Jan 15, 2022

Billy's Books 59: Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil

OK, back to Star Wars. Here's the most recent Thrawn book, Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil. It's the conclusion of the Thrawn Ascendancy prequel trilogy, telling the story of Thrawn before he joins the Empire.

Thanks to the Saint Louis Public Library. Support your public library!

Dec 29, 2021

Billy's Books 58: Hero of Two Worlds

This time I'm reviewing a history book, and a recently published one even! Introducing Hero of Two Worlds: The Marquis de Lafayette in the Age of Revolution. Mike Duncan tells an engaging story of the Marquis, later General, LaFayette. He's a hero of two worlds: The New World (American Revolution) and the Old World (French Revolution). One went much better for him than the other. For a lot of people, really.

Thanks to the Saint Louis Public Library. Support your public library!

Dec 9, 2021

Billy's Books 57: Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans

Here's a different take on history by a different Mr. Jsckson. Or General Jackson, or later, President Jackson. Billy reviews a book about the Battle of New Orleans, called Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans.

Dec 7, 2021


I made another silly music video. This one's for the folks living in what we call "The Midwest", a.k.a. "Flyover country".

Billy D - voice, guitar, bass
Al Hifi - drums
David Taylor - voice

From the Billy Dechand album, UP.

Nov 22, 2021

Billy's Books 56: Get Back

The big news in the music world this week is the long-awaited release of Peter Jackson's documentary on the Beatles, Get Back. In case you didn't know, the original movie and album, Let It Be, was seen for the past 50 years as documenting the Beatles' miserable breakup story. That movie was grainy, with muddy audio -- such a bummer that they refused to re-issue it since the 1980s.

Given the rare opportunity to dive into the unseen footage, Peter Jackson discovered that a lot of the sessions were far more pleasant than expected. The Beatles themselves had absorbed the storyline of the original movie, and remembered it as a miserable time themselves. In 2020, Paul and Ringo were surprised and delighted to see so many smiles in the footage too.

Anyways, this is the book to go along with Mr. Jsckson's new documentary, to be released this Thanksgiving. It's mostly a day-to-day transcription of select conversations. It's fascinating and funny, just like those fellas.

The book, and presumably the docu-series, is broken into three parts:

  • Act I: Twickenham Studio, the cold, impersonal movie set
  • Act II: Apple basement, where they rehearsed and recorded album tracks
  • Act III: The Rooftop Concert

Thanks to the Saint Louis Public Library for the loan. Support your public library!