Nov 5, 2020

Billy's Books 41: The Splendid and the Vile

Billy D reviews The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson, a Churchill-centric look at the first year of the Battle of Britain from the ground.

Oct 16, 2020

Billy's Books 40: Revenge Of The Sith

"While one Jedi lives, survive the Order does. Resist the darkness with every breath we must."
He lifted his head and the stick angled to poke Obi-Wan in the shin. "Especially the darkness in
ourselves, young one. Of the dark side, despair is."
The simple truth of this called to him. Even despair is attachment: it is a grip clenched upon pain.
Slowly, very slowly, Obi-Wan Kenobi remembered what is was to be a Jedi.

I read this book because I heard the book was better than the movie. Success! A low bar, for sure. But this book made me ache -- why wasn't the movie better? It's a great story. Very sad, but psychologically and historically very interesting.

The brighter the light, the darker the shadow...

Oct 2, 2020

Billy's Books 39: Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising

Yes, it's a Star Wars novel, another in the Thrawn series, Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising. This one's a "prequel", showing Thrawn's climb in rank and status with his own people, the Chiss Ascendancy, beyond the galaxy far, far away.

If you'd like some further reading, here is an interview with the author about this book.

Sep 23, 2020

New Songs Live

Tonight will be an online show, in which new songs will be presented. Check it out here.
Wednesday, September 23, 9:00 PM eastern, 8:00 central, etc.

And don't be shy about the Tip Jar.

Here's the set list:
  1. Beautiful (Dechand)
  2. Pop Another Cork (Dechand)
  3. Evil I (Dechand)
  4. Longest Darkest Night (Dechand)
  5. Thirteen (Chilton / Bell)
  6. Your Racist Friend (Flansburgh / Linnell)
  7. Shame On The Moon (Crowell)
  8. Be What You See (working title) (Dechand)
  9. Who Would Jesus Shoot (Dechand)
  10. Winner (Dechand)
  11. F--ked Up (Dechand)
  12. Egret (Dechand)
  13. Buttered Up (Dechand)
  14. Company (Shmitt / Friedman)
  15. Ship of Fools (Johnstone / Plant)
  16. Mad World (Orzabal)
  17. Soul Love (Bowie)

Sep 16, 2020

Who Would Jesus Shoot? (Acoustic)

For the Christians who think Jesus would like your guns. I'm still revising, but here's a mostly-finished song.

Aug 29, 2020

Billy's Books 38: Remain In Love

Chris Frantz is most famous for being the drummer for Talking Heads. He does the classic autobiography thing, where he briefly talks about his parents' backgrounds, then his childhood, then to the juicy stuff. He's a very nice guy, even when criticizing others. 

These are his main points:  
  • He loves Tina Weymouth. 
  • Talking Heads are awesome. Touring is fun. 
  • David Byrne is difficult and weird. 
  • He lives a charmed life.

I stop talking before they even go on tour, their first being Europe with the Ramones. The stories are highly amusing. They later tour with one of my other favorite bands, XTC, then Dire Straits, and so on, as they get more and more famous.

In their early years, the kids were dancing "The Pogo", as demonstrated here, by fellow CBGB's-dweller, Debbie Harry: