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Nov 14 2023

Distinguished Lecture Series with Oliver Wang

Recording Studio, Evelyn & Mo Ostin Music Center
Live at the China Royal: A Funky Ode to Fall River's Chow Mein Sandwich
In the summer of 1974, a private press album by Alika and the Happy Samoans appeared for sale at China Royal, a venerable Chinese restaurant in Fall River, MA. The lead track off Side B, “Chow Mein Sandwich,” was an ode to one of Southeastern Massachusetts’s most unique culinary creations, a dish that dates back at least to the 1930s. “Live at the China Royal” attempts to unspool the two serendipitous threads of cultural histories that lead a group of Pacific Islander musicians from Hawaii and Samoa to record a funk song about a hyper-regional sandwich birthed on the other side of the world from their islands of origin. Along the way, the talk touches on both the history of immigrant Chinese entrepreneurship and America’s long-time “South Pacific” fantasies, tracing how all these forces collided 50 years ago in a lounge called the Lion's Den. 
Oliver Wang is a professor of sociology at CSU-Long Beach and the author of Legions of Boom: Filipino American Mobile DJ Crews of the San Francisco Bay Area (Duke Univ. Press, 2015). He is currently a project curator for Cruising J-Town, a forthcoming exhibit about the social history of Japanese American car culture in Los Angeles. He’s a regular writer on music, arts and culture for outlets including NPR, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Los Angeles Times, and KCET’s Artbound. He has co-hosted the podcasts Pop Rocket and Heat Rocks and is currently developing a new podcast on the songs of Asian America.
This year's Distinguished Lecture Series has been curated by the second year Musicology PhD cohort with the goal of spotlighting innovative, interdisciplinary scholarship and work taking place across the sonic spectrum. The DLS strives to offer opportunities to discuss cultural practices and approaches that may be excluded from traditional conversations within the music academy.
2023–2024 Organizing committee:

Morgan Bates (they/them/theirs)

Emmie Head (she/her/hers)

Michele Yamamoto (she/her/hers)

Like most of The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music’s programs, this event is FREE! Register in advance for this event via the link below. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event.  Seating is on a first-come, first-seated basis. Early arrival is recommended. Registrants receive priority up until 15 minutes before the event.

While Inside the Venue:

No Food or Drink allowed in the building.