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The Dimes

Who? Johnny Clay (vocals/guitar), Pierre Kaiser(guitar/vocals), Ryan Johnston (bass/vocals/melodica) and Jake Rahner(drums/vocals) make up the lulling Portland, Oregon-bred pop act theDimes. The band’s debut full-length, The Silent Generation, drops this week via the Pet Marmoset label.

What’s the Deal? Many songs on The Silent Generationare lyrically inspired by stacks of preserved Depression-era newspapersthat Kaiser found under the old floors of his Portland home. Clayinitially read the papers for fun, but found that the characters andsituations he read about bled into his songwriting (which blends swirlsof the Shins with the diversity of the Arcade Fire). The best exampleis the sparkling pop gem “Paul Kern Can’t Sleep,” the tale of a WorldWar I vet who took a bullet to the head and lost the ability to sleepfor 30 years. “Battle of San Jacinto” stands out as well, with itscascading guitars, sweet harmony vocals and Big Country-esqueproportions.

Fun Fact: “Catch Me Jumping” is a truestory about a friend of the Dimes, who once jumped from the top deck ofa Navy ship into the Persian Gulf; restricted to a Naval base in Japanafter the incident, the newly landlocked pal put together a Japanesetour for the band.

Now Hear This:
The Dimes – “Catch Me Jumping” DOWNLOAD MP3

On the Web:
The Dimes at MySpace

Talk: Can the Dimes add up to dollars through ‘The Silent Generation’?