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Legions of Boom: Filipino American Mobile DJ Crews in the San Francisco Bay Area with Oliver Wang and Hua Hsu

Presented by THE COLLOQUIUM FOR UNPOPULAR CULTURE. Cosponsored by the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU, Asian/Pacific/American Studies Program in the NYU Department of Social & Cultural Analysis, and FAM (Filipino American Museum).

“Jumping music
Slick DJs
Fog machines
And laser rays”Debbie Deb

“Filipino-Americans are to turntablism what East Africans are to winning marathons or the Irish are to literature: a statistically small group that has contributed a preponderance of the art’s elite. From the Bay Area came the legendary DJ Qbert, Mix master Mike, DJ Shortkut and DJ Apollo. In L.A., the Beat Junkies furnished DJ Babu, D-Styles and DJ Rhettmatic. Each ranks as an all-time great at making Technics turntables speak in tongues.”Jeff Weiss, L.A. Weekly

This is a story that’s never told. Not even by the people who scripted and lived it. It takes place from the mid-1970s to mid-1990sat christening parties, school gym parties, weddings, church hall dances. It vibrates to a self-generated soundtrack of funk, disco, new wave, electro, and hip hop created by teenage mutant ninja turntablists: “Many began so young that they could not yet apply for a driver’s license. Yet these same youth could install a performance stage, spin for a crowd of hundreds, earn thousands of dollars, and still be ready for Sunday Mass in the morning, plotting next weekend’s party while waiting for Communion.”

Legions of Boom: Filipino American Mobile DJ Crews in the San Francisco Bay Area is an important work of revival, revision and redress. This event will feature author Oliver Wang in conversation with Hua Hsu.

Free and open to the public. No RSVP required.


Oliver Wang is associate professor of Sociology at California State University, Long Beach. A DJ and founder of the blog soul-sides.com, he has also written for NPR and numerous publications including Vibe, Wax Poetics, Los Angeles Times, and Village Voice.

Hua Hsu teaches at Vassar College. He contributes to The Wire, The New Yorker, and Grantland. His first book, A Floating Chinatown, is forthcoming from Harvard University Press.
Venue: Meyer Hall, Lecture Hall 122
4 Washington Place
New York, NY United States
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