More Information


Mar. 25: Lyle Ritz RIP, Classical Music Feud, Wendy Red Star, Women on Wikipedia & More

This week we are all about change. From feminist art wikipedia editing parties to a young composer calling for a revitalization of classical music, Portland artists and musicians challenge the canon. March Sadness Update - 00:57 Last week we introduced you to March Sadness: the tournament of heartbreakers, grim reapers, and other incredibly sad songs to get you through the end of winter. We asked you to vote on which tracks you found most gut-wrenching, and we are down to the final two:...


Mar. 11 2017: Chicano Batman, Lee Kelly, Choreographer Ihsan Rustem, Thao & the Get Down Stay Down

This week, a transformational garden yields find treasures, a dance company whips a classic into an ebullient, glamorous new form, and we sway with two bands that double-dog-dare you to peg their eclectic styles.


Mar. 4: Colum McCann, Thara Memory, Modernizing Shakespeare, Surfer Blood & More

Ever find yourself lost in Shakespeare's flowery prose? A new project helps translate his writing into modern English. We also delve into a devastating scandal in the jazz community and take a trip across America on a bicycle with National Book Award–winning author Colum McCann.


Feb. 25: Virtual Reality Art, Last Artful Dodgr, National Museum of African American History

The crocuses are popping up, and this week's show blossoms with new music, new technology, dazzling comics, and so much more! Artists Will Transform Your World with Virtual Reality - 1:20 Imagine a gallery where you can step into a painting, fly through the ceiling to the heaven’s above, or learn a dance from a virtual flamingo. It’s not a world far off. Virtual and augmented reality stand to transform the art world, and the tech incubator Oregon Story Board is on the front lines. We...


Feb. 18: Damien Lillard's Rap Career, RAC's Grammy Win, 1939 Ensemble & More

This week on "State of Wonder," the Blazer talks about his side-gig as a rapper, Portland's indie remix pioneer brings home the win, Portland Community Media gets an update and more. Eugene Opera Hits the Pause Button - 1:25 This week the Eugene Opera faced the music with a public meeting about its finances. Taking into account staff and office costs, the Eugene Opera needs $230,000 to stay alive through the end of the fiscal year this summer and has suspended the rest of its season. Trail...


Feb. 11: Marvel's Luke Cage, Shy Girls, Eugene Opera, Liz Vice, Portland's Aerial Tram & More

Grab your rain coat and take a ride on the aerial tram, head out to the International Film Festival, support your art-loving neighborhood watering hole, or stay in and listen to Shy Girl's bedroom music — there's something for everyone this week. Marvel to Release New Luke Cage Series by Portland Writer David Walker - 1:23 The Netflix series has thrust the unbreakable superhero Luke Cage into the national spotlight, although he's been around since the early ‘70s as Power Man. Portland...


Jan. 14: David Byrne, Typhoon's Kyle Morton, Pander Brothers, Dance Across Cultures & More

State of Wonder will melt your winter blahs down to marshmallowy molten goodness with provocative dance projects, hot new fiction, and music for transformative times (with twirling rifles!). Tahni Holt’s Sensational Disorientation - 1:21 When it comes to women, there are two things American culture doesn’t look so kindly on: age and weight. Portland choreographer Tahni Holt’s newest performance delights in both. “Sensation/Disorientation” runs at Reed College’s Diver Studio Theatre as part...


Dec. 31: Richard Russo, Nikki McClure, Jonathan Lethem & Karen Russell at Wordstock

We love talking to authors about their books, but do you know what’s almost more fun? Talking to them about other people's books. This year, at the book festival Wordstock, we rounded up some amazing writers and illustrators on the OPB Pop-Up Stage to ask them: was there a book that changed your life? Richard Russo - 1:24 The books of Richard Russo are practically synonymous with small town American life. They tell stories of working-class folks in falling-down mill towns in upstate New...


Dec. 24: What Does It Mean To Support The Arts? Going Beyond Year End Giving

Because our mailboxes are flooding with requests for year-end giving, we're listening back to an episode we did last year with philanthropist, instigator, and friend to the arts, Dorie Vollum, who also kindly came aboard as our guest curator. This week, Vollum helps us explore what giving means — not just to the individual giving, but for the arts organizations on the receiving end, and how those relationships work. We look at her family’s deep history in the Portland economy and...


Nov. 26: Hari Kondabolu, Disjecta's Director Ousted, Roger Hobbs RIP, Julie Keefe & More

What a week! Disjecta's founder gets shown the door, we remember the precocious writer Roger Hobbs, Hari Kondabolu returns to Portland to put some funny back in politics, and we hear about the importance of play, even as an adult. Upheaval at Disjecta - 1:10 Disjecta Contemporary Arts Center is losing its founding executive director at the end of this year, and it’s not a happy split. The organization’s board took the unusual step of asking founding director Bryan Suereth to leave in what...


Nov. 12: Wordstock with Lindy West, Paul Simon Bio, Rivka Galchen and Luz Elena Mendoza

The toast of the literary season is Portland’s book festival, Wordstock. This week we bring you the first of several shows we taped: a bang-up time with three exceptional authors, and one song that left us starry-eyed, recorded in front of a packed audience at the Winningstad Theater. Peter Ames Carlin on Paul Simon - 1:00 Peter Ames Carlin has written about some of the most iconic musicians of the 20th century: Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson. His new book...


Nov. 5: Live at Eugene's Indie Game Con

Eugene is a surprising hotbed of video games. "Tribes," "Godzilla: Destroy All Monster's Melee," and "Red Baron" are just a few games to be developed in its local studios. While larger studios like Pipeworks tend to employee the most people, there's also an active indie scene that is nowhere more apparent than at the second annual Indie Game Con. Hundreds of people filled Lane Community College in early October to play new titles, from space shooters like "XO" and "Star Mazer" to fantasy...


Oct. 22: PDX Broadway Producer On 'Hamilton,' Ta-Nehisi Coates, Percussionist Colin Currie & More

Star Percussionist Colin Currie Plays Our Studio — The Oregon Symphony welcomes Colin Currie back to the stage Oct. 22–24. We talk with Curry about how he’s pushing the boundaries of contemporary classical music, as a soloist and through commissioning new works for percussion and orchestra. Then we give him an assortment of office goods (think recycling bin, bucket, vase, Dragon Boat oar) and ask him to play a tune. Bravo Youth Orchestra — Oregon Art Beat brings us this profile of the...


Oct. 15: Playwright Tanya Barfield's Homecoming Season

Tanya Barfield grew up in Portland and first caught the theater bug from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. But even though her plays have been performed around the country and got her nominated for a Pulitzer, they have never been staged in Portland. That is, until this year. Profile Theatre is running an entire season of her plays, ending with "Bright Half Life" from Oct. 27–Nov. 13. We’re going to spend this hour getting to know Barfield's work and exploring some ideas she’s turned us...


Oct. 8: Drive-By Truckers Live, Art Museum Expansion, Tin House Fiction Contest, Malia Jensen & More

Doing the hard work never sounded so good. We turn to some veteran creatives this week for the antidotes to antic times. Drive-By Truckers' "American Band" Takes On A Mad World - 1:48 Ever since coming together in Athens, Georgia, in 1996, The Drive-By Truckers have reinvented southern rock and its assumptions about identity and tradition. While the band has seen plenty of personnel changes over the years, the heart of the Truckers' sound is the musical partnership between Mike Cooley and...


Oct. 1 - Ursula K. Le Guin | Pete Krebs | U.S. PTO v. The Slants | Portlandia v. Bookstore

This week’s show: curveballs and home runs. New developments are on deck in the saga of Oregon’s art glass makers, and for one act trying to get recognition for its entirely ironic band name. Plus we bring back a favorite from last year, to get you primed for Wordstock. Hope you’ve got your helmet on — all the best bombs are dropping! Thanks for helping us make this listener-supported show every week. Give a gift, before you do anything else this weekend. Supreme Court Will Hear The Slants...


Sept. 24 | Maria Bamford | Loch Lomond | Khalif Adams | Carla Rossi | Alternative Justice + more

When life gives you mental breakdowns and dysfunctional justice, use them to make something new. Settle in; we’re spinning tales of artists digging into the toolkit to identity and community. Sometimes these things can be found only a few levels up. Maria Bamford — 00:59 Maria Bamford is headed to Oregon next month to headline the All Jane Comedy Festival. She’s easily one of the most innovative voices in comedy today, mashing wide-eyed midwestern-ness with pure subversion. Bamford’s...


Sept. 17: Where Art and Science Collide, High-Rises Made of Wood, The Minders and Sharita Towne

Will Future High-Rises be Made of Wood? Among all the buildings going up in the biggest boom in Portland history, only one of them can be called the first of its kind in the nation. Instead of relying on steel and concrete, the four-story Albina Yard is built entirely of cross-laminated timber, or CLT for short. Randy Gragg, State of Wonder's architecture columnist in residence, stops by to discusses how CLT stands to revolutionize construction, offering a pre-fabricated material that is...


Sept. 10: The Gun Show, Remembering Bob Ross & Rick Bartow, Rock'n'Roll and Sexual Violence & More

Oregon Playwright Shoots True With 'The Gun Show' - 1:15 “The Gun Show” tells five stories about guns drawn from the life of the award-winning playwright E.M. Lewis. She grew up in rural Oregon, where she was surrounded by guns, and she learned to shoot on a date with her husband-to-be. But then she found herself on the other end of a barrel during a robbery, followed by two other deeply troubling experiences, one of which ended in the death of her husband. Suffice it to say, she knows...


Sept. 3: Image Moves to PDX, Rose City Comic Con Preview, Kelly Sue DeConnick on Bitch Planet & More

Gather ‘round, True Believers. We’re getting all geeked up for the Rose City Comic Con, Sept 10–11. It’s always a hot ticket, given the critical mass of comics creators making their home around these parts now, but we were especially charmed by this year’s crop. Image Comics Moving to Portland - 1:10 We start things off with some breaking news. Rumors have been flying that we were the first to confirm: Image Comics is moving to Portland. Image is the third largest publisher in the industry...