Besides, things just sound different this time of year. The Kendrick Lamar record didn’t really come alive for me until Saturday night, outside grilling chicken in the dark and the cold. I’d forgotten my headphones but I played that amazing run from ‘Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe’ to ‘Money Trees’ through my phone anyway, transistor radio-style, and by the time the chicken was done Kendrick’s huge fanboy debt to Aquemini started to seem like a feature, not a bug. That ‘Art of Peer Pressure’ song is unbelievable. It’s like he’s building an equestrian statue of Three Stacks on Rosecrans Avenue.
I stood there grilling chicken by flashlight and thinking about how someday the piano part on ‘Art of Peer Pressure’ will take me back to grilling chicken by flashlight, on a patio carpeted in dead leaves, the year I started thinking of 50-degree weather as ‘cold.’ It’ll be inscribed, the way you press the name of a tourist attraction into a penny.