A night in the Rockies

I opened my eyes to a red sky over the peaks of the Rocky Mountains.

It took a few moments to remember where I was – I wasn’t in Kelowna anymore.

Canmore is dwarfed by jutting rocks towering kilometres over the town, raised by tectonic forces millions of years ago.

With a splash of Baileys in our coffee, we packed the cars and headed to the trailhead. The Trailhead Cafe. Then, finally, the trailhead.

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First turns of the season


My alarm was set for 7:00 a.m., but I woke at 6:59.

It was the first day of ski season.

I had made the two and half hour drive to Revelstoke the night before, peering through the rain-soaked windshield into the dark, giving room to the barreling semis. Thoughts of speed-addled drivers, their hands gripping the wheel in a manic frenzy, danced through my head.

But against all odds, I made it to backcountry skiing’s Mecca, and was waking on a partly sunny Sunday morning.

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The King(s of Leon) and I

I think I first started listening to Kings of Leon in 2008, when their album Only by the Night blew up and Sex on Fire was played on every single radio station 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That kind of treatment could ruin even the best of songs, but Sex on Fire is not the best of songs, and its repetitive, boring lyrics quickly lost all meaning around the 134th listen. But I still kind of liked the grimey, rock and roll stylings of the band, and I dug into them a bit deeper.

As I went further back into their discography I liked what I heard. 2007s Because of the Times carried gems like Knocked Up and earlier albums got even better. That griminess that first pulled me in was even more pronounced in albums like 2003’s Youth and Young Manhood and 2004’s Aha Shake Heartbreak. The guitars were wilder and dirtier and the lyrics were less and less intelligible, but more emotive and raw. For a debut album, Youth and Young Manhood is so good. Hell, for a fifth album it would have still been so good. Songs like Spiral Staircase and Holy Roller Novocaine are just fun, guitar driven, yell-along songs that plaster smiles on all who hear.

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Fall In Love Too Fast – Griz

I first got into Griz right around the time Mad Liberation was released, and found myself immediately hooked on jazzy, funky, and generally dancey tunes. The album is really diverse, ranging from heavier, dub-steppy, bass-centred songs to lighter and more classic sounding stuff. Fall in Love Too Fast falls into the latter category, sampling Chet Baker’s version of I Fall in Love Too Easily.

The soul of the original is preserved in Griz’s version, but its tempo is quicker and a super catchy beat pushes the song forward. The vocals still give the song a melancholic tone but you can’t keep your head from nodding along to that beat. Baker’s horn solos are still there, interspersed with some sexy guitar that keeps you interested.

Obviously remixes of classics aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I think this song pays homage to the original, while introducing it to an entirely new generation. And my head just won’t stop nodding along no matter how many times I listen.