Fahrenheit 451

This week’s Tape on Book is Fahrenheit 451. The late great futurist writer Ray Bradbury’s grim reminder that knowledge, intellect, and books might just be useful in years to come.

Check out the mix here.

America in the Future: Strange Times – Black Keys
Living an existence under a government that is constantly on the verge of war, creates policies that limits freedoms and access to information, and supports a society of blind apathy and consumerism. Whew, I am glad this is science fiction, eh?

“It was a pleasure to burn.”: Books are Burning – XTC
XTC uses powerpop power in defense of the printed word. Well done, boys.

The Firemen: Search and Destroy – The Stooges
“I’m a Street-Walking Cheetah with a Heart Full of Napalm” maybe the single most intimidating line in all of rock n roll. Perfect motto for fascist firemen who revel in burning down homes.

Clarisse McClennan: She Lives in a Time of Her Own – 13th Floor Elevators
Don’t we all wish we had a mind-opening free-thinking gal living next door? My neighbor is an ornery cuss with a pitbull.

Guy Montag: I’m Set Free – Velvet Underground
Meathead turned intellectual and political refugee. I love this Guy!

Mildred Montag: Sound and Vision – David Bowie
In defense of Montag’s wife, I might be tempted to not care about the outside world if all I had to do was watch Bowie videos on my room-sized television all day.

Captain Beatty: See No Evil – Television
Beatty was a particularly heinous antagonist because he was obviously a well-read book burner. You just want to punch him in the face everytime he makes a Bible reference. He totally “gets it” and still destroys with glee and vigor. At least he finally got his flame-thrown comeuppances, I suppose.

Faber: Gates of Steel – Devo
English professor to the rescue….sort of: “So now do you see why books are hated and feared? They show the pores in the face of life. The comfortable people only want wax moon faces, poreless, hairless, expressionless.”

Poetry Party: Brainwashed – Kinks
Montag reads Dover Beach to his wife’s shallow and clueless friends eliciting tears, rage, and nausea. Of course, I’ve been to parties where someone’s poetry has had similar effects on guests.

The Plan: No Surprises – Radiohead
Plant books on the firemen so they get in trouble…then nobody can burn books, right?
Okay, it was probably the worst plan ever to try and overthrow the government. “A” for effort though.

Mechanical Hound: Hellhound on My Trail – Robert Johnson
Simply terrifying spider-dog machine that hunts and kills with no regard…like the terminator without the cheesy catchlines.

Granger and the Book People: Memories Can’t Wait – Talking Heads
Revolutionary revolutionaries. No violence. No protest. All you gotta do is memorize a few books  to change the world.

Book Of Ecclesiastes: Turn, Turn, Turn – Nina Simone
With respect to Mr. Seeger and The Byrds, a more soulful and wavering version was required to capture to power contained in Montag’s charge.

Bombs/End: New Day Rising – Hüsker Dü
It was quite a task to find a song that could soundtrack the image of bombs leveling a city while still somehow carrying a spirit of hope for the future. Thanks, Hüskers!

“People ask me to predict the future, when all I want to do is prevent it”
– Ray Bradbury (RIP)


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