Thursday, May 9, 2013

My Dream Gatsby Soundtrack

The new Gatsby movie (coming out TODAY !!!!) has stirred up quite a bit of chatter over its soundtrack, which is full of hip new music including Lana Del Rey, Florence and the Machine, and Jay-Z.
So none of that retro “Has Anybody Seen My Gal” from the 1974 film.
Luhrmann has made it clear that the themes of The Great Gatsby still apply today, and he will use today’s music to make that clear.  I like what he did with modern tunes in Romeo + Juliet, so I’m keeping an open mind.

And also thinking of what Music I would choose for relevant Gatsby scenes… Hmmm…
Yes, I know this is absurd and you could not rationally fit all these songs into a movie (well, my ideal Gatsby movie would be like 4 hours), and this is the most eclectic playlist ever, but I associate these particular songs with those particular scenes and had so much fun creating this!

1. Time in a Bottle by Jim Croce
2. Bang Bang by Nancy Sinatra
3. Jolene by Dolly Parton
4. A Girl Like You by Edwyn Collins
5. Still Loving You by Scorpions
6. Howling For You by The Black Keys
7. I Love It by Icona Pop
8. Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve
9. Sixteen Tons by Tennessee Ernie Ford
10. Sympathy For The Devil by the Rolling Stones
11. Riders On The Storm by The Doors
12. Whatever You Like by Anya Marina
13. Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright by Bob Dylan
14. Taste by Lorna Vallings or Come Here Boy by Imogen Heap
15. Psycho Killer by The Talking Heads
16. I Heard it Through the Grapevine by Marvin Gaye
17. Turn on Billie by The Pierces
18. Poison and Wine by The Civil Wars
19. Don’t Fear the Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult
20. I Started a Joke by the Bee Gees
21. Settle Down by Kimbra
22. Lilac Wine by Jeff Buckley
23. Tragedy by Brandi Carlile
24.Run by Snow Patrol
25. The Scientist by Coldplay
26. You Can’t Always Get What You Want by The Rolling Stones

And in further detail below, with song samples and fantabulous images that help sum up my perceptions of the scenes---

Time In a Bottle by Jim Croce
played during the opening credits.  The simple acoustic dum dee dum of this song and the lyrics are fittig for Nick’s introduction and the fact that he is reminiscing. And the fact that the story seems so lighthearted and basic at the beginning.

Bang Bang by Nancy Sinatra
when Nick arrives to visit Daisy and her and Jordan are languishing on the coaches in the afternoon sun and he meets Jordan for the first time.  This scene has a strange, sultry slowness to it, which this song matches to a T.

(and check out Nancy's pink dress in this video!! wowza, love her.)

Jolene by Dolly Parton
I don’t know scene-wise how this would be introduced with dialogue going on, but for when Nick and Jordan and Tom and Daisy are having drinks in one of the earliest scenes and Tom goes to take a call from his mistress Myrtle, and everyone knows exactly who he is talking to—“Tom has a girl in New York.”  This song is a woman singing to her husband’s mistress and totally fitting.


A Girl Like You by Edwyn Collins 
for the apartment party that Tom and Myrtle throw in the city that Nick gets wasted at.  This party is described as crazy drunken revelry in the heat of the summer and the bewildering sound and lyrics of this song are perfect for Myrtle tipsily spinning around and the basic orgy that happens here.

And it captures the general weirdness of Myrtle and her unexpected relationship with Tom.

Still Loving You by Scorpions
for the chilling moment (well, there are multiple times he does this) when Gatsby is at the end of his dock gazing at the green light in the distance.  The green light at the end of Daisy’s dock, and pining for her.  The guitar solo opening and intensity of the song when the beat kicks in, plus the lyrics “Time, it needs time to win back your love again…If we'd go again  all the way from the start, I would try to change the things that killed our love…Is there really no chance to start once again…I’m still loving you.”
Do those lyrics not sum up the relationship between Daisy and Gatsby? And the fact that he is trying to recreate the past?? Perfection.  And so quietly intense, like Gatsby’s desperation.

Howling for You by The Black Keys
for a compilation shot of preparing for Gatsby’s party and the first guests pulling into the drive. You know, when they’re getting all the booze out and cutting up the fruit, pouring a glass chandelier tower of champagne, the band is setting up, the people that have been swimming at the beach are coming up the shore drying their hair and go upstairs to slip on suits and evening gowns.
You know what I’m saying—cut together a bunch of shots to this song, like the waiters sneaking shots of whiskey in the kitchen, a woman upstairs putting on red lipstick, the fountains in the garden being turned on, etc.  This song is catchy and like the ultimate pre-party song when you’re starting to get pumped up.  It is anticipatory.  Now for when the party is in full swing I would choose….

I Love It by Icona Pop.
And have a giant crowd of people in their glad rags outside leaping into the air all at once and shooting champagne in the air.

Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve
for that moment when he meets Gatsby and is enchanted.

Sixteen Tons by Tennessee Ernie Ford

played while Gatsby is telling his tales about where he came from—growing up and the war and all that.  This song is lighthearted and always reminds me of hard work, and contrasts interestingly with Gatsby’s bullshit about coming from wealth.

Sympathy for the Devil by the Rolling Stones
played during the meeting with Meyer Wolfshiem. Because duh.

Riders on the Storm by The Doors
for the rainy day when Gatsby and Daisy are reunited and Gatsby is pacing, anxious about seeing her again and everything being perfect.  The unnerving, thrumming bass beat of this song and it’s disturbing lyrics are perfect for the tensions of that moment, when we see Gatsby’s pretensions fall away.
 It also helps that it has the sounds of thunder in the intro to the song, as it is pouring outside for this scene.

Whatever You Like by Anya Marina
The remake of that awful T.I. song is actually badass.  This should be played when Gatsby gives Daisy the grand tour of his house and is throwing his beautiful shirts into the air and they are whirling through the ballroom.

Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright by Bob Dylan
for the scenes where Gatsby and Daisy are secretly hanging out together and making out and generally getting reacquainted.  I think the lyrics (“don’t think twice, it’s alright”) is what Gatsby is encouraging Daisy, wife and mother who is engaging in an affair, to do.
And if there was a really erotic scene between the two, Taste by Lorna Vallings or Come Here Boy by Imogen Heap. Holy hotness.

Psycho Killer by The Talking Heads
for the party at Gatsby’s when he invites Daisy and only wants to impress her with his absurd wealth, but she has an awful time and finds out about Gatsby being a bootlegger and is upset.
I can’t think of a more oppressive, annoying song for drunken people to be dancing to around you when you are shocked and saddened by news and just want to get away. 

I Heard it Through the Grapevine by Marvin Gaye
when Tom is starting to put 2 and 2 together watching Daisy with Gatsby…

Turn on Billie by The Pierces
for that sweltering afternoon that is the breaking point for the whole plot. Everyone is on edge but the tension is palpable.

Poison and Wine by The Civil Wars
for the fight between Tom and Gatsby in New York City when they all go out there to escape the heat and Tom confronts Gatsby.  Gatsby replies that Daisy loves him. It doesn't end well, obviously.

Don’t Fear the Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult
when they are speeding from New York City back to Long Island before Myrtle gets hit. Everyone’s blood is boiling at this point and I think the pace of this song would be great to capture that song, and the preeminent death of Myrtle.  Irony and foreshadowing.
The instrumentals near the end of the song would be perfect for Myrtle dashing outside, and her body getting smashed.  Ugh. I can’t believe I just wrote that.

 I Started a Joke by the Bee Gees
when Gatsby realizes Daisy has chosen Tom over him and Nick leaves Gatsby standing by himself in the moonlight. This song is so good and sad, and captures the sympathy I feel for Gatsby in that moment.

Settle Down by Kimbra
for the morning after, when Nick goes to see Gatsby at dawn.  Gatsby is a mess and tells Nick the whole backstory between him and Daisy.  She told him she would wait for him when he went to war, and didn’t.
Have you heard this song? Her voice is amazing and the chanting in the background is amazing. I feel this song can sum up Gatsby's sensation of being abandoned by her, and what she did to him (settled down--look to the song title).

Lilac Wine by Jeff Buckley
as Wilson loses his mind, dwelling on the eyes of Dr. Eckleberg and finds Gatsby drifting in the pool staring at the sky, and we all know what happens next… Can’t you just picture Gatsby’s life ending suddenly to the wrenching undulations of Buckley's voice?

 Tragedy by Brandi Carlile
for Gatsby’s pathetic, lonely funeral.

Run by Snow Patrol
played as Nick hears of Gatsby’s earlier life from his father, ends things with Jordan, and runs into Tom in the city.  Nick won’t shake Tom’s hand at first but finally does so reluctantly. Tom says Gatsby “deserved to die” and Nick realized how shallow and selfish Tom and Daisy are, and that they will always avoid consequences by hiding behind their money.

The Scientist by Coldplay
as Nick reminisces about everything that happened and how the Midwest differs from the East. 
This is the night before he leaves New York for Minnesota and lies on Gatsby’s beach, watches the moon rise, and sees the green light at the end of the dock.

You Can’t Always Get What You Want by The Rolling Stones End credits.

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