staying busy with work. Just for a bit of food and a home.

装 – to fake, to adorn, put on airs

憋 – stifling, suffocating, suppress

净 – clean
Air quality is very high and clean.

美 – beautiful

弱 – weak
xiyong: To those on the outside we are too soft.

创 – to create
nichwang: Everyday recreate the city, every month make new, create traffic jams, just for face continue construction and in the end, common citizens gain nothing positive.

唉 – an interjection representing frustration, similar to gasping

干 – another character often implying the f-bomb

愁 – worry, anxious
海歌: 1.Most people still have to worry about what to eat, where to live and how to exist while laboring tirelessly for these things.
2. Fake medicine, fake milk powder, fake leeks, poisonous food has caused common citizens unceasing worries.

伪 – false

非 – nothing

囧 – stupefied, sad, embarrassed
An actual Chinese character often used as an emoticon given it resembles an actual face

圈 – circular, enclosed

贵 – expensive
Food is expensive, shopping is expensive, real estate is expensive, heating is expensive and even finding a spouse is quite expensive (must have a house and car).

操 – a character of many meanings, including to operate, to grasp, to control, etc.
When seen on the internet, especially BBS forums, it likely means the F-bomb.

Photo Credits @ 守望者, China.CoolerThanThou.net

by Steven

Qingdao 4th Annual Original Rock 12.26

December 12, 2010 in Events, Music by Steven

Boxing Day brings rock and roll to the Owl Bar (aka sHooters) in the Qingdao Olympic Sailing Center. Dubbed the Qingdao 4th Annual Original Rock Night, the multi-band show originated at the now defunct Free Cuba bar in Tiantai Stadium. Contact 136.6886.6600 for more info.

When: December 26, 8 pm
Venue: Owl Bar (sHooters) / 猫头鹰酒吧
Location: Olympic Center Bar Street / 奥帆中心酒吧街
Tickets: Advance 30 yuan RMB (Door 50) / 票价:预售30 现场50
More Info: 136.6886.6600

Relevant Links:
Qingdao Olympic Sailing Center on Google Maps
12.26 Rock Show Event on Douban.com

by Steven

American Philharmonic 12.31

December 10, 2010 in Events, Music by Steven

The American Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra performs in Qingdao at the Qingdao Grand Theatre on December 31. The orchestra hails from Sonoma County, California with a mission “to make the beauty of music and the power of community alive and available for everyone”.

Check out some photos and video of the orchestra.

When: December 31, 7.30 pm
Venue: Qingdao Grand Theatre / 青岛大剧院
Location: 5 Yunling Lu, Laoshan district / 云岭路5号
More Info: 8066.5555

Relevant Links:
American Philharmonic Sonoma County
Qingdao Grand Theatre Info