Mix-Tape Mondays: All That Glitters

Things were pretty hairy there for awhile in Florida, in fact they basically went straight to hell, but now I’m home on a brief break before Germany and ready to bring you another round of


In the interest of timeliness and inspiration, this week I’ve chosen

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald


Baz Luhrmann is one of my favorite directors (sharing the title with Danny Boyle). He takes a mighty swing with every film, and even if he doesn’t quite hit the target it’s still a spectacular effort to behold. I particularly enjoy the ways he plays with music on his soundtracks, and that’s what inspired me to pick Gatsby this week. It’s a rich American tale of spectacle, status, and accumulation confused with love. The songs I’ve chosen and the order I’ve put them in reflects the whiplash narrative of a novel that swings from flashy to morose, breezy to desolate and back without stopping for breath.

1. Glam! Electro Swing Remix – Dimie Cat

It all looks like one big party to onlooker Nick Carraway, the biggest party. A jazz-age explosion of beautiful people with the most expensive trappings spilling from neighbor Gatsby’s house. It’s alluring, and he is soon swept into orbit around Gatsby’s planet.

2. Cooler Than Me – Mike Posner

Jay Gatsby puts on a good show, but at the end of the day his planet orbits around its own star: Daisy Buchanan. Every ounce of spectacle is calculated to catch her eye and draw her near.

3. Money – Flying Lizards

The detached delivery of the lyric echoes the way that all of the money folks in the world of Gatsby interact with the world around them. The green is what it all comes back to: who has it, and for how long.

4. Puttin’ On the Ritz (Club Des Belugas Remix) – Fred Astaire

If money’s what it takes to win Daisy Buchanan, Gatsby’ll get it all and flash it around.

5. Can’t Stay Away From You – Gloria Estefan

There’s a lot of this going around in Gatsby: Jay Gatsby can’t stay away from Daisy, Daisy is herself drawn toward Gatsby and his intensity, and so is everyone else. Especially Nick Carraway, who follows him all the way down his own personal rabbit hole.

6. Aicha – Cheb Khaleb

A yearning song about a man who has devoted the whole of his life to pleasing one woman, who passes by as though he did not even exist.

7. The “In” Crowd – Bryan Ferry

The weirdly sinister delivery of this version puts me in mind of the latter half of Gatsby, when Nick Carraway begins to see how empty and low this glitzy world really is. Rich and bored, slumming with working-class girls and renting hotel rooms for an icy bath on a hot day.

8. It’s My Life – No Doubt

As Daisy’s ambivalence becomes more apparent, Gatsby’s frustration grows. He’s bet the house on her and it’s barely turned her head.

9. Sideways – Citizen Cope

Having sailed by no star other than the green light at the end of the Buchanans’ dock, Gatsby is left adrift when his gamble doesn’t pay off.

2 responses to “Mix-Tape Mondays: All That Glitters

  1. Great song list! I haven’t seen the movie yet so I’m curious: Does it compare favorably to the book in your opinion?
    I’d love to see some more chair-rated book reviews! I miss the Ink updates. 🙂

    • I haven’t gotten to see the movie either! I was going to see it with my niece before I left, but she went to the races instead. There’s no English theater showing it locally here in Germany, and I’d hate to wait for video. As for the reviews, I have two drafts in progress and I’m hoping to get another Mix-Tape Monday up today so perhaps your wish will come true!

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