By Priya Perera

This month I decided to take Tadpole Audio’s tagline (“Where music and story meet.  And hang out for a while”) in the most literal sense.  I revived and updated a mixtape I did a few years ago for a music exchange group I was in with some friends. My contribution to the group was to music supervise a book – The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

In case you haven’t read this classic tale, it takes place during the “roaring ‘20s” and is told through the eyes of Nick Carraway.  Nick is a modest man who gets an inside look into the affairs (in all senses of the word) of several Long Island residents when he decides to rent a house next door to Jay Gatsby, a wealthy guy who likes to party more than Gossip Girl’s Chuck Bass and is in love with a married woman.  It’s the perfect combination of drama and tragedy only to be further enhanced with a few tunes.  Cue the music:

1.  Billy Idol “Eyes Without a Face”
“The eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckelburg are blue and gigantic – their retinas are one yard high.  They look out of no face, but, instead from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles which pass over a non-existent nose.”

2.  Etta James “Fool That I Am”
“I’m glad it’s a girl.  And I hope she’ll be a fool – that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”

3.  Miles Davis “Move!”
“It was the kind of voice that the ear follows up and down, as if each speech is an arrangement of notes that will never be played again.”

4.  Spoon “I Turn My Camera On”
“He informed me that he was in the ‘artistic game,’ and I gathered later that he was a photographer…”

5. Estelle “In the Rain”
“The rain cooled about half-past three to a damp mist, through which occasional thin drops swam like dew.”

6.  Asobi Seksu “Pink Cloud Tracing Paper”
“’Look at that,’ she whispered, and then after a moment:  ‘I’d like to just get one of those pink clouds and put you in it and push you around.’”

7.  Incubus “Make Yourself”
“So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end.”

8. T.I. “Goodlife”
“On week-ends his Rolls-Royce became an omnibus, bearing parties to and from the city between nine in the morning and long past midnight…”

9.  New Order “Bizarre Love Triangle”
“’Can’t repeat the past?’” he cried incredulously.  ‘Why of course you can.’”

10.  Ben Folds Five “Fair”
“No, but the car passed me down the road, going faster’n forty.  Going fifty, sixty.”

11.  Dinah Washington and Brook Benton “A Rockin’ Good Way to Mess Around and Fall in Love”
“I can’t describe to you how surprised I was to find out I loved her, old sport.  I even hoped for a while that she’d throw me over, but she didn’t, because she was in love with me too.”

12.  Damien Rice “Cheers Darlin'”
“He came back from France when Tom and Daisy were still on their wedding trip, and made a miserable but irresistible journey to Louisville on the last of his army pay.”

13.  Blue October “Everlasting Friend”
“Maybe you got some friend that I could telephone for, George?”

14.  Mark Ronson and the Business Intl “Somebody To Love Me”
“Look here, old sport, you’ve got to get somebody for me.  You’ve got to try hard.  I can’t go through this alone.”

15.  DeVotchKa “How It Ends”


You can probably buy The Great Gatsby at your local bookstore, but if you live in a vacuum, there is always Amazon.

Priya is looking forward to seeing the Baz Lurhman version of The Great Gatsby sometime in 2012.