Dec 1, 2019

Billy's Books 28: The Naked Sun

Billy reviews Isaac Asimov's robot book, "The Naked Sun".


The Three Laws of Robotics:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. 
  2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. 
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

Nov 24, 2019

Billy's Books 27: Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life

Eric Idle is a funny man, by profession. He has funny friends; he has cool friends. You can hear about them here.

Say no more.

Nov 20, 2019

Buttered Up, bedhead rendition

I've been working on this song for a while. Here's a rough, early morning version. The subject is loosely the dangers of flattery.




Buttered Up by Billy Dechand, 2019

Buttered up, Buttered up
I can never never never get enough
Buttered up, Buttered up
I can never never never get enough

All it takes is a lie
She turned up the heat and I
Melted down to a mound
Then she spread a little salt all around

Tell me why, tell me how
I get flattered like a fattened up sow
Tell me why, tell me how
I get flattered like a fattened up sow

All it takes is a lie
She turned up the flame as I sat in the skillet
What a thrill, she called my name
Thought I was hip, but buttered up, slipped

Buttered up, Buttered up, Buttered up

What a trip, That’s a thick stick
A Solid pound of butter what a kick
Thought that I was more hip
This whole butter bucket's whipped, what a jip

All it takes is a lie
She turned up the heat and I
Melted down, to the ground 

Tried to stand up, but dripped down

Buttered up, Buttered up, Buttered up...

Oct 28, 2019

Billy's Books 26: Wichita Lineman

Here is a whole book dedicated to one song,"Wichita Lineman": its history, and all the players involved. It's definitely good reading for a songwriter. I don't know if it's good for any ol' music fan, but my guess is yes.

"What makes a record sound good in a car? It's not going to be a hit if it doesn't sound good in a car."
Jimmy Webb


The book review has the song starting halfway through. With hesitation, I offer the imperfect performance here in its entirety.

Oct 21, 2019

Who reviews the reviewers?

Who polices the police? Who reviews the reviewers?

I just read the New York Times book review of Thomas Chatterton Williams' Self-Portrait In Black And White. I offer no opinion about the book itself, even though it is popular to have strong opinions about things we actually haven't read.

But really... professional reviewers! I tell ya. Below is a quote from the review. The pot calling the kettle black?

Williams writes beautifully, but his pages include quotations from great men that sometimes seem like scattered proof of his sophistication, a reflection of insecurities he disavows. Some readers will find his rhetoric perfidious and reactionary, with its dismissal of identity politics and the concomitant particulars of the African-American experience.

Well, I had to look up a few vocabulary words reading this article, most easily translating to commonly known phrases. Dare I say, I find the concomitant particulars of this reviewer's rhetoric most perfidious, a reflection of insecurities he disavows.

Oct 20, 2019

Billy's Books 25: Thunderstruck

Billy reviews Erik Larson's book, Thunderstruck.

Be forewarned, unlike most of my reviews, this actually has some spoilers. So, here's your warning: SPOILER ALERT. It's really more of a pseudo-spoiler, telling what doesn't happen, as much as what does.