Playlist for The Big One | Nine Lies – Blind

Hmmm. This one is more than just a simple add to the Playlist for The Big One.

This is one of those surreal moments wherein the Facebook ref a friend sent about a hard-rocking indie band out of Northern Ireland trying to raise money for a new MRI scanner on behalf of a toddler with a rare debilitating illness turns out to be one of the groups I had on my list of Must Listens for 2012.

The toddler is named Blaze. He’s four-years-old and, according to his folks, he’s one helluva fighter for a ‘wee man.’ You should learn more about Blaze on the website his parents created called Blaze’s Appeal

The band is called Nine Lies. The song is ‘Nothing Left For Me

Nine Lies rocks! They are most excellent. And they are on a serious roll.

•    The Song “Blind” licensed to Warner TV
•    The Song “Behind It All” licensed as the theme tune to TV programme ‘Our Prisoner’ in the USA.
•    The Song “We R1” licensed to Techno Sweat
•    The Licensing of several tracks to PC Games Development and Publishing for “Trucker 2″
•    The song “Slippin Away” selected by ASCAP for excellence in song writing award at Music Expo in L.A.
•    Legendary Producer Stuart Epps working with Nine Lies on the “Someone” EP
•    Nine Lies were invited to play at Times Square, NYC for St Patricks Day 2011
•    Being the Headline Act on the  Unsigned Stage at Lark in the Park 2011
•    Being invited back to play FMI Music Festival, Brazil 2011

Stevie Mann – Music Production, Lyricist, Lead singer
Dave Kernohan – Guitarist, back vocals
Nick Black – Guitarist, arrangments
Stoogie – Drums
John Rossi – Bass Guitarist, Backing Vocals (formerly of Snow Patrol)

Other than heart & soul, I don’t know what the connection is – if any – between Blaze and Nine Lies.  Good on the band for stepping up.

You can follow Nine Lies online at

Vid for Blaze’s Appeal

Vid for Nothing Left For Me

Playlist for The Big One | Brian Mackey – Honest Love

This add to the Playlist for The Big One is ‘Honest Love’ – a makes-you-smile upbeat americana-countryish-worldbeat tune by very accomplished NYC-based singer/songwriter Brian Mackey.

Mackey & his music are everywhere these days. His songs ‘Color Blue’ and ‘Honest Love’ have been placed in four feature fims due for release in 2012 – “The Boys of Abu Graib” with actors Sara Paxton (Last House on the Left) and Sean Austin (Lord of the Rings), “Fake” directed by Gregory Friedle with Robert Loggia and Gabriel Mann, “Fathoms Deep”, and “29,000 Wishes, 1 Regret” directed by Oliver Robins (Poltergeist).

In 2011, Mackey was on stage at The Highline Ballroom, Angels and Kings NYC, The Bluebird Cafe, Nashville, Hotel Cafe, Los Angeles, The Mercury Lounge NYC, Sullivan Hall NYC, Gavin De Graw’s National Underground NYC, Austin’s SXSW music festival,  The Cape May festival on the Jersey Shore, Florida Music Festival, The Hard Rock Cafe, Nashville, Six Flags Amusement Park in Missouri, Musikfest in PA, University of Akron, and Johnson CC in Kansas.

His radio plays include Indie Revolution Radio feature on New York’s 100.9 WMIR, Austin’s Big Talker Radio — 98.9 FM, Interview on IRadio LA, 91.7 WNJR Pittsburgh, Radio UK International Showcase Hour and featured artist on Indie104LA, Cape Cod 90.7 WKKL,  as well as numerous other radio stations and features. He also was endorsed by Gap’s Born to Play Live 40th anniversary events.

‘Honest Love’ video shot in Chicago and produced by Nick Cavalier.

Follow Brian Mackey online at



Scotland | Adventure activities consultation

Edinburgh | A consultation on the development of a safety system for adventure activities in Scotland has been launched by the Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, Shona Robison.

The Scottish Government is considering the best way forward for Scotland in light of the UK Government’s plan to replace the statutory Adventure Activities Licensing Authority (AALA) with a new voluntary code of practice.

The AALA was established in 1995 to licence caving, climbing, trekking and watersports operators after four young people lost their lives canoeing at Lyme Bay in Dorset.

The consultation, launched today, seeks views on three proposals:

Adopting the model proposed by the UK Government – this would see the current licensing regime replaced with a voluntary code of practice. This would remove the costs and bureaucracy associated with licensing but end the current inspection regime

Introducing a non-statutory, voluntary accreditation scheme – this would still include an element of inspection and accreditation, however, public bodies would only be able to promote and encourage compliance not enforce any scheme.

Introducing a statutory scheme – this would see the continuation of an inspection and statutory scheme for Scotland, although an appropriate body would need to be identified to carry out its functions

Launching the consultation today at Glenmore Lodge near Aviemore, Scotland’s National Outdoor Training Centre, Ms Robison, Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, said: “Taking part in outdoor adventure activities can be a highly enjoyable and rewarding experience for all the people of Scotland and our visitors. We want to increase levels of physical activity in Scotland by providing opportunities for everyone to safely take part in the wealth of active pursuits and attractions which are available the length and breadth of the country. We also want to do all we can to boost our key adventure tourism sector.”

However, we recognise that many people – including parents – believe an appropriate safety system should continue to provide a level of reassurance and confidence to users, their families and the wider public.”

The UK Government’s proposed abolition of the AALA has implications for Scotland. Any safety system developed for adventure activities in Scotland would need to meet the needs of Scottish providers and users whilst being robust and proportionate.

“That’s why I want to hear views on whether a statutory inspection and licensing regime should be maintained or if a new approach should be adopted and would encourage anyone with an interest to have their say on what should be put in place.”

Nigel Marshall, Chair of the Scottish Advisory Panel for Outdoor Education (SAPOE), said:”We agree that consultation with stakeholders is the key to finding an informed solution to the perceived problem of removing AALA. We believe that through this process a solution which is credible, robust and reassuring for parents and local authorities will be found. It will also offer the opportunity for providers who use Adventure Activity Licensing as a marketing tool to offer their opinion.”

Clearly Scottish Government through this consultation has demonstrated its commitment to outdoor learning and therefore SAPOE must endorse this initiative.”

Iain Peter, Chair of the Scottish Adventure Activity Forum (SAAF), said: “SAAF welcomes the Scottish Government’s consultation. In Scotland we enjoy unrivalled access to the natural environment and we believe that young people should have the opportunity to take part in adventurous outdoor activities safely. Clearly we need to strike a balance between risk and bureaucracy and it is only right that we take this opportunity to consult with providers of activities, parents, participants, teachers and other interested parties to determine the best way forward for Scotland.”

Kim Atkinson, Policy Director, of the Scottish Sports Association (the independent voice of Scottish Governing Bodies), said: “The Scottish Sports Association welcomes this consultation and the opportunity for all Scottish stakeholders to contribute to these important discussions. Voluntary sports clubs are a significant stakeholder in the provision of adventure activities within Scotland. We strongly encourage those bodies representing voluntary sports clubs involved in adventure activities to respond to this consultation.”

We will continue to work closely with the Scottish Government in representing the views of our members – the Scottish Governing Bodies of sport – throughout this process.”

To support the consultation there will be a number of regional events held across Scotland, which will run during the 12 week consultation period.

The Adventure Licensing Activities Authority was established by the Activity Centres (Young Persons’ Safety) Act 1995 and the Adventure Activities Licensing Regulations 2004, which requires commercial providers of adventure activities for young people under the age of 18 to hold a licence for the activities of caving, climbing, trekking and watersports.

A licence is required where schools or colleges provide activities to pupils of another educational establishment or to other members of the public, in return for payment.

Activity centres, field study centres and the like which are run by education authorities or departments are also required to have a licence if they provide one of the in-scope activities.

The HSE was designated as the Adventure Licensing Activities Authority from April 2007, with Tourism Quality Services Ltd contracted to administer the licensing scheme across England, Scotland and Wales on HSE’s behalf.

In June the HSE launched a 12-week consultation seeking views on the abolition of the AALA, replacing it with a new code of practice. This would require the 1995 Act to be repealed. As its subject matter is both devolved and reserved the Scottish Parliament must be given the opportunity to provide its consent through a Legislative Consent Motion. There is therefore the ability for Scotland to develop its own solution if minded to do so.

The duties of the AALA, carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), have until now applied across the UK. However, Scottish parliamentary consent is required if the change being considered by the UK Government was to apply north of the border.

Scotland | Anthrax outbreak 2009-2010 – report published

Edinburgh | On 28 December 2011 Health Protection Scotland, acting on behalf of the National Anthrax Outbreak Control Team (NAOCT), published a report into the outbreak of anthrax among injecting drug users which occurred in Scotland between December 2009 and December 2010.

During the course of the outbreak, 208 suspected cases were formally investigated. Of these, 119 were ultimately classed as anthrax cases, 47 of which were classed as confirmed, 35 as probable and 37 as possible cases based on the strength of the microbiological evidence. Of the 208 suspected cases investigated, 89 were classed as anthrax negative. There were 13 deaths amongst those classed as confirmed cases, and a further (fourteenth) death of a probable case.
This was the first documented outbreak associated with heroin use anywhere in the world, and proved to be the largest single common source outbreak of anthrax in humans in the UK in over 50 years.
The report describes the epidemiology of the outbreak, the investigations undertaken by the OCT and actions taken to manage the situation. The report also details lessons learned from the outbreak, from the challenges of diagnosis and clinical management of a new presentation of anthrax to managing effective communication with a hard to access vulnerable group of drug users.

The report is available at

Playlist for The Big One | Jacks and Aces – Last Days in Brooklyn

This add to the Playlist for The Big One goes out to Martin-Jeanguy and my other brothers & sisters who ride the neon range of EMS on overnight shifts.

‘Last Days in Brooklyn’ is a scorching blues rock tune from Jacks & Aces based in Portland ME.

You can hear the influence of Beck & Clapton in Jack Fossett’s fretwork on ‘Last Days’ from the band’s debut 2011 LP ‘Senseless.’Aces & Jacks are staying up late working on their second LP ‘Skyline’ slated for release in 2012.

Jack Fossett – Vocals, Lead Guitar
Zack Pomerleau – Drums
Kris Rodgers – piano
Pat Sylvia – Guitar
Andrew Buslovich – Vocals, Saxophone, Guitar
Kevin Roy – Bass

Online at

Upcoming dates:

Jan 7, 2012 Saturday 3:30 PM DamJam 2012 Damariscotta, ME Event Notes
Playing at DamJam 2012!!!
Feb 4, 2012 Saturday 8:00 PM Dover Brick House Dover, NH Event Notes

Last Days in Brooklyn – Jacks and Aces by jackfossett

Playlist for the Big One | The Susan Constant – Came/Went

This is a Saturday morning catchy rock/pop add to the Playlist for the Big One. The Susan Constant is an indie rock band out of Boston. The song is Came/Went from their 2011 LP ‘Rayonnement’.

“Committed to writing hooky and insightful indie rock for local consumption, we write radio songs for people who don’t listen to the radio.”

Hmmm. I’ll just roll with that line. The Susan Constant (not one of the ships that landed at Jamestown) sound a bit like the second-coming of The Silencers. Smart lyrics, great musicianship and serious hooks.

The Susan Constant has been filling clubs throughout Boston and New England since 2009. TSC released their debut album Rayonnement in March 2011. The debut single “Charles De Gaulle” has aired on major radio stations across Boston and has even stretched itself to New Zealand.

TSC is:

Jim Bernat – Keyboard/vocals
Brian Kingsbury – Guitar
Jason Rossman – Drums
Paul Sennott – Lead vocals/guitar
Mark Veligor – Bass/vocals

You can follow TSC online

Score a digital download of Rayonnement


Upcoming dates:

Jan 28, 2012
8:00 PM The Middle East (Upstairs) Cambridge, MA

New Zealand | Two of the eleven bodies being removed from scene of balloon crash

Carterton | Two of the eleven bodies are currently being removed from the scene of the fatal hot air balloon crash in Somerset Road, Carterton which occurred shortly before 7:30am this morning.

Wairarapa Area Commander Inspector Brent Register says the two bodies are being taken to Wellington Hospital’s mortuary. The other nine bodies will remain at the scene overnight.

New Zealand | Balloon crash investigation update

Carterton | Police are conducting a thorough investigation with a number of agencies, following the fatal hot air balloon crash which occurred in Carterton around 7:25am this morning.

Wairarapa Area Commander Inspector Brent Register says Police began receiving reports from eye witnesses about 7:25am, where they reported a hot air balloon in distress.

“It appears the hot air balloon operated by Early Morning Balloons left Kent Street, Carterton (behind The Paua Factory), between 6:40am and 6:45am.”

He says after a 45-minute flight, the balloon was to land in a paddock in Somerset Road, Carterton. As the balloon was preparing to land, it hit wires on a power line, causing sparking in the basket.

“At this point, two of the 11 people onboard, believed to be a male and a female, appear to have jumped from the basket.”

Inspector Register says the balloon then made a sharp ascent, a fire ignited on board and the balloon plummeted into a paddock approx 200 metres away on Somerset Road.

All 11 people on board, including the pilot and five couples from the wider Wellington region, were killed in the crash.

“We are continuing to work with our partner agencies, which include the Coroner’s office, the Civil Aviation Authority, the Transport Accident and Investigation Commission, Dept of Labour, NZ Fire Service and Victim Support.”

Inspector Register says a thorough investigation is being conducted to ascertain the cause of the tragedy.

“We are still in the process of identifying each of the 11 people and notifying their next of kin and this process will take some time, given it requires the skills of expert Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) staff.”

Inspector Register says a Police family liaison team has spent today working with some of the families of the deceased and providing the support they need at this tragic time. “Our thoughts are with them all as they come to terms with what has occurred this morning.”

New Zealand | Christchurch likely to experience more quakes in coming months

Christchurch | Christchurch is likely to experience more magnitude five or six earthquakes during the coming months but larger earthquakes are likely to be further away from the city causing less damage, experts say.

The latest earthquakes which have been occurring off the coast in Pegasus Bay are also unlikely to produce a large earthquake of magnitude seven, resulting in a life threatening tsunami.

GNS Science and Tonkin and Taylor experts today briefed the city’s elected members, local Members of Parliament and media about the latest seismic information at a meeting in the Christchurch Events Village in North Hagley Park. Mayor Bob Parker called the meeting following the latest aftershocks which began on 23 December 2011.

GNS Science Earthquake Scientist Kelvin Berryman said, “Our expectation is that the current sequence of earthquakes will start to decrease over the coming months and certainly we believe that a lot of the stress has already been released on the fault lines closer to the city. We believe we are progressing into a period similar to after the February and June 2011 earthquakes. They will go on for some time but they will become undetectable over time.”

He also said that the risk of tsunami had not changed as a result of the recent earthquakes. “From the information we have, a local source tsunami from an earthquake fault in Pegasus Bay is thought to be unlikely.”

Other key points made at today’s briefing include:

• The magnitude six earthquake that occurred on 23 December was only slightly above what scientists had predicted. Scientists have previously said that there was a 50% chance of a magnitude 5-5.9 earthquake occurring in the coming year.

• The probability of a magnitude seven earthquake is low.

• The peak ground acceleration (a measurement of how hard the ground shakes) is decreasing. The peak ground acceleration during the 23 December aftershocks was less than the 13 June aftershocks and significantly lower than that experienced during the 22 February earthquake, which caused significant building and ground damage.

• It is difficult to predict how long the region will continue to experience earthquakes but it could last for up to several decades. However, they will become undetectable except on sensitive instruments over time.

For further information, please see the Frequently Asked Questions.

New Zealand | 11 killed in fiery crash of hot air balloon

Somerset Road, Carterton | Police and emergency services remain at the scene of a hot air balloon crash in Somerset Road, Carterton which occurred around 0730 hours this morning.

Police received around half a dozen calls from residents in the Somerset Road area reporting a hot air balloon in difficulty.

Wellington District Commander Superintendent Mike Rusbatch says at this stage, it appears a fire has ignited on board, causing the hot air balloon to crash in farmland. Sadly, the pilot and ten passengers onboard have not survived.

“This is an absolutely tragic incident and our thoughts are with the families of the deceased. We are in the process of notifying next of kin however we will not be releasing any names until all next of kin have been advised.”

Superintendent Rusbatch says a disaster victim identification team is en route to the scene to begin the process of identifying the bodies.

“We also have a number of Police staff who are working with the families of the deceased to provide them with the support they need at this very difficult time.”

Police are working with a number of agencies including the Fire Service, the Coroner’s office, the Transport Accident and Investigation Commission, Civil Aviation Authority and the Department of Labour, to investigate what has led to this incident this morning.

A no fly zone is currently in force and Police will treat any breaches extremely seriously.