I Am Gary Hampton.

Coming Home
March 29, 2009, 7:55 pm
Filed under: Blogs

As much as I try to, I’ve been coming back home less often as time goes on. I guess it’s all a part of that thing they call ‘growing up’. But coming home less often has it’s perks, one of which is that it gives my Mum more time to find things from my childhood. Now-a-days coming home usually means some sort of trip back in time, and this weekend was no exception.

Firstly, a continutation of something I started before the snowfall this past winter. You see, when I was a kid I loved action figures. But there came a point where I was getting older and I knew I wouldn’t be using my action figures anymore but I still wanted to keep them. I knew my Mum would throw them away or donate them, so being the selfish nostalgic kid I was/am, I buried all of my action figures in my back yard, mostly underneath my tree fort. The tree fort is long gone but the action figures are still buried beneath the dirt and leaves, so I went out back and did some digging.

I didn’t search very hard but found a few action figures from my past:

Next time I’m home maybe I’ll bring a shovel back there with me.

Secondly, when I was in high school I built a puzzle for some sort of art/woodshop project. I’m pretty sure it was mostly for art, but I think it was mostly a creative project and less about the art itself.

My mum pulled out a shoebox with all the pieces and I started placing them together, which eventually lead to success.

I wonder what sort of nostalgia will be awaiting me next time I come home.



Summer Plans
March 28, 2009, 1:37 pm
Filed under: Blogs

Though the term ‘summer’ doesn’t mean as much when you’re working full time, I still hope to take some time off and have some adventures. Let’s see how much of the following I can achieve this year:

  • Go camping
  • Go hammock camping
  • Search for treasure with a metal detector
  • Go on a 5+ hour hike
  • Rebuild the deck at my old house
  • …more to come

Of course I hope to do none of these things alone, so if you’re interested, let me know.


Anathallo & Millencolin

Yes, I know, Anathallo and Millencolin aren’t two bands you would generally hear muttered in the same breath, but they are the two bands I saw live this past week and both shows were absolutely amazing for two totally different reasons.

Saturday February 28th 2009: Anathallo at the Drake Hotel, Toronto

Anathallo puts on one of the most brilliant live shows I’ve ever seen. This was my third time seeing them play, the first at a small venue like the Drake Hotel. This seven-piece art/prog/indie rock machine is a sight to see, whether you’re fimiliar with their music or not. Before I go any further I must say ‘Thank You’ to them for bringing percussion ensembles into current music.

The show was great, even without ‘Holiday At The Sea’ in the setlist. (note to the band: next time you’re in Toronto, play ‘Holiday At The Sea’, please and thank you.) They managed to squeeze in a great selection of songs into the short time they had, including some personal favorites ‘The River’, ‘Hanasakajijii Four: A Great Wind, More Ash’ and ‘Kasa No Hone’. They proved once again that the perfection showcased on their albums is replicable for a live show. If you ever get the chance to see them play, don’t pass it up. You’ll regret it later.

The show was enjoyable for more than just the music, the stage banter included an ongoing ‘strike’ system, started off when Matt had his guitar tuned incorrectly for the first song in the set, ‘Italo’, and had to stop a minute or so into the song. Later on he made a joke insulting Canadians (I forgot what exactly it was, if you remember please comment below) and further into the show forgot to transpose the piano for one of their other songs. The best part about it though was that the crowd was into it, nobody was upset at the mistakes, everyone was just there for a good time and that’s what everyone recieved.

To sum up the show: brilliant display of artistic musicianship, positive crowd appreciating said display, and massive percussion breakdowns which make me happier than a kid on Christmas morning.

Can’t wait for next time.

Saturday March 7th 2009: Millencolin at the Opera House, Toronto

Oh, Swedish skate punk. I don’t even know what to say about this show. I can’t recall the last time I listened to Millencolin, but I do remember the era when I was really into them. It was late elementary school/early high school, I would go to as many shows as I could possibly go to and loved acting like a fool, singing along, pumping fists, moshing, etc. There’s something about a small punk rock show that brings people together in a way I’ve never seen anywhere else. Everyone’s there for a good time, everyone has some steam to blow off, and everyone shares this mutual respect and instant brotherly bond. This show re-proved all of that to me.

The best way to explain the show is through a timeline of my day.

11:45am: I discover that the show is happening thanks to a friend’s Facebook status (Hi Shannon!). I spend the next few hours searching for someone to come with.
5:20pm: While checking Facebook statuses I notice a casual friend’s status says ‘In Toronto! Looking for something to do tonight!’ to which I respond with ‘Millencolin @ Opera House’
6:30pm: I head to the venue, planning to meet up with said casual friend who I’ve only ever hung out with backstage at shows.
7:00pm: I find him and join him in line, meeting his friend and some other people they met in line.
7:30pm: Doors open, we go in planning to buy tickets at the door.
7:35pm: Tickets are sold out. The girl we met in line got the last one.

This is where the concept of instant friendship comes into play.  Continue reading