Pop Life

10 Swang-and-Bang Anthems for Sunday's SLAB Parade

Just so you know, that low, persistent rumbling you feel in your gut this Sunday afternoon will have nothing to do with the Whataburger you pounded down at 3 a.m. the night before. It'll be the ultrasonic bass emanating from the popped trunks of 50 customized vehicles swangin' through Third Ward as part of the city's very first SLAB Parade and Family Festival at MacGregor Park.

What's a SLAB, you ask? Well, first off, thanks for visiting Houston, and we recommend that you check out Frenchy's Chicken before you have to leave. According to the Houston Arts Alliance Folklife + Traditional Arts Program, the Houston Museum of African-American Culture and Workshop Houston -- the triple partnership putting on the festival -- a SLAB is commonly an older-model American sedan enhanced by glossy paint, plush interiors and flashy rims. That '84 Cadillac with wire-spoke wheels and purple candy paint you passed on U.S. 59 South? SLAB, homie.

Don't get it twisted: We're not talking about West Coast low-riders or simple hoopties here. The SLAB is an H-Town thing, identified by markers such as a superfluous fifth wheel on back, neon lights in the open trunk and TV screens jumping up out the dash. And if it ain't got those swangers poking out -- "elbows," they're called -- it ain't a SLAB, baby.

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Nathan Smith
Contact: Nathan Smith