THE SMOOTH SOUNDS OF TINDERSTICKS

Sub-Pop Records is best known for the role it played in launching the careers of a number of bands such as Mudhoney, Nirvana and Soundgarden who would go on to be a huge part of the grunge movement. The label has always demonstrated, however, that it far from a one-trick pony, and since the turn of the century has been at the forefront of supporting a range of critically acclaimed artists with an indie-bent, such as Fleet Foxes, Foals, Beach House, Father John Misty, Fleet Foxes, Foals, The Postal Service and Sleater-Kinney among many others, albeit it does so with the security of being 49% owned by a major entity.

The Seattle-based label has also, over the years, issued a number of one-off singles by bands on other labels, such as this back in 1995:-

mp3 : Tindersticks – Here
mp3 : Tindersticks – Harry’s Dilemma

This double-A sided 7″ has the catalogue number SP297 and was limited to 3,000 copies. It was released in May 1995, just a couple of months after the second Tindersticks album, on This Way Up Records, had hit the shops. One of the tracks is a cover of a Pavement song, in which Tindersticks firmly claim it as one of their own, while the other is an experimental spoken-word number and a rather sad and sombre example of a song making a great short story.

Harry was a contented dog. But he awoke this morning and something was very
wrong. He couldn’t be bothered to beg for mid-morning biscuits. He couldn’t be
bothered to roll over and rub his back on the rough floor. He couldn’t be
bothered to scratch at anything that might be nibbling away at him. He just lay
on top of his kennel feeling thoroughly depressed. Even his tail wouldn’t wag.

Four months earlier, his owner (an elderly gentlemen whom Harry had been devoted
to ever since he was a puppy) had been temporarily forced to leave the country,
leaving Harry with a trustworthy, caring couple who lived around the corner.
Things hadn’t been so bad at first: long walks, hearty dinners; even his kennel
was in the same spot in their yard — just to the right of the back door.

This is the same kennel that Harry had now been moping on top of for three days.
Despite the best efforts of the young, caring couple to cheer him up — offers
of chicken and an endless stream of un-fetched balls sent rolling down the yard
— nothing could coax Harry from his gloom. So, it was decided to send him to
the vet.

Harry was a large dog and heavy-withered, and he was in no mood to climb down
from his kennel and trot to the waiting car to travel two miles to the surgery.
Eventually, he was lifted, with the aid of a neighbor, onto a blanket and
hobbled from kennel to car; from the car to the vet’s. When, once, Harry would
have put up a fight before going within 500 yards of this place, during the
whole journey, he never raised an eyebrow. Of course, the vet could find nothing
wrong with Harry; mentioned depression; suggested chicken and balls; sent Harry
home to rest, still wrapped in the blanket. It took seven days for the
notification to come through. The owner had died in his sleep, leaving specific
instructions for Harry to be put down. Harry was a dead dog.

JC

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