"Suffering Face"

Pretty self-explanatory
bronxapostle
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Re: "Suffering Face"

Postby bronxapostle » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:57 am

yes we will...and i'll try to hand select a few more MUST HAVE's for ya. talk soon. b

Hawksmoor
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Re: "Suffering Face"

Postby Hawksmoor » Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:51 pm

Neil. wrote:Gorgeous recording, gorgeous vocal. I'm amazed he didn't include it on KOA itself - he could have ditched Eisenhower Blues for this!

Disagree, I think he made the right call. 'Eisenhower Blues' is clearly a lesser song (and a lesser vocal performance) than 'Suffering Face', but it serves the pace of the album better at that point than 'Suffering Face' would have done.

Azmuda
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Re: "Suffering Face"

Postby Azmuda » Mon Dec 19, 2011 6:14 pm

bronxapostle wrote:and don't miss it here....perhaps his BEST SOLO SHOW EVER!!!

http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/index.php/Concert_1985-06-25_Melbourne
I have a copy of this show, but unfortunately it's riddled with pops and clicks. Hopefully someone out there has a cleaner version.

bronxapostle
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Re: "Suffering Face"

Postby bronxapostle » Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:56 pm

i actually have two copies: an edited 25 song version upon cassette and then the full "I LEFT MY HONDA OUTSIDE" double cd. i don't believe it is "riddled" with pops/clicks...maybe sporadic. i'll give it a listen again when transferring for others and let you know right here. maybe doc can re-up it if that is permissible at dime-a-dozen.

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Ypsilanti
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Re: "Suffering Face"

Postby Ypsilanti » Tue Dec 20, 2011 6:14 am

the_platypus wrote:Does anyone else consider this one of the most absolutely gorgeous songs EC has ever written?

I'm floored every time.

While I like "Suffering Face" very much (gorgeous vocal), I am always bothered by...

You don't need the same old rivet gun
You need a brand new wrench


...which has got to be one of the worst lyrics Elvis has ever written. Rivet gun? Really? It's so weirdly specific and so stupid. It really jumps out at me and almost ruins the song. On the other hand...

Someone to pull you down on the ground
And cover you with kisses


...is one of my very favorite EC lyrics--sweet, sexy, a little sad...That's Elvis at his best.
So I keep this fancy to myself
I keep my lipstick twisted tight

taramasalata
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Re: "Suffering Face"

Postby taramasalata » Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:23 pm

the_platypus wrote:Hello Costello-friends.

I got drunk and wrote a very disjointed post about this gorgeous song on my blog. you can read it here if you're into that sort of thing: http://jorgefarah.com/2011/12/18/bedhea ... ring-face/


My reply is a bit late but what was true in the old year still is in 2012:

Great write, the_playtypus, I really like your writing style, it always has some self-mocking to it, not just when you're drunk! And the more when it's about the wonderful "Sufferring Face".

While I am already counting the days until he plays Zurich in June 2012, I wish for you that Elvis is going to take his wheel down to Buenos Aires this year...or at least his guitar.

Judge Holden
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Re: "Suffering Face"

Postby Judge Holden » Fri Jan 20, 2012 8:52 pm

I'm a little bit drunk but still just about able to type.
I've always enjoyed the threads on particular songs which crop up from time to time and have kept an eye open on this one since it appeared. My inability to hit 'return' while drammed has saved me before but I've taken things a little easier tonight.
For me, it's all in the final ten seconds, where the "It's all over"s fuse accusation, regret, sympathy, anger, tenderness, shame, relief and you name what else.
I first heard it in Edinburgh 28 years ago: 'End Of The Rainbow' silenced everyone that night but 'Suffering Face snagged. It's only grown more beautiful over the years.
I've enjoyed every post on this thread and hope to read many more.

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verbal gymnastics
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Re: "Suffering Face"

Postby verbal gymnastics » Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:44 pm

sulky lad wrote:Live recording of this from Amsterdam now on dime :http://www.dimeadozen.org/torrents-details.php?id=386255&uploaded=1&reqdl=1


What a treat that was to hear Alison (complete with wrong lyrics!) leading into Suffering Face. In 2010 sulky lad and I got King of Confidence and in 2011 we got Suffering Face. Fantastic!
It’s such a shame you had to break the heart you could have counted on

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the_platypus
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Re: "Suffering Face"

Postby the_platypus » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:38 pm

I found this... peculiar interpretation on Songmeanings.net.

"Clearly this song is about a father who had for some time been carrying on a somewhat (up for debate, you know?) -consensual incestuous relationship with his daughter, whom he is preparing to "give away" to her fiancé on her wedding day, and his concluding their disgusting sexual relationship with a brutally explosive facial. Elvis Costello himself described it as such, to John Peel sometime during the 80's, and again on Charlie Rose in 1999. Desiring one last torrid romp with her before the ceremony, he waits for her in the bedroom where she will put on her wedding dress. He notices a tiny stain on the inside shoulder of her wedding dress (barely visible, but it bothers him nonetheless). He sees from a card and gift box left on the bureau that the lipstick was a gift from the mother of the man she's going to marry in a few hours. The father, the man from whose point of view the song is sung, disapproves somewhat of the fiancé, thinking he comes from a family of lower class than his. This is why he refers to the lipstick as "cheap." Even though he is engaged in a taboo relationship with his own daughter, which even he can recognize is destructive and wrong (aspects which of course also manage to somehow turn him on), he disapproves of the influence that he believes the groom's family will have on her life. He accepts, however, her choice to marry, and figures that it will probably be better for her in the long run. He even feels some relief from the guilt he would have otherwise felt had she never found someone with whom to have a publicly-appropriate intimate sexual relationship. He doesn't feel jealous -- there have been other boyfriends, and he will always know that he had her first, and that he will always be (if one measures these things by the extent to which you have a lasting, unshakable impact -- one that even years of drug abuse, sexual addiction, and intense psychotherapy will not cure) the best -- though there is a good deal of regret ("all broken up inside") that this will be their last time. He reflects upon the passage of time, and that all things must come to an end, and that now is the time for him to finally finish fucking his own daughter ("chrome ... rusted, thist ... quenched"). I'm not sure why he refers to himself as a rivet gun and the groom as a wrench, but one can assume it's again some twisted sexual metaphor. When the bride arrives, she is at first quite content to see her father ("came in gentle as a lamb"), but then, after recognizing that hungry look in his eyes, she "turn[s] into a terror." It is up to the listener to decide if this means that she was reluctant to engage with him this one last time, or if she was, you know, _really_ into it! I believe that the "bathroom mirror" is what he calls his asshole, which she licked. After he blows her load all over her face, she is sobbing in tears ("suffering face"). Again, it is left up to the listener whether she is crying out of love, appreciation, regret, or absolute terror of a monstrous father-figure who has kept her in sexual enslavement since puberty. Oh yeah, he didn't literally prepare the bed with perfume or rose petals, etc., that's just a metaphor ... he only "prepared" the bedroom in the sense that it's his hedge fund trader salary that's paying for this extravagant wedding and hotel, etc ... but, again, there is a little bit of leeway in the interpretation here, because, as I understand it, he did "spray perfume," in a sense, but that perfume was a load of jizz, and it wasn't around the room so much as all over his daughter's face. Man, Elvis Costello, you are one sick fucking dude. "

http://www.songmeanings.net/songs/view/131881/

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migdd
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Re: "Suffering Face"

Postby migdd » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:59 pm

Hmmm.

Neil.
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Re: "Suffering Face"

Postby Neil. » Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:18 am

Blimey, puts a whole new slant on the "it's all over your suffering face" line. Chortle, I guess all songs are up for interpretation!

Elvis Costello himself described it as such, to John Peel sometime during the 80's, and again on Charlie Rose in 1999.


Here are the only Charlie Rose interviews I could find - though on his website they go into the mid 90s, I couldn't find one from '99


2001
http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/3051
2002
http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/2532
2006
http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/365

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the_platypus
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Re: "Suffering Face"

Postby the_platypus » Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:17 am

taramasalata wrote:
the_platypus wrote:Hello Costello-friends.

I got drunk and wrote a very disjointed post about this gorgeous song on my blog. you can read it here if you're into that sort of thing: http://jorgefarah.com/2011/12/18/bedhea ... ring-face/


My reply is a bit late but what was true in the old year still is in 2012:

Great write, the_playtypus, I really like your writing style, it always has some self-mocking to it, not just when you're drunk! And the more when it's about the wonderful "Sufferring Face".

While I am already counting the days until he plays Zurich in June 2012, I wish for you that Elvis is going to take his wheel down to Buenos Aires this year...or at least his guitar.


By the way, I completely forgot to respond to this. Thank you so much for the kind words!

stricttime81
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Re: "Suffering Face"

Postby stricttime81 » Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:14 am

Thanks for ruining the song for me dude, lol. But seriously, that seems pretty absurd, and the lyrics don't really support that interpretation.
AKA: Mike the Lawyer

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Lester Burnham
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Re: "Suffering Face"

Postby Lester Burnham » Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:54 pm

I wouldn't put too much stock into an interpretation of that caliber by someone whose username is "loltroll"...

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the_platypus
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Re: "Suffering Face"

Postby the_platypus » Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:48 pm

Lester Burnham wrote:I wouldn't put too much stock into an interpretation of that caliber by someone whose username is "loltroll"...

Yeah, I thought it was fairly obvious that it was a joke. A pretty sick one :lol:


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