i draw. and sometimes i post music too. but i make you dig through the pile first to get to the good stuff. oh, and welcome.

Monday, January 25, 2010

free stuff!

okay kids! free art edition. i've got four of these little mexican wrestlers up for grabs. painted in acrylic, and ballpoint pen.(the penny is for size. like i said, they're small. and pocket-sized. and free.) first four comments or emails to erin@erinruiz.com to win one. (if you win, you can also specify which guys you'd like most in your comment or email and i'll try to fill your request.)
have fun, and good luck!

ETA: all wrestlers have been claimed! i'll contact you winners tomorrow. and thanks for playing.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

3 dollar wine.

eternal sunshine theme - jon brion
kettering - the antlers
frank ab - the rural alberta advantage
the sea is a good place... - los campesinos!
love dog - tv on the radio
black river killer - blitzen trapper
cascades - richmond fontaine
shiny - the decemberists
tales of las negras - mice parade
the death of us - the new amsterdams
the temptation of adam - josh ritter
signs(sayCet remix)- bloc party
ghosts - thomas newman
cymbal rush(live on kcrw)- thom yorke
atrophy - the antlers

i've been posting songs from my winter playlist for the last month, and i've just now gotten around to shortening it down for a decent list to share. typically, my winter tunes are like a warm musical blanket of depression.
however, do not fret. i counter it with a list of songs peppered with 80s and 90s pop sensation. (seriously, what ever happened to c+c music factory? i thought those guys were destined for longevity..) it keeps me humble.
i've been dealing with a maniacal pup who was gifted a paper-thin rawhide from Roommate 2 earlier, and she flies into a pupils-dilated puppy rage when anyone dares near it. after chewing off a small corner of rawhide with her tiny, razor sharp teeth, she promptly passed out at 3 AM and hasn't stirred since. i think the proper term in this instance would be "coma."
the roommates made pizza for dinner, then forced me to drink off the rest of their $3 wine because Roommate 1 was tanked and Roommate 2 feared 1 would not make it to see 11 o'clock. we popped "earth girls are easy" into the dvd player while Roommate 2 frantically searched the house for a small tube of vaginal tightener(do not ask). by the time jeff goldblum and geena davis have golden showery alien sex, Roommate 1 had passed out and i was the last one standing.

i'm planning on the free art for sometime monday. good idea? i'll post it 'round abouts my internet spaces, so if you want your shot, keep a sharp eye out. i promise, it'll be worth it.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


^from the savannah archives, my roomie shawna.

i made an appointment to give blood next monday. the funny part about it was my hesitancy to do it when i've never had a problem with either needles or the drawing of my own blood before. i chalk this up to my last, horrid, blood-giving experience in savannah years ago. i haven't been able to give blood since.
it started innocently enough. naomi, shawna and i were traipsing about the town and we saw that there was a blood drive so we decided, "fuck it. let's do this." it had been a year or so since my last donation back in idaho, so i figured it was nigh time to drop another bag of blood for a good cause. as we three sat there filling out our medical history, the nurse informed us that we would be the last donors since it was "nearing 4pm." it seemed to me to be a bit early to close down shop, seeing as there were people waiting in line to give blood and don't they, like, need all the blood they can get?
shawna went first, myself directly after, and we giggled at each other from our respective chairs as her already pale complexion turned a surprising two shades whiter. she stubbornly persisted with the squeezing of the stress ball though and powered through. my nurse had trouble finding my vein, stabbing me twice. (which was a bag of lies. every time i've had to give blood, barring this particular Incident, i've gotten compliments on my vein prominence. 'a beginning nurses dream,' they called them. i beamed with pride. i have awesome veins, lady.) once the tube was connected, my blood being drawn from my body, naomi sauntered over to tell me she was "a reject" because she was iron-deficient. she looked like a kicked puppy. later, she would be thankful she didn't partake in the madness that was The Disasterous Savannah Blood Drive of 2003.
my bag is halfway full of the most precious commodity next to money when the nurse decides i'm "taking too long." it's four o' clock and they want to shut down. she disconnects me from my bag and quickly applies a cotton ball and some tape and ushers my posse out the door.
i was pissed. i felt robbed.. cheated of my own blood, and for nothing but a Solo cup shot full of electrolytes, a free cotton swab, and a scarred stab wound on my right arm. the situation soured my outlook on giving blood for a long time, and only recently have i started the recovery process.

what else? oh. the basement gallery has "Noise in the Basement" up on a slide show. you can see some pieces of mine that aren't on my flickr page here.

i'll be running another little competition for some free art in the coming week, so keep posted. i'll have more than two this time, so more of you should have a shot at winning something.

the status of my fingernails is more interesting than your conversation.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


my adoration for all things british has hit a high this month with the imminent return of Skins fourth season approaching debut on january 28th (for uk viewers). for those who know me, know it's rare that i gush with excitement for anything-- especially any tv program-- but Skins is my exception. it's well-written, honest, and makes no apologies. i've tired of the american reality tvs, or win-a-date-with-another-rich-loser, or hospital/crime scene investigative dramas. it's fresh, and the adorable accents don't hurt.

see what i mean?

annnnd. tickets for the Burning Man Festival also went on sale today. if you're itching to go, and i recommend it, hurry and buy yours as the two lowest price levels have already sold out. then, you should leave your ticket at Will Call so you can come and say hi to me at the box office this summer. word? in honor of this year's BM theme of "Metropolis," i will build for you a city full of industrial revolutions.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

those of us who did not.

oh if i had a dime for every time i've had to mention tha "Noise in the Basement" group show.. actually, no. make that a dollar. then i'd have enough for, like, a tank of gas or something delicious.. like one roll of sushi.
the show opens this evening, by the way. (the above image will be in the show, titled "the ones who made it, and ones who did not." it's done in acrylic house paints, copper spray paint, and red Sharpie.)
ben wilson, fellow artist and friend, was kind enough to send this out:
"If you are heading out to First Thursday this week, I feel there are many reasons to make a stop at The Basement Gallery. Whether you want to bid farewell to the man who created the gallery, meet the new owners, or see/purchase amazing art, I feel it will be an enjoyable experience for all. We will certainly miss Perry Allen, he has brought attention to amazing local artists for years at his fine establishment. He gave me one of my first gallery shows and has been extremely supportive to me ever since. He has meant a lot to me, my family, and my career. You will be missed my friend.
There is certainly excitement surrounding the "changing of the guard". Jane and Mike Brumfield have proven to be delightful people from the brief time I have spent with them already. I'm excited for the plans they have for the future of the gallery. There will be more great things to come as they carry on Perry's tradition of exhibiting and highlighting fantastic art.
Everybody has put a lot of time and work into this show and we're looking forward to presenting it to the public. I'm also highly anticipating seeing Julia Green's show at the Flying M opening the same evening, check it out. Anyway, happy 2010 and we'll see you soon!"

dudes, i'm nervous. i haven't seen any of the art from the other peeps in the show, but i know it's gonna be good. ben never lets me down, and april and john are always pulling something awesome out of their sleeves. (also, remember april had a show opening at the VaC last month and the last time we spoke in early december, neither of us had started on our Basement Gallery work. talk about working under pressure.) i'll be down there sometime after 5, so if you're out and about, come by and say hi.

in other news, i'll be updating my website with new arts and links, etc, in the coming weeks. i'm still working on re-building Milquetoast's site, as well. not many of you know, but our partner came down with cancer and is unable to continue participating. we're in the middle of transferring power back into my hands but it will take some time, so apologies all around and thank yous for being patient. when we re-open the store in the spring, there will be new designs as well. be worth the wait, it will.

i'm also working on a project for the Downtown Boise Association involving a traffic box on 8th. first round of rough sketches have been presented and gotten the go-ahead, and come april, you'll be able to see my art on the traffic box across from Thomas Hammer. the idea behind these artist vinyl-wraps being installed around the boxes is to curb senseless graffiti and tagging as i understand it. so far, it's been a nice way to add art downtown while helping cut down on vandalism.
my views on graffiti are very.. complex. it's hard to find the fine line between vandalism and graffiti art sometimes. i love the idea of free art or art that is accessible to everyone. i like that some seemingly insignificant graff can make someone think, or chuckle, or brighten your day passing it on the street. it can be a hidden surprise within a bleak urban landscape. it can also be disrespectful and damaging. the graffiti artists i know respect the difference, but it doesn't stop the war on graffiti from existing. oftentimes, it's a case-by-case basis for me. my roots lie in graffiti and i will always defend it. after all, how can something like this not cheer you up?

Monday, January 4, 2010

i killed my dinner with karate.

dropped off all my work down at the Basement Gallery yesterday. the gallery smells like fresh paint and i was greeted with a grand smile from the new owner who, taking on the re-painting of the space completely solo, was covered in droplets of white paint. i was unsure what to expect on our first encounter, to be honest, as i find most british ladies can be one of two sorts: staunchly proper, or (my favorite) a bit unpredictable, likable and sometimes kooky. (is kooky even a word? because that word sums it up perfectly.) she was well likable.
i read the news of the sale of the gallery in the Boise Weekly back in november and thought the article too worried.. in my opinion and experience thus far, it's gone smoothly and i'm excited for the changes. i have no doubt that the new owners will keep up the standard of The Basement Gallery as ace and we'll continue to see cutting-edge art and pop surrealism seep from its walls.
the show opens for First Thursday this week (january 7th) and i hope to see you all down there.
on my way home from the downtown, i stopped for a taco because i haven't purchased any groceries that didn't consist of either energy drinks, frozen chicken nuggets, or ramen since who knows how long. (the chick who delivered this tasty meal to my carside looked like meg prescott +50 lbs with glasses and i sooo wanted to take a photo with my phone to show my sister-- who would get a righteous kick out of that-- but had a feeling i would look and feel like a Creeper, so i refrained.) then i took a mini-coma. after which, i was woken up by The Roomies' two black devils barreling excitedly down the hallway to go to bed and the sound of whining from my chihuahua who sat bedside and stared at me with a look of mild concern.

i know it's a few days late, but i'm ready for the new year. i've given my top 10 songs of the last decade great thought.... before deciding that was impossible and had to make it a top 19. bite me, it was hard, yo!
the criteria for my list was simple: songs either had to be off an album that i enjoyed at least 90% of or could listen to straight through, after the first time i'd heard the song i was turned onto the band because of it, cared enough to see the band live, and/or it just plain rocked my ipod probably way too often. oh and release date within the 00's.

1. The Acorn - Crooked Legs
i love a band that has so many instruments it should seem chaotic, but just builds until you see the necessity of every single noise. the album and songs are inspired and culled from stories from the lead singer's mother. because the song is personal, it resonates with more authenticity, i think. there's a horn section and the percussion is brilliant here, with use of (what sounds like) a marimba, a shaker, and claves.

2. Sufjan Stevens - Come On! Feel the Illinoise! The World's Columbian Exposition...
this guy and his band will blow your socks off if you see them live. this one's from his Illinois-tributed album. it changes seamlessly around the 2:20 mark then again at 2:50 into what could be completely different songs. amazing composition and instrumentation. plus, it has a tambourine, and you know they don't get enough love.

3. The Decemberists - The Legionnaire's Lament
fell in love with this band after hearing "lesley anne levine." they bring back the element of storytelling within music. this song perfectly encapsulates and best demonstrates their style. and, accordion love. i still laugh when i think about the concert where they played "The Mariner's Revenge," pulled out a giant cardboard whale and accidentally smacked some kid up in the front on the head with a resounding thud and an apology.

4. The Get Up Kids - Forgive & Forget
god, i miss this band. i have many fond memories tied to this band since discovering them early on in college. i mostly turn to their earlier punk-influenced albums, but i'm hard pressed to find an album of theirs i don't like. this song is probably my favorite. on a whim, i once drove with a dude i barely knew for 5 hours both ways just to see these guys in atlanta, joorjah.

5. Hood - L. Fading Hills
a mellow tune with droning complexities you have to absorb. this is, by far, my favorite song to listen to while driving through the nevada desert at night. life never feels more beautiful than at that moment. (this was tied with Royksopp's "In Space" for exactly the same reason. probably shoulda won on account of Melody A.M. being a top album for me.. but it didn't. don't judge.)

6. Florence & the Machine - Cosmic Love
though "You've got the Love" was the first song of hers i heard and liked, this one is my pick off her album Lungs. but it was hard to choose as i like, well, at least 90% of that album.

7. Tokyo Police Club - Citizens of Tomorrow
their song "Nature of the Experiment" was enough to peak my interest in TPC. later, among their oeuvre, i discovered the tune "Citizens of Tomorrow." it would inspire many thoughts and artworks of futuristic robot rebellion within me. plus, there's hand-clapping. always a bonus, if you ask me.

8. Death Cab For Cutie - Title and Registration
first song of theirs i heard, couldn't stop listening to them after. i love that the drumming in this band is never predictable. their earlier stuff is less produced, but you can still find a few gems among their later work like "Brothers on a Hotel Bed." (great drumming in that one too.)

9. Frightened Rabbit - Poke
when i first heard this one, sent to me by an old friend, i didn't give it the attention it deserved. the more i listen to it, the sadness radiating from it becomes harder to ignore. no doubt the dissolution of my friendship with said friend this year plays a large factor in my heartache over this song. but, regardless, it's beautiful. with warm, melancholic tones it may just soak into your skin as well.

10. Radiohead - Idioteque
my pick off, probably, my favorite album of the decade. i remember some car speeding by me on a warm, savannah afternoon blasting this whilst i walked home from the library. it filled the air and the neighborhood with a dancey passion that made me chuckle.

11. The Sounds - Song With a Mission
the song i listen to most when i need to get up and moving in the morning earlier than i want to. which is often.

12. A Perfect Circle - Judith
josh freese is one of my favorite drummers and this is one of the first songs i learned on the drums. it's still my first pick to play when i get agitated. Mer de Noms is also one of my favorite albums. i wish these guys would make more music. 'cause they're kinda good at it.

13. Modest Mouse - Dashboard
i listen to this song a lot on the drive to work. (i also sing along to it really loudly while in the car. people look at me funny but i think they're not grasping the idea of really living.) great drumming here, a rolling bassline and well-written lyrics, as usual, keep modest mouse always somewhere in my top ten.

14. Bloc Party - Pioneers
okay so, it's gotta be obvious at this point on the list that the drumming in a song dictates whether or not a song is a good one for me. this one is not only fun to play on the set, but it's fast and it builds. it's got an energy, as most their songs do, that i find inescapable.

15. Final Fantasy - This Lamb Sells Condos
though Owen Pallett's cover of joanna newsom's "peach plumb pear" was the first song of his i heard and liked, this one is my pick. apparently, it's an attack on the toronto realtor brad j. lamb and his "ostentatious lifestyle," but i just like the build of frustration and anger that eventually takes over near the end.

16. The Good Life - Album of the Year
excellent lyrics in this one. about the start and eventual disintegration of a relationship, the topic is far from original. what makes it stand out is the moment the first line of "the first time that i met her, i was throwing up in the ladies room stall" is uttered. it's a sad tale delivered in an uncharacteristically matter-of-fact manner. though i'm sure the break-up was a tough one and it doesn't end happy, it never sounds sad.

17. The Rural Alberta Advantage - Frank, AB
i already posted this one a few entries back as it's included in my winter playlist, but i have a feeling this song will be one that i'll play a lot of now and in the future.

18. The Album Leaf - Always For You
has anyone seen the video for this song? i think i get it, but sometimes i wonder. the song's got electronic influence and quirks, but the drums and keyboard drive it. the lyrics are simple, but the singer's voice really makes this into something.

19. Ani DiFranco - Garden of Simple
this is, easily, my top pick of hers. i listened to this a lot during my time in savannah and have very fond memories of my roomie shawna and i driving to jacksonville to see her in concert. we drove back to savannah that night after and i just remember looking up through the sun roof of the car into the night feeling so content and happy.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

new skin.

i finished framing all the work for "Noise in the Basement" today and it only took me four hours of fractions and heavy machinery. (if you'll kindly look out to your right, you'll see another piece for the show and... that love hurts.)
also? made me realize it's going to be a bitch going into work that first day back after vacation.

here's a song for the new year and your new skin:

los campesinos - the sea is a good place to think about the future.



what. the. eff is covering my blueberries??
i find a surprising amount of entertainment in watching these monkeys pawing perplexed and frantic at their Jello-covered blueberries.
here's to new discoveries.