The Sextons: S/T Review

63/100

OK – I liked Radiohead’s The Bends as much as anyone.  Noone really captured the alienation of teens in the mid nineties quite like Thom Yorke and company, and not many have since.  And not many bands have been as influential.  Radiohead’s sound has for a long time been a musical Helen of Troy – the sound that launched a thousand bands.  You need only to scan a few myspace pages for mention of the brits under “influences” and I bet you will find as many mentioning Radiohead as do the Beatles.   Naturally with so much Radiohead inspiration floating around there is bound to be varying degrees of quality – and the ones who draw more on Radiohead’s earlier catalogue (Pablo Honey, Bends) tend to fare  worse.   I mean even Radiohead quickly got bored with the mid-nineties alterna-rock sound and shortly thereafter moved on.

New Twin Cities band The Sextons, however, have not moved on yet.  Their debut self titled record is heavily reminiscent of mid-nineties Radiohead, occasionally to the point of sounding like a cover band, but covering Radiohead songs that you have never heard before.

Were they a cover band though, The Sextons would be a really pretty good one.  While on one hand I am not thrilled that they haven’t done more to make their own sound more distinctive from that of their influences, the band does actually do the whole moody alienation thing pretty well.   On the first three tracks of the album the guitars are sullen and brooding, occasionally swelling into waves while vocalist Eric Moeckel’s pretty alto delivers perfectly angsty crescendos.    “Off/On” even mixes in a little textured vocal distortion – making it sound like the one track that would better belong on OK Computer than its predecessor.   Overall though the record generally gives the unsettling feeling that this is all something that has been heard before –  in different collections of notes, yes, but ones that seem to add up to the same product.

One generally positive thing I can take away from this album is that the band is talented enough to produce a good quality sound, and the as far as influences go – well, they could have done far worse than Radiohead.  In the future though I hope that they get a little more independent – I think that if the Sextons chose to really own their own sound they could be quite successful.

— Jon Behm

      1. The Sextons - Full of Holes

The Sextons’ CD release is Friday, March 5th at Sauce

The Sextons

FEATURE – REACHING OUT AT THE ROCK I: SENIOR AIRMAN TRENT DODGE.

States News Service February 24, 2012 LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. — The following information was released by the U.S. Air Force Air Mobility Command:

by Staff Sgt. Jacob Barreiro 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs Most Airmen serve their country with peerless drive and passion. The drive to succeed and accomplish the mission by Airmen helps make the United States Air Force the world’s premier aerial warfare force. Yet a sometimes overlooked but never unimportant aspect of an Airman’s service is his or her assistance to the community outside the wire. pulaskihighschool.net pulaski high school

Military and civilian communities often share a symbiotic relationship. The two sometimes exist in different worlds, but rely on each other for support, and both benefit from the other’s existence. Maintaining good relations between the members of the armed forces and civilian communities is important enough that it was the topic former Secretary or Defense Robert Gates focused on when he accepted the Sylvanus Thayer Award at West Point Academy in October 2011.

Dodge said he jumped on the opportunity to become the new wrestling coach for the school. He shared coaching duties with another volunteer, and together they worked with the student wrestlers to coach and train them for competition.

A Michigan native, Dodge said wrestling isn’t as popular in Arkansas as it is in his home state, but the students we’re all eager to learn, and he was eager to just get back into wrestling.

“I wrestled in high school,” said Dodge. “Four years of varsity, but senior year I had to get knee surgery.” He said that knee surgery prevented him from wrestling in college.

“I just miss (wrestling), so I wanted to get back into it,” he said.

Transitioning from wrestler to coach was an easy one, said Dodge. He started attending all of the practices and tournaments, trying to teach the students everything he knew about wrestling.

Dodge’s dedication to the school’s wrestling program was noted by a lot of people.

The remarkable dedication Dodge put into coaching came naturally to him, he said.

“It was great to get back into wrestling because I love to do it,” he said. “It was also great to help the kids. I like to think my coaching had a good impact on the team, I was able to teach them some stuff they didn’t know … I think I helped them get better by wrestling with them every day. In my experience, the only way you get better at something is getting [tested] everyday.” While Dodge said he thinks his work on the wrestling team was positive, after the state wrestling competition, Thomen stated unequivocally his endorsement of Dodge’s efforts. this web site pulaski high school

“In the Arkansas state wrestling competition North Pulaski finished sixth out of 20 schools while only fielding 9 wrestlers of the 14 weight classes,” he wrote. “Much of this success can be contributed to Trenton Dodge’s work with the team. He shouldered a great deal of the burden from the other volunteer coach, but his infectious enthusiasm and love of the sport have the team already starting to talk of next year and how we can place higher.” Dodge said the experience of coaching has been a gratifying one because he got the chance to reconnect with his love of wrestling while sharing his love of the sport with other wrestlers in the community. He has continued working with the students during the offseason, and will be back coaching next season if at all possible.

“All the students tell me they want me back,” he said. “The other coach wants me back. I’ll definitely be back if I’m not deployed.” Being able to watch the sport again, and see the drive of the athletes is an awesome experience, said Dodge. What impresses him most is the discipline and dedication of the athletes at NPHS.

“One of the wrestlers asked to train with me in the offseason,” he said. “Not every athlete, in any sport, has the dedication to practice year round, but to see that is inspiring. It feels good to back into wrestling and help these guys out.” Working with the student athletes in the local community was special to Dodge because the school explicitly requested for help from the base, he said.

“[Wrestling] is a big deal to me,” said Dodge. “If they didn’t have a coach at all, the season could have been ruined, but it turned out really good. All the wrestlers took to me well, and it was awesome to get a chance to get back into wrestling while reaching out to the community.” In his acceptance speech at West Point Academy, Gates talked about the relationship between the service member and society, and the danger of a society with a staunch military-civilian divide. Coordinated efforts of selfless volunteerism like Dodge’s at a local high school can go a long way to either establish or re-fortify positive relations between a military community and their civilian countrymen.

By dedicating his free time, approximately 16 hours a week for several months, Dodge was able to assist and possibly rejuvenate a local school athletic program in need of help. As Thomen wrote:

“We probably would not be talking about even wrestling next year without the addition of Trent Dodge.”

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