The Smooth Sounds of Tindersticks

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Packaged to resemble a Jackie Gleason easy listening LP from the 1950s, this one-off single for Sub Pop nods to another giant of the American indie rock landscape with a beautifully melancholy cover of Pavement's "Here." Free of Stephen Malkmus' slacker snark, Stuart Staples' autumnal croon lends lyrics like "I was dressed for success/But success it never comes" a compelling poignancy, while Tindersticks' lush string arrangement creates a mood of faded elegance far removed from the original's lo-fi snap, crackle, and pop. Gorgeous. The B-side, "Harry's Dilemma," is a spoken word piece narrated by bassist Mark Colwill and the saddest musical ode to canines since "Old Shep." In Tindersticks' world, apparently even the dogs are miserable.