Mar 24, 2024

Billy's Book 83: The New Roman Empire

Here's a new history book -- about old stuff. The New Roman Empire is about what is commonly known today as the Byzantine Empire. Do you know what it was called in its day? Romania, just like the first part of the Roman Empire. I learned about this book because the author, Anthony Kaldellis, is a frequent guest on a podcast I've been following for a while, The History of Byzantium, which picks up where another podcast, The History of Rome, ends. I enjoy them both immensely.

Thanks to Nancy for the book. But if you don't get it for Christmas, support your local library!

Mar 6, 2024

Doctor Special's First Single

Introducing Doctor Special, my Saint Louis-based rock band; this is our first single: "Hypocrite".

It's a true "single", meaning it has a B-side: "Not To Be You". These are a couple inward-looking songs written by Yours Truly. So much judging of others these days, with little self-evaluation...

Recorded and mixed by Billy Dechand; mastered by Zach Chapple.

This is Doctor Special (L-R):

  • Micah Johnson - bass
  • Ernesto Doural, Jr. - drums
  • Billy Dechand - voice, guitar
  • Mark Youngbauer - guitar

You can find this at your favorite music service:

Feb 13, 2024

Don't Overthink It (Lyric Video)

Not that anyone needed it, but I created a lyric video for the title track to my 2022 EP, Don't Overthink It. I used images generated by DAL-E and Google's AI, whose name just changed. They don't get credit in the video because they don't give credit to their sources.

Dec 31, 2023

Billy's Books 82: The Wreck of the Whaleship Essex

Here's another history book -- history influencing literature. This is a 19th Century journal by Owen Chase, the first mate of the Whaleship Essex. It's the true story of a whale directly attacking a whaleship, destroying it, and the sailors' survival story. This is the book that inspired Herman Melville to write Moby Dick.

I'm joined by my beloved Lola, with guest doggy Birdie joining us for the holidays. 

As always, thanks to Saint Louis Public Library for the book. Support your local library!

Nov 23, 2023

Billy's Books 81: George Harrison: The Reluctant Beatle

Back to the Beatles! Here's the new biography George Harrison: The Reluctant Beatle by Philip Norman. George is the most paradoxical of Beatles -- the most cosmic yet most down-to-Earth, the nicest and the meanest, etc.

I gotta say, when the book gets into the '70s, George does not come across well. If you don't want to be discouraged by cynical or cruel behaviour, maybe don't read it after all...

One last factoid: The remastered All Things Must Pass (2000) outsold the original, going seven times Platinum. Dang.

As always, thanks to Saint Louis Public Library for the book. Support your local library!

Nov 4, 2023

Save KDHX: The Album

I wrote "These Two (Got to Go)" with Anthony Brescia for this compilation.

The KDHX story is a sticky one, and ongoing. Follow the links for a better understanding of the issues: