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Dead Whale Society, 2007

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Recorded 2006-2007. Released April, 2007

Track Listing (Bold indicates "new" material)

The Gambler's Blues (previously unreleased)

43rd & Phinney (previously unreleased)

Pacific Ballad (previously unreleased)

"Pictures of You" (Untitled, previously unreleased)

The "Euro Promo" Version Track List (shown above):


Deep Forgotten Blues

What Ever Became of Betty?

The Travelers Song

Strangers No Longer

Gainesville Girl

The Captain's Bride 

Life Behind Bars

Wish You Were Really Here

Song of The Valley

In The Eyes of a Drifter (Later changed to "Ballad of a Drifter")

Prisoners of War

(Track 2) Peter Toutant: guitar; engineering: self tapes.

(Track 3) Drew Holzfiend: piano; Emily Jane Powers: backing vocals; Jason Miller: lead guitar; ??: upright bass; John Scarpelli: drums. Engineering: The Rhythm Cafe, Chicago, IL.  Co-production: Brian Carrigan.

(Track 5) Rocco Labriola: pedal steel, lead guitar; engineering: Tom Weiss, Chicago, IL.

(Track 6) Peter Toutant: guitar; engineering: self tapes.

(Track 7) John Scarpelli: mandolin; Skye McNeill: "The Captain's Bride Vocal". Engineering: The Rhythm Cafe, Chicago, IL.

(Track 8) Engineering by Tom Weiss.

(Track 9) Engineering by Tom Weiss.

(Track 11) Engineering by Tom Weiss.

(Track 12) Will Dyer: drums; ??: saxophone, ??: lead guitar.  Tape Engineering by Bill McAdams, Blackberry Way Studios, Pittsburgh, PA.


Mastered by Carl Saff, Chicago, IL.


Tracking at The Rhythm Cafe, Chicago 2006


Working on "Pacific Ballad", Seattle, 2006


Performing at The Hideout, Chicago

The ill-fated second (and last) "Folk" record created in Chicago between the last year of college and transitioning into his early job career, Sands began to explore darker Americana themes inspired by a growing pool of other songwriters who were out to "challenge" one another, including Curtis Evans, Joe Pug, Rebecca Rego, Jeremy Miller, Sarah Holtszlag, and Tom Schraeder.  Now having a car, Sands was able to travel to more studios and sessions, but was never pleased with the majority of results, and began to take an increasingly bitter and more experimental turn: getting lost in Sound FX, never settling for particular lyrics, endless re-recording, and all-the-while coinciding with a brief and intense relationship with Seattle visual artist Skye McNeill.  McNeill would appear on the original version of "The Captain's Bride", a winding folk/soundscape based on the writing of Paramahansa Yogananda, (and considered disappointing) follow-up to the much catchier "What Ever Became of Betty?", both produced at The Rhythm Café in downtown Chicago. 


After leaving The Captain's Bride Session, Sands learned of the passing of his paternal grandmother after deterioration from dementia.  In and out of the picture was also Sands' college girlfriend- Lauren (Betty), and the emotional turmoil culminated with "Pictures of You" (originally Untitled), and "Gainesville Girl"- an attempt at winning back McNeill after severely destroying their relationship.  "43rd and Phinney" was about the aftermathand Sands tried unsuccessfully to get McNeill to travel to Portugal.  Sands, who was never a strong live performer, also managed to alienate Chicago talent buyers, and after saving the money from his first job, he "fled" Chicago to Portugal, but not before starting an affair with photographer (and later girlfriend) Natalie Miller.  The album name "Dead Whale Society" was a solemn choice- it was McNeill's favorite animal.  It's not that Sands wished her dead- it was that the idea of a relationship that was totally "dead".  

"The Portugal debacle" led to Sands performing 2 live shows in London, UK at The Slaughtered Lamb, while bumming around with other "folkies" from the US and England.  Additional tracks from the first Self-Titled Alexander Sands album were later added to this second album as a promotional effort while travelling in Europe.  While in Madeira Island (Portugal), Sands thought about jumping from a high cliff in the town of Boa Morte (Good Death), before repenting and receiving a sign from God to move on.  After returning to the capital of Funchal, he befriended Maria Lamas, who would later become his first wife in 2015 (div. 2016). 


Sands returned to the States and flew to Tucson, where he an Miller would reunite for a trip through Baja California in the summer of 2007.  It was here that Sands wrote "The Gambler's Blues", also a previously unreleased track and was the last folk song of this period.  The totality of the trip resulted in Miller having a car accident (Sands was not in the vehicle), and Sands nearly being stabbed by a homeless man in Venice Beach while the couple argued over not having a place to sleep.  Now penniless and with no vehicle, Sands borrowed money from a friend in Long Beach in order to fly back to Pittsburgh.  Disenchanted by his lack of success in folk music (and relationships), and having to move back home, Sands effectively quit Folk while subsequently forming The Airplane Graveyard, a rock band. 

The original track listing and back cover of this album are lost.  

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