Legions of Boom: Panel & Party
ABOUT THE EVENTS
Presented by Bindlestiff and API Cultural Center as part of its 19th annual United States of Asian America Festival 2016.
The panel discussion on May 13th will highlight aspects of the book with special attention given to USAAF's theme of Civil Dis(place)ment. Live DJ demonstrations from artists mentioned in the book, like Gary Millare aka DJ Genie G, formerly of Ultimate Creations.
The Party on May 14th will re-create the kind of event that mobile DJ crews might have spun for. The Bindlestiff Players will perform a largely improvised interactive play revolving around a family party that a rival DJ crew crashes in order to settle a score. Audiences members are encouraged to dress in clothing from that era as they fill their roles as the play's party-goers.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Armed with speakers, turntables, light systems, and records, Filipino American mobile DJ crews rocked dance floors throughout the San Francisco Bay Area from the late 1970s through the mid-1990s. Bearing such colorful names Ultimate Creations, Unlimited Sounds, Spintronix, and Sound Sequence, these crews became the mainstay for a vibrant youth-lead scene that stretched from San Francisco to San Jose, Daly City to Union City, Vallejo to Stockton.
In Legions of Boom, music and pop culture writer/scholar Dr. Oliver Wang chronicles this remarkable scene, using over 35 interviews from the likes of Q-Bert, Shortkut, MC Fly, Genie G, Jazzy Jim, Lani Luv, plus members of dozens of crews. Legions of Boom examines how the crews were instrumental in helping to create and unify the Bay Areas Filipino American community through their countless parties and battles. As the book examines, the mobile crews gave young men (and a handful of women) a musical avenue in which to express their creativity, gain social status and travel to new neighborhoods.
Beginning with small garage parties, all the way up to massive showcase centerpiece performances, the mobile scene would go on to help unite thousands of Filipino American youth throughout the 1980s, becoming a key cultural touchstone. By the early 1990s, the scene also help give rise to the next phase of Filipino DJs turntablists most of whom began in mobile crews before branching off into the world of scratch DJing. Legions of Boom documents the dramatic rise and fall of this mobile scene and the indelible mark it helped leave on the Bay Area and beyond. As Dr. Wang says, this is a story and history that everyone who lived it knows but few have ever documented or written about it. Its just extraordinary to think about how thousands of high school teenagers created this flourishing party scene, by themselves, for themselves, that lasted over a decade. Its a story that should be told, needs to be told.
Oliver Wang (author)
Gary Millare, aka DJ Genie G, formerly of Ultimate Creations
The Bindlestiff Players (directed by Joe Cascasan)
Bindlestiff Studio (View)
185 Sixth Street
San Francisco, CA 94103