China is one of the few places in the world where the ipod doesn't have a stranglehold on the MP3 player market. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of manufacturers cranking out all types of MP3 and MP4 (video) players. Many are knockoffs of ipods, Sonys etc. but many are original devices that offer features that I wish my video ipod had, like support for almost every imaginable video compression format.
Anyone who has ever been to the Bainaohui or Zhongguancun electronic markets in Beijing has seen this vast array of gadgetry, the problem has always been trying to figure which brands are reliable and which brands actually deliver what they advertise.
Today I discovered an English-language website called PMP Today which has reviews of many Chinese brands of PMPs (portable music players). The site has a China section which includes reviews of bizarre only-in-China products like a digital picture frame that plays MPEG and MP3 files. And, of course, there are already Chinese knockoffs of the latest ipod nano.
If there are any Beijing-based gadget geeks out there who would be interested in collaborating with Sexy Beijing on a monthly China gadget show for our website, send an e-mail to info -at- sexybeijing.tv.
Luke @ 10:40 | .(306) |
Making her annual pilgrimage to Beijing, Nashville-based Abigail Washburn is bringing her banjo and her country, bluegrass, Chinese, folk music to the new Yu Gong Yi Shan tonight. She will be joined by a collection of young Chinese musicians playing traditional instruments.
For a taste of her music, check out this short piece we filmed last year with Abigail and her sometime collaborator banjo legend Bela Fleck. It features a rooftop jam in Nan Luo Gu Xiang together with the Mongolian folk band Hang Gai.
The new Yu Gong Yi Shan is near the intersection of Ping An Da Jie and Dong Si Shi Tiao. As usual, Abigail is in cahoots with Beijing music impresario Jon Campbell. His production company is called YGTwo.
Luke @ 09:28 | .(630) |
Here is one the best-produced Youtube videos every done by a crew of college boys. In the predictably named "Yellow Fever", these guys at UC San Diego tackle a question not exactly foreign to Beijing: What's up with all the white dudes with Chinese girlfriends?
I believe they've graduated and are operating under the name Wong Fu Productions.
admin @ 14:50 | .(6441) |
She ain't messing with no waidiren.
Here's a funny Youtube video of a self-proclaimed "didao" (authentic) Beijing girl, talking about her travails in looking for a suitable man in Beijing. There are no English subtitles, but there are a number of entertaining lines in the video.
First off, you genmenrs without cars need not apply. She is not trying to take the bus home after a date. Worse yet is guys without their own place.
She breaks down her many good qualities: she's pretty, she's got her own job, as an only child her parents have a nest egg waiting for when she gets married. Then she gets down to the bottom line: Unless a man makes a million Chinese Yuan a year she can't consider him as a suitor.
Finally, she has a message for all the no-car-having, momma's-house-living, 5,000-yuan-a-month earning scrubs in Beijing: "Gŭn!" (Translation: "Bounce!")
Luke @ 11:05 | .(3333) |
China Radio International talk show host Su Xiaowei (the Terry Gross of Beijing) came by Sexy Beijing global headquarters last week and interviewed Sufei and Sexy Beijing cameraman/producer Luke Mines.
You can listen to the interview on the CRI page dedicated to Su's show Voices from Other Lands.
admin @ 15:51 | .(6507) |
This post is from the Sexy Beijing production team, proud graduates of what Fox News pundit David Horowitz calls "the worst university in America."
Since sexybeijing.tv works hard to deliver fair and balanced coverage from Beijing and around the world, we'll let you make up your own mind about our alma mater:
Full Disclosure: Sufei has spent more than a few Passover Seders at the Horowitz dinner table.
Luke @ 12:41 | .(124) |
Asian girls love drama. Every girl does, but Asian girls take on a more passive aggressive approach...something that will cast them as the victim. The more tragic the better.
Korean soap operas are famous for this. And people in China can't get enough of it.
If you walk down the streets of Beijing, you start to wonder whether they're imitating what they see on TV, or if it's the other way around.
Within the first few months of arriving in China, I saw a couple fighting outside a restaurant.
It started with the classic standoff: Girl pouts. Guy says c'mon ?and touches her arm. Girl flings him off and continues to pout.
Except this time it took an extreme turn and the guy grabbed her by the hair.
My gut instinct was that she would twist around and kick him between the legs!
To my amazement, she squatted down.
That's when he dragged her across the street by the hair.
She had many chances to get away before it got to this stage. But she didn't.
This was a more extreme case, but I can't tell you how many times I've been caught on the subway in-between a couple doing the standoff. It's gets more hilarious in such a cramped space and everyone can see it.
As a Chinese Canadian, the western part of me screams out: Why not just tell him what you want and be over with it?
Maybe "he should just know." Or it could be like my temper tantrums when I was five ?and she doesn't know what she wants.
"Well most of them are in high school mode ya?" Ray of Lite types. "It's because they haven't lived through the same experiences as North Americans. So most of us were like that back when we were 14. ?Most of them still live with their parents until they're 30. Plus the single child syndrome doesn't help that case at all."
I remember watching this Malaysian Chinese movie that opened with a girl sitting on the edge of a boat, looking listlessly out to the sea.
A tear rolls down her eye just before she flips backwards into the water.
Turns out her boyfriend didn't respond when she asked him, "Do you love me?"
Did she really want to kill herself? No.
She wanted the guy to know that she loved him enough to kill herself over him. She's hoping her outrageous act will shock his senses and make him realize he actually loves her. The guy magically comes around almost 99 percent of the time in these scenes.
Movies like this aren't seen as crazy in Asia. It's romanticized. And girls try to emulate this. Do something crazy and outrageous so that he will "realize" that you're the one.
These storylines are a staple in Korean soap operas. Its leading men are always the strong silent type ?a high virtue in Asian culture.
This is true even for my parents who have lived in Canada for over 30 years. My younger brother got a lot of flack from my Dad if he wasn't decisive, if he shed tears, didn't help fix the garage door or clean out the gutter ?ya know .. man stuff.
My father never taught us that girls can be weak, but my brother certainly had to live up to a certain ideal.
It is precisely the strong emphasis on "big boys don't cry" that drives Asian men to be more reserved than most. And it could be the reason their women turn to extremities in order to provoke a response.
Behind that tough exterior I think Asian men love the drama as well.
I once met a guy from Inner Mongolia who told me he broke up with his girlfriend of four years because he didn't have money saved up for a wedding.
"Well do you love her?"
"Of course I do."
"So then why can't you wait a couple more years till you make enough money?"
Tommy patiently explained to me as if it should've been "obvious."
"Because she's already 24. I'm still in school and working at a bar part time. She's spent most of her youth with me and I don't want her to waste anymore time. She'll find someone else who will take better care of her."
He looked a bit woeful but had, at the same time, a self-satisfied air about him.
I was stunned.
Here was a living example of a self-made tragedy.
So it isn't confined to old Chinese movies and Korean soaps.
I once dated a guy who wasn't Asian, but certainly wasn't the most expressive about his feelings. I use to pick fights and say nasty things to him just to make sure he "felt." Just to provoke him and make sure he cares. So it must be in my blood.
But after meeting Tommy, I realized that I like drama in my life, just not THAT much.
Here are some segments from three of the most popular Korean soaps in China.
Apple Tang @ 15:44 | .(3477) |
Hi guys who don't know what to do with your hair, Brush Head Boy (Shuatounan) is here to teach you how to fix your hair into different styles with wax, water or even glue.
Here is more Brush Head Boy for you. This time he teaches you how to make money in the stock market...in his kitchen, because the Chinese call stock trading "chao gupiao (stir fry stock)". Got the joke?
If you like them, Sufei's got some competition. Or do you think Sufei should give him a call? Apparently he knows what to do to look good and how to make money in the stock market. For more information about the creators of this mocumentary series, click here to their home-page.
Mia @ 18:28 | .(1805) |
The Southern Weekly on August 16, 2007 reported on a trend among government officials -- to get on Internet or start a blog to communicate with netizen voters.
This June, Mayor Wang Hongju and Prime Secretary Wangyang of Chongqing City asked citizens' opinions regarding a city planning problem via Internet. Citizen Du Shulin sent the Prime Secretary an email and got a reply immediately with an invitation to meet the Major in his office.
On August 3, Zhao Qizheng, former Director of News Office of the State Council, started a blog on Sina.com, which is known to be the blog started by the highest government official. On the first day more than 5,000 viewers read the first entry.
In Suqian in Jiangsu Provence, more than 80 government officials have started blogs. Other ones include: Zhu Yongxin, Vice Mayor of Suzhou in Jiangsu Province, Vice Mayor of Luliang in Shanxi Province.
In August for several times the People's Daily called on all public servants to get on the Internet, calling it an "unblockable information channel".
admin @ 17:01 | .(196) |
According to Southern Weekly, Kunqu is the new fun thing to do after dinner. But actually, Kunqu is very old. It is one of the oldest Chinese traditional operas with a history of 600 years. Some call it the father of Peking Opera.
The Southern Weekly (In Chinese) on August 16, 2007 reported on Beijing's highly priced Kunqu Show with the producer's comments. This article captured yet another sign of the new Chinese elite trying to bring Chinese traditional culture back in fashion when China is busy "importing" cool things to do from the West.
Since the beginning of May, the Kunqu opera performance takes place every weekend at the red-carpeted "NO.17 Warehouse" space in Nanxincang International Plaza. The ticket price ranges from RMB580-1980 and there are 3 boxes of 8 people priced at RMB12,000 (1,600USD). Targeted at the "New Elite Traditionalists in Beijing", the show has been the same one so far -- Mudanting (Peony Pavilion), the most classic Kunqu show. Only it has been cut shorter and shorter so the audience won't fall asleep. To the producing team's satisfaction, averagely 60%-70% seats are sold every week.
Wang Xiang, the producer, describes his target audience like this: they don't know what Kunqu is; they don't know what "Peony Pavilion" is or who wrote it; they just want to be (or bring their guests-to-impress to be) near something pretty looking and supposedly with taste. The director admits that the show is priced out of common people's reach.
Wang observed that laowai always buys the cheapest ticket available while the chinese always the most expensive ones. "When you had enough of LV, Armani and luxury cuban cigars, traditional chinese culture is a nice change," concluded Wang.
Many celebrities are reported to have seen the show, including the Nobel Prize for Physics winner Yang Zhenning.
The show also caters to tourists groups. As the most classic show of Kunqu, "Peony Pavilion" was brought on stage by many famous directors like Bai Xianyong ("the youth version" at Renyi Theatre) and Chen Shizhong (Lincoln Center NY)
Key words: Kunqu, Mudanting, Baixianyong, new traditionalism, China, yuppie, elite, peking opera
Mia @ 16:44 | .(657) |
If you are following the V-logger (video blogger) trends in China, you must have heard of Dodolook.
This now 23-year-old girl made herself a big star through V-logs and became a phenomenon in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. She went from the girl next door to the spokesperson of several websites and online games and a soon-to-be pop singer. Below is a Tudou clip of her being worshipped by pop stars on Kangxi Laile -- the most popular talkshow in Taiwan.
It all started when Dodolook moved to Canada with her parents from Guangxi Province, China and majored in visual arts in December 2005. She needed a new computer for school work but was short of cash. At the same time a Taiwan blog server put out a 5000 USD prize for the best V-logger of the year. Dodolook started her own V-log and stuffed it with funny short GIF videoes with great ideas and choices of music. Here is one of them:
Her V-log got 1,450,000 hits within 3 months and was growing by 30,000 per day. Dodolook became a household name in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. On this another popular talkshow below in Hong Kong, she said to her thousands of fans that she didn't care about winning that prize anymore -- "I did what I loved to do and see how much people loved it too! "
admin @ 15:25 | .(163) |
The CCTV tower is getting close to getting joined at the top.
Luke @ 10:04 | .(529) |
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