Posts

Showing posts from 2007

FACELESS INTERNATIONAL: FAIR TRADE GUATEMALA

dear friends,
as many of you know i helped co-found a non-profit organization called faceless international. we have taken several humanitarian trips overseas with members from various bands in attempts to educate ourselves while helping others.
we here at faceless have decided to broaden our horizons and begin to invite anyone who feels that they want to help better this world to come along with us on a trip.
in june of 2008 FACELESS INTERNATIONAL is going to be taking two trips (june 8-17; june 18-25) to the country of Guatemala where we will devote our concentration on FAIR TRADE. this trip is designed to raise awareness, educate, and work hands side by side with the people in attempts to help alleviate poverty in Guatemala.
if you are interested please contact the project coordinator at sarah@facelessinternational.com. you will need to turn in your application and $100.00 (US) deposit by January 31,2008. space is very limited so please contact sarah as soon as you can, we also have…

war! when is it good for?

it is so funny but if i go some time without writing on modesty it feels like i almost alienate apart of my family in a way.
i don’t know where to begin this conversation and i am sure i won’t know when to end.

i am not one of those people who stand on the side of the road and protest the war, in all honesty i try to look at the positives in the war (debatable whether the word “postive” and “war” ever belong in the same sentence). we all see clearly the negatives, i mean its war. people die. no matter if that’s one person or one million no one should die. but some positive aspects of the war in iraq currently are this.

* "there are now over 100 newspapers in the free press. . . in a free iraq." this means more freedom of speech in iraq! something we americans take for granted.
* "the independent central bank of Germany, it took three years after world war II to establish it-it was established in iraq in two months; that the police in germany were established after 14 month…

the orphaned anything’s chapter 1.

this is the first chapter of my upcoming book "the orphaned anything's" due out in spring of '08

NEW CHAPTER: stabbing my brother with the plastic blade from an osculating fan...
and other such thought provoking situations.

that's when i know i am near waking up. the abrupt indication appears to be when i roll onto my stomach, but i might as well get up... i know i'm just going to lay here, careen a couple of times, sway a few more, and then commence to think of all the things i should be doing instead of laying here.
i believe i am the only human alive to sleep in these bumbling lumbering phases. i understand now, after years of this sleep repetition, that i seem to have three, and these clumsy situation's only occur after the hours of thoughts that seem to run through my head without cease.
i cannot remember a time in my life where i did not have to have a mutiny over my thoughts or memories just to fall into what some might call sleep, but i simply call …

spin magazine book club

modesty. click here to see my spin book club selection for this month. there is even a short video to check out that i did in seattle before bumbershoot.
happy thanksgiving!
-esteban

paul is dead!

i love conspiracy theories, i am yet to buy into any one of them as of yet; but nonetheless they entertain me to no end. the illuminati, jfk, i even have a good friend from a very relevant band that is into the conspiracy that 9/11 was planned by the government. though i don’t agree at all its always interesting to me to hear another side of the story.
my favorite has to be the the apollo moon-landing hoax theory that suggests that some or all elements of the apollo missions were faked by NASA, i.e. we didn’t really land on the moon, it was all just a sound stage with actors and such. but i once heard one of these theory that actually made me think.
i was in high school and one of my teachers who had fought in several wars and was well versed in politics and government actually told me that he believed the conspiracy that the national football league was actually put together by the US government. he said they did this to take our minds off politics and government goings-on so that th…

The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.

Are we to love only those who deserve our love? Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.
- Matthew 5:43-45

kiva.org

while looking through a financial magazine i noticed that there was a non-profit that was helping others around the world to invest in themselves and their small start up companies. 'Kiva lets you connect with and loan money to unique small businesses in the developing world. By choosing a business on Kiva.org, you can "sponsor a business" and help the world's working poor make great strides towards economic independence. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates from the business you've sponsored. As loans are repaid, you get your loan money back.'
in other words you are not donating money, (well you can if you want) but you can loan money to people in other countries who are trying to raise money to expand their small businesses.
for example i loaned $25.00 to khanlar rustamov who is a 27-year-old farmer with two cows who sells dairy products to traders who, in turn, sell them in a nearby bazaar. 'He…

Where there is no vision, the people perish.

sometimes it gets difficult to keep forging on when it feels like no one is along side you to help. it feels a lot like high school while pursuing your goals sometimes, everyone has had the experience where you had group project in which you had the leader to delegate what needed to be done amongst the group, but when the project was due it was usually one person who ended up doing while everyone got credit for it. i guess that is the cost of doing what you love in life. even if it doesn't seem fair at moments you have to keep going. leadership is so tricky sometimes, you want to lead by example but then if you look back and no one is following are you really a leader at all? leadership requires the greatest amount of responsibility, you potentially could get the most amount of glory, but if you, your band, your project, or your company fails it rests on your shoulders completely. you have to make the best decisions and keep your own selfish motives out of your decision-making.…

A Franciscan Benediction

May God bless you with discomfort

At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships

So that you may live deep within your heart


May God bless you with anger

At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,

So that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.


May God bless you with tears

To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war,

So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and

To turn their pain into joy.


And may God bless you with enough foolishness

To believe that you can make a difference in the world,

So that you can do what others claim cannot be done

To bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.



Amen

never stop learning.

Man's basic vice, the source of all his evils, is the act of unfocusing his mind, the suspension of his consciousness, which is not blindness, but the refusal to see, not ignorance, but the refusal to know.''
— Ayn Rand

blur.

Image
my side project (anchor & braille) has a new song up, called "blur". you can hear it on our myspace.com/anchorandbraille.

vanity is the delusion that someone is paying attention

i think this is simply going to be a commentary, on life i guess, but random... as life should be. i have no clue what i am going to write about, but here goes.

as i sat back at a random coffee shop in the middle of LA i saw a rather large car pull up in front. out came the driver who i later assumed was the daughter, she looked too compassionate and genuine  to be hired. the elderly lady in the back was helped up and began to walk rather slowly into the cafe'. but there was something peculiar about this woman, you see her legs were obviously frail; i deducted this by the slow walking pace and rather alarmingly turtle like cruise control that she put upon her own two legs. but her face. it caught me by surprise, and it wasn't a second glance look like a car accident or the likes, it was a solid wide eyed mouth open second glance. her face and neck had been, well hollywooded. her lips tripled the size of mine in weight and stature. her face was so pulled back i expected to see s…

it's human to doubt, its ending the conquest for truth that is foolish.

there are three truths that i have run across thus far in my life. i am sure to find more, or add to my simple list. at the end of the day it is truth we really want, whether in politics, or religion, or love; it is truth we desire.

1. relative truth: this truth is much more based not on the philosophical definition of relative truth (as in relative or subjective) but on relative as in a personal opinion. Where as a relativist would think that what is true for me may or may not be true for someone else, i am simplifying it to the notion that this type of truth is based on personal sentiment; such as this is my favorite type of food, this is my favorite hobby, this is my favorite type of music. this truth changes throughout life, whether by investigation into other types of cultures or opportunities.

2. truth/knowledge: this is truth that crosses cultures, races, and religion. such as the law of gravity, mathematics, and basic chemistry. no matter what god you believe in, if you throw a…

supreme kindness

While in Melbourne, Australia I found out that a person I respect was going to be speaking at the rod laver arena downtown. As a person that is always up for new experiences my manager Kyle and I set out. As we approached the ticket line a lady called us over into the comp ticket line unexpectedly and handed my manager two free tickets (worth $80 each), which we soon discovered lead us to the floor of the arena, 10 rows from the stage.

The stage was set with swooping drape, and at least a hundred monks all seated in their traditional yellow and maroon garb. The music was not what I expected, but sounded more like adult contemporary. There was a quiet and almost reverent pause as the Dalai Lama the 14th carnation walked on the aesthetically pleasing stage. The first thing I noticed was his smile and awareness of the people and friends in the room, as he went to sit upon his throne like pillow structure.
The center of the message behind the Dalai Lama’s message was the universal theme of…

simple instructions for life

'1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three R’s:

Respect for self
Respect for others and
Responsibility for all your actions.

4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
7. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8. Spend some time alone every day.
9. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
13. In disagreements with loved ones deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge. It's a…

true friends stab you in the front -oscar wilde

where is the line between loyalty, truth, and friendship. this was the
topic of conversation as three friends and i ventured through the
confusing but well lite streets of downtown tokyo last night. my head
swooned with past cases in life where i desperately wanted to say
something to my friends but i shut my mouth for the sake of the so
called 'friendship'. now i want to think i know better. what better place to talk such matters of life than at a traditional japanese cuisine better known as TGI Fridays. but this culture is beautiful, i have never seen a more respectful people in the entire world. The streets are clean, everyone takes pride in their profession, the art is intriquing, and the architecture is some of the most awe striking and futureistic in the world.

'Don't believe your friends when they ask you to be honest with them. All they really want is to be maintained in the good opinion they have of themselves.'
-albert camus

i'm sure mister camus was making …

a false amalgamation.

individuality is so very culturally important to us here in the west, and for good reasoning. individuality helps us define who we ourselves are without outside influence, it keeps us accountable to our core and keeps us connected to our own unique thoughts, fears, and pursuits.

when we start amalgamating into another person, i.e. when we enter into a committed, lifelong, or in depth relationship we are willingly surrendering a piece of our own being and taking on a part of theirs. recently I have seen in my life pieces of people I have known before. whether it is something I said or something as surface as something I wore, i see a reflection of those people. this is not necessarily a bad thing, and this is not necessarily from just a husband/wife, girlfriend/boyfriend relationship. this merger could be someone in your vicinity such as a family members or deep meaningful friendships.

the problem lies when and where we began to lose ourselves inside the other person, it is one thing to …

stung

there once was a hindu holy man who saw a scorpion floundering around in the water. he decided to save it by stretching out his finger. but the scorpion stung him. the man still tried to get the scorpion out of the water, but the scorpion stung him again. a man nearby told him to stop saving the scorpion that kept stinging him. but the holy man said, "it is the nature of the scorpion to sting. it is my nature my love. why should i give up my nature to love just because it is the nature of the scorpion to sting?"

it should be our nature to love regardless of who we are, regardless of what has been done to us. its hard. i know. trust me. people are always going to sting you. they are going to rip into your character. they are going to be the ones in the platform telling you that your views are wrong. they are going to be in the pulpits pointing fingers in judgement. they are going to be the ones who hold your whole race responsible for the actions of one person's actions.

bu…

selling out? a commentary by dave eggers.

below is a an excerpt from an interview with the author dave eggers (a heartbreaking work of staggering genius), it is profound and i have not been so this inspired by a piece of communication since bono's naacp acceptance speech (http://youtube.com/watch?v=ENp7c6TtBHk).  

the question was posed (in summation) to mr. eggers 'so many people are saying you aren't keeping it real and are beginning to sell out how are you taking steps not to sell out? ' 

dave address's "selling out' and then goes on to explain "Do not be critics, you people, I beg you. I was a critic and I wish I could take it all back because it came from a smelly and ignorant place in me, and spoke with a voice that was all rage and envy. Do not dismiss a book until you have written one, and do not dismiss a movie until you have made one, and do not dismiss a person until you have met them. It is a f-load of work to be open-minded and generous and understanding and forgiving and accepting…

my current playlist

these songs have been coursing my ears for these last few weeks and i thought i would share my favorite's of the moment.

*1. bloc party. a weekend in the city. kruezberg
2. snow patrol.eyes open. you could be happy
3. sia. colour the small one. breathe me
4. the shins. wincing the night away. phantom limb
5. rogue wave. just friendsd. eyes
6. the promise ring. woodwater. become one anything one time
7. the album leaf. into the blue again. always for you
*8. maria taylor. 11:11. leap year
9. jimmy eat world. futures. drugs or me
10. rufus wainwright. want one. vicious world.
11. sparklehorse.dreamt for light. don't take my sunshine away

what is your playlist?
-esteban

this industry is very condusive to my egocentric self.

this i me me i i me i me i me i me me i i i me me i me me i i i i me me i me me i me me i i i me me me me me i me me i i me i me me i me i me me i i me industry i me i me i me me i i i me me i me me i i i i me me i me me i me me i i i me me me me me i me me i i me i me me i i me me i i me i me i me i me me i i i me me i me me i i i i me me i me me i me me i i i me me me me me i me me i i me i me me i i me me i i me i me i me i me me i i i me me i me me i i i i me me i me me i me me i i i me me me me me i me me i i me i me me i i me me i i me i me i me i me me i i i me me i me me i i i i me me i me me i me me i i i me me me me me i me me i i me i me me i i me me i i me i me i me i me me i i i me me i me me i i i i me me i me me i me me i i i me me me me me i me me i i me i me me i i me me i i me i me i me i me is me i i i me me i me me i i i i me me i me me i me me i i i me me me me me i me me i i me i me me i i me me i i me i me i me i me me i i i me me i me me i i i i me me i me me …

spin.com book club

a dear friend named emily zelmer and spin magazine have asked me to participate in a book club, i loved the idea instantly because it gives me a chance to read others favorite books, or at least books that have inspired them along the road. there are several great musicians that are involved and i feel honored to be among them.

the first book we read was "jesus's son" by denis johnson, a charming piece of literature that has lead me to begin to read more of johnsons works. to view the bookclub click here, there is even a way for you guys to comment after you have read the book.

even though i am apart of this bookclub i don't condemn or condone any of the books that we are asked to read, i am in this for education and inspiration value only.
-esteban

lessons from someone i may never see again, sitting on a bus i will never ride recurrently.

as i moved to the back of the bus i began to complain to someone accompanying me as to how early are flight got in, and why our manager booked a flight were we had to be up so early to fly to LA. as the hotel shuttle began to move i realized that the only seats still available were directly in the rear of the bus but was already being occupied by someone who owned a wheelchair.
"there's plenty of room back here mate," i heard in an obvious australian accent.
as i sat down beside him i realized that there was something different about this 24 year old man. you see, he didn't have any arms or legs, and he later explained that he was born like that. but that is not what made him different, what set him apart from all the other weary travelers is that he had a smile on his face and how he seemed rather exuberant for this hour of the morning.
he opened up the conversation and it seemed that even though we had never met we picked up right where we left off.
he was a motiva…

Egon Schiele

Image
i discovered this artist on my holiday in austria, there were several pieces from egon schiele scatered around town in different museums. at the moment he is my favorite painter, so please explore this 'tortured artist'.





'Egon Schiele (June 12, 1890 – October 31, 1918) was an Austrian painter, a protege of Gustav Klimt, and a major figurative painter of the early 20th century. Due to the highly-charged nature of his drawings and paintings, because of his suffering from dystonia, and his premature death, Schiele has come to epitomise the popular image of the tortured artist.'

*listen to 'cocorosie' while looking through egon's collection @ cocorosieland.com

kenya/favorite bands/ justanothertravel.com

its an interview day. a day where my publicists lines me up with one interview after another. my least favorite topic is music, seems like everyone has conspired together and asks me the same questions over and over. i love talking about india though, and once again when i went to india i knew that i had to bring others overseas with me. this winter i am going to be taking a group of band members to kenya, africa. this trip is going to be a bit longer, and the planning a bit more extensive because i want to take 30 guys/girls (from different bands) along with me.

you can help me assemble the team! please write all your favorite signed bands (i say signed bands because i want people completely concentrated on helping the people in the villages of kenya and not trying to further their own musical career) and ask them to please get ahold of me at modestyguild@gmail.com and i will put them in contact with the project coordinator.

secondly, the website JUSTANOTHERTRAVEL.COM , a travel ticke…

a brief social commentary #4. (i think therefore i consume.)

we are beyond survival. we have elevated ourselves from needs to wants, and with frivolous and rather embarrassing results. i do not know if any of you have traveled to a second or third world country but culture shock can really affect you, and sometimes worse upon your arrival home. when i was in india these past few weeks i had to face despair and utmost poverty, each day i had to walk by several people without homes, food, and no hope for either any time soon.

upon arrival to the states i had the opportunity to stay a couple days in new york city before i came home to florida. i was hanging out with a friend in soho, new york city and on the way to meet up i saw the most gratuitous store i may have ever encountered in my life. it was an entire store that was dedicated to dog clothing. sweaters, trendy t-shirts, even upscale collars that were studded with random diamonds and jewels, kept in a glass case for display.

normally i don't think it would have been a big deal to have s…

lessons from the most successful shoe shiner

Image
he sat and shined a shoe, that’s all i ever saw him do. he must have been 10 and he sat right next to his dad, imitating his dad while he scrubbed then shined shoes right outside the location on sutter street we were staying at in kalcutta, india. they had a very meager set up, with only a wooden box the size of a shoebox to conduct business, and a sheet that had been torn through to sit on while tourists such as myself walked by. i always noticed how both father and son alike would stare at peoples feet as they walked by, maybe to evaluate clientele, or just the simple fact that shoes and shine were what they knew, and what they knew best.
through a translator i began to build a relationship with both father and son, i would share my cliff bars with them in the morning, they thought they tasted funny which made me laugh (because i think most health bars taste like chalk as well), not like the normal "candy" that they probably had before from other tourists or maybe a specia…

sympathy, the zoo, & the fiscal address to the shadow of death

the air was thick; you could almost taste it, and seemed to reflect the street and vendor lights that gathered from every direction. my hands were in fists but it wasn't someone i wanted to fight, it was just my body’s natural repose to the surroundings. as i walked down the narrow ally way to the middle of the red light district in kalcutta, india i realized that my heart wasn't broken at all, actually for the short time i walked down the pensive streets it felt as if i had no heart. it had frozen, or dissolved, or cease to beat in fear of allowing my feelings to overwhelm me and my body simply curl up in the fetal position and sob. these were not women of the night, these were mere girls with makeup, a few cloths slung on their back and a juvenile mind that clinched to a few dreams from their youth.
youth,
that is exactly what they had, or the little that what was left of it. some of them couldn't have been more than 15 years old, maybe. i choked, not because of just their…

for you, this could be india.

so here it is the day before i leave to india and i realize that i only have about 1/4th of my "to-do" list done. but there right in the middle was a note to self reminding me to write one final modesty message before i leave to india.  its so funny, i mean i have only met a couple of you and yet i feel almost a, well as kant would say, a duty to you all. but its more than that, i like the fact that i have a chance to listen to you all (don't think i don't check the comments at least once a day!) and the chance to pour what life has taught me out somewhere other than just lyrics.
i want to thank those of you who bought a lithograph because with it we were able to get some art supplies for the girls and surrounding community, as well as fund the trip for myself and others. there is a daunting task ahead of us, a trip that will not solve the problem of slavery in the world with just one trip; it is going to take hundreds if not thousands of trips to put a dent in the w…

when life was young, with summer tongues.

tear tear tear
off your skin
whats there within.
life on wooden swings
when all was young,
with summer tongues.
i i i
don't care to know
whose been before.
oh we could stand to run
nev'r look back at trains or tracks

and i'll kiss you in london
love you in france
sunsets in germany
spain we could slowdance,
somewhere outside,
somewhere outside.

wake wake wake
from lover's kept, on slumbers bed
your white like ghosts
so innocent, so innocent.

days in quiet'r homes
when life was young,
with summer tongues.
is this what you saw,
year ago
and farther from homes.

and i'll kiss you in london
love you in france
sunsets in germany
spain we could slowdance,
somewhere outside,
somewhere outside.

please please please
just come with me
to distant reach
what holds you back
from walks away
and needs to stay.

there there there
somewhere out there
are rooms to spare

skin paled like before
when life was young,
with summer tongues.

-1.5.07
Image

true love is the only just and holy war.

i am so fascinated by love, this entity we all seek, and in some cases destroy. i think one of the greatest things about love is the aspect of vulnerability. we are opening ourselves up to someone that we have only encountered recently in the grand scheme of our life. up to this point we have known every thought, feeling, and action of ourselves; and then someone enters our little kingdom and demands to know and cohabitate in our thoughts, be apart our feelings, and create memories together.

    carl jung once said "when there is love there is no power. when there is power there is no love." i find that to be my favorite quote by mr jung to date. what i think he is trying to say is that when love is present we are inclined to do what is best for that other person, our motives and self centered behavior is soon replaced by the life pursuits of another entity, another human being. we have no power because we want no power. we choose to remain helpless to our own internal motiv…

selah & the development of our sixth sense

"the sense of wonder, that is our sixth sense, and it is the natural religious sense."
                               -d.h. lawrence

        for a couple minutes i could not find my brother, he was right behind us and i had no idea where he went. my friend nick and i called for his name but to no avail. as i began to trudge into the woods a little deeper nick became concerned since my brother paul didn't know his way in, or out, of the unknown, and to us, uncharted woods. after backtracking, and yelling into the woods we finally all met up in a valley that was descending into deeper woods and even deeper snow this last weekend in vail, colorado.
      the clearing looked like a cross between an ansel adams photograph and stepping onto the movie set of the chronicles of narnia. everything surrounding us was painted in a a bleached white and all the trees simultaneously looked like dogwoods, each spaced just perfectly as if it were planned and designed around the three of us…