Monday, December 13, 2010

Buscemi hits us with his best shots

Today is actor Steve Buscemi's birthday -- happy five-seven, man -- and we couldn't wait to celebrate. Last night we finally watched the last episode of his new HBO series Boardwark Empire, and afterward we slipped in the musical coup de grace: the soundtrack to the 1996 movie Trees Lounge.

Maybe it's because we have lived above a bar and we spend much of our existence contemplating life from a barstool. We're very much at home with the patrons of Trees Lounge. Buscemi, in his writing and directing debut, plays a hopeless barfly who has lost his girlfriend and his job for raiding the till, drives an ice cream truck and tries to boink a yummy teen temptress played by Chloe Sevigny.

Buscemi's Tommy Basilio might not be quite as loveable as Jeff Bridges' The Dude in the Big Lebowski (in which Buscemi appears), but he's every bit the loser. It's really apples vs. oranges here, or rather shots vs. joints. Click here for a clip that shows Buscemi working his bar magic on a floozy played by Debi Mazar.

The soundtrack is bound together by weepers like "I've Been Hurt" by Bill Deal and the Rhondels and a pair of Brenda Lee chestnuts: "You Always Hurt the One You Love" and "Break It to Me Gently." 

Break it to me gently
Let me down the easy way
Make me feel you still love me
If it's just, just for one more day

We can't promise there won't be a tear in our beer when we raise a glass tonight at Walter's...

UPDATE: Trees Lounge is airing at 4:15 a.m. Wednesday.  Why not get up early and do a few shots with Stevie Boy.