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It's Fresh Air meets the Partridge Family but without the bus. It's Siegried and Roy meets Merv Griffin. Variety for the ears. Vaudeville for the mind.

It's Fresh Air meets the Partridge Family but without the bus. It's Siegried and Roy meets Merv Griffin. Variety for the ears. Vaudeville for the mind.
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Portland, OR


It's Fresh Air meets the Partridge Family but without the bus. It's Siegried and Roy meets Merv Griffin. Variety for the ears. Vaudeville for the mind.




3606 N. Mississippi Ave. Portland, OR 97227 503-548-4920


Courtenay Hameister (Short)

Humorist and former Live Wire host Courtenay Hameister reads from her recent nonfiction book "Okay Fine Whatever: The Year I Went from Being Afraid of Everything to Only Being Afraid of Most Things," which is a semi-finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor. Courtenay shared this essay on stage during Live Wire's 15th anniversary show in June 2019 at Revolution Hall in Portland, Oregon.


"Milestones" with Lindy West, Dave Hill, and Pink Martini

Celebrating Live Wire’s 15th anniversary, host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello give advice to their 15-year-old selves; writer and TV creator Lindy West explains why she is not the lead character in her Hulu series "Shrill;" comedian Dave Hill demonstrates how making mother jokes will get you kicked off of Twitter; and genre-crossing musical group Pink Martini perform the first song they ever wrote, the French language “Sympathique.”


"Other Worlds" with W. Kamau Bell, Karen Russell, and Kishi Bashi

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello contemplate a life on Mars; acclaimed author Karen Russell explains why she creates fantastical worlds in her stories to get at truth; comedian and television host W. Kamau Bell describes how his CNN show "United Shades of America" is really about gentrification; and multi-instrumentalist Kishi Bashi performs “Summer of ’42” from his latest album "Omoiyari."


"Finding Your Voice" with Paul F. Tompkins, Anuradha Bhagwati, and Patterson Hood

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello share their personal catchphrases; comedian Paul F. Tompkins impersonates iconic German filmmaker Werner Herzog to review his local Trader Joe’s; author and activist Anuradha Bhagwati discusses the challenges women face for equal treatment in the Marines; and singer-songwriter Patterson Hood performs “21st Century USA.”


"Wild Cards" with Eula Scott Bynoe & Jeannie Yandel, Kurt Braunohler, Lara Prior-Palmer, and Lavender Country

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello reveal their wild sides; podcasters Eula Scott Bynoe and Jeannie Yandel discuss why their show “Battle Tactics For Your Sexist Workplace” is always relevant; comedian Kurt Braunohler admits that becoming a new father finally put his “dad looks” to good use; Mongol derby winner Lara Prior-Palmer explains how she became the first woman to win the longest horse race on earth; and the world's first gay country band Lavender Country perform, “I...


"Getting to the Point" with Michael Ian Black, Melissa Febos, Ibtihaj Muhammad, and Dirty Revival

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello discuss the pop songs they think really “get to the point" of life; actor and comedian Michael Ian Black proves the low barrier into podcasting with his show Obscure; writer Melissa Febos calculates the personal risks of writing confessional memoirs; fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad explains how her childhood ambition carried her all the way to the Olympic podium; and soul-rock group Dirty Revival perform “Pipe Dreams.”


"Figure of Speech" with Mary Norris, Ryan O'Connell, Jackie Kashian, and The Get Ahead

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello share their favorite words, both literally and figuratively; actor and television writer Ryan O’Connell explains how keeping his cerebral palsy a secret inspired his book and Netflix series "Special;" grammar expert Mary Norris recounts her early days at The New Yorker and her foray into all things Greek; comedian Jackie Kashian isn’t buying the “empathic” abilities of her fellow comics; and soul-rock group The Get Ahead perform “Deepest...


"Not Too Distant Future" with Senator Jeff Merkley, Anis Mojgani, Joe Zimmerman, Afrovivalist, and Ron Artis II & The Truth

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello discuss doing away with minor annoyances in the “Not Too Distant Future;” U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon describes how partisan politics have gotten personal; poet Anis Mojgani laments his love-hate relationship with the possum; Sharon Ross, aka Afrovivalist, tells us how she prepares for eminent disaster; comedian Joe Zimmerman explains why his credit card purchases are the perfect alibi; and Hawaiian soul group Ron Artis II & The...


"Balancing Acts" with Pam Houston, Naomi Ekperigin, Nadya Okamoto, and Shook Twins

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello reveal their personal “Balancing Acts;” author Pam Houston reconciles her great love of the natural world and the challenges of living within it, as outlined in her latest book "Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country;" comedian Naomi Ekperigin talks couples therapy for comedians; entrepreneur and social activist Nadya Okamoto explains why she ignited the “menstrual movement;” and Shook Twins perform “Safe” from their album "Some Good...


"Real Talk" with Mitchell S. Jackson, Lori Gottlieb, Mohanad Elshieky, and Revel in Dimes

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello get down to some “Real Talk;” writer Mitchell S. Jackson discusses how – in his latest book “Survival Math” – he uses men of history to frame his own painful relationships with women of his past; author and psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb explains the importance of delivering a “compassionate truth bomb” to loved ones in need; comedian Mohanad Elshieky recounts how his confrontation with the border control on a Greyhound bus went viral; and...


Elena Passarello (Short)

This podcast short features the original interview with award-winning writer Elena Passarello who, after this appearance, became Live Wire's announcer. Elena is the author of two books of nonfiction, "Let Me Clear My Throat" (2012) and "Animals Strike Curious Poses" (2017). She is also the first female winner of the annual "Stanley and Stella Shouting Contest" held in New Orleans. Listen to this podcast to hear Elena's winning scream! And stay tuned for a song by folk rock singer This is...


"Ice Breakers" with Colin O'Brady, Dani Shapiro, Chris Garcia, and Casey Neill & The Norway Rats

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello discuss not-so-classic “Ice Breakers;” endurance athlete and adventurer Colin O’Brady recounts his world record-breaking trek across Antarctica; author Dani Shapiro explains how a mail-in DNA test revealed a deep-seeded family secret; comedian Chris Garcia pokes fun at his life choices by channeling his hard-working Cuban father; and Casey Neill & The Norway Rats perform “Savages” from their album “Subterrene.”


"Going Rogue" with Geraldine DeRuiter, Matteo Lane, Makini Howell, and Valley Maker

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello unpack the concept of “Going Rogue;” blogger Geraldine DeRuiter of The Everywhereist explains why she hangs onto things that spark rage; comedian Matteo Lane debates the job description of pharmacists; Seattle chef Makini Howell describes why she's an advocate of inclusive vegan cuisine; and Valley Maker performs “Beautiful Birds Flying” from their latest album “Rhododendron.”


"Buggin' Out" Hanif Abdurraqib, Nora McInerny, Nore Davis, and Alela Diane

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello discuss what it means to be “Buggin’ Out” in their forties; music writer and New York Times bestselling author Hanif Abdurraqib explains how music is a vehicle for writing about life on the periphery; grief expert and podcaster Nora McInerny comments on the intersection of grief and desire; comedian Nore Davis riffs on the secret lives of school teachers; and singer-songwriter Alela Diane performs “Albatross” from her latest album "Cusp."


"All-Stars" with Luis Alberto Urrea, Eileen Myles, and Moshow The Cat Rapper

This special Live Wire episode brings together some "All-Star" guests by way of the Portland Book Festival; celebrated author Luis Alberto Urrea dissects the dynamics of his Mexican family, which inspired his latest book "The House of Broken Angels;" master poet Eileen Myles takes on the presidency in a reading of their epic poem "Acceptance Speech;" and internet sensation Moshow The Cat Rapper gives lessons on peace, love, and not declawing your cats.


"Living the Dream" with Ian Karmel, Al Letson, Caitlin Kunkel, and Laura Gibson

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello dispute the importance of their dream lives; satirist Caitlin Kunkel shares her favorite jokes from her new book, "New Erotica for Feminists: Satirical Fantasies of Love, Lust, and Equal Pay;" comedian Ian Karmel takes down the masculinity of men's grooming products; radio host Al Letson revisits an uncomfortable conversation with a far-right vlogger whose life he saved; and singer-songwriter Laura Gibson performs "Tenderness."


"The Morning After" with Dan Savage, Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall, Frangela, and Meklit

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello unpack the ominous implications of “The Morning After;” author and journalist Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall describes his gonzo attempts to find the cure for the hangover; comedy duo Frangela riff on why they’re not giving up their healthcare; sex and relationship columnist Dan Savage advises on monogamy, gender pronouns, and online social etiquette; and Ethio-Jazz performer Meklit makes her return to Live Wire with the song, “I Want to Sing to...


"Hand-Me-Downs" with John Hodgman, RJ Young, Fabi Reyna, and Sávila

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello discuss the significance of “Hand-Me-Downs”… namely, Luke’s childhood stirrup jeans; author and humorist John Hodgman recounts how inheriting his mother’s vacation home led him into the wilderness of homeownership; writer RJ Young explains how he got immersed in the world of race, guns, and self-protection after being gifted a pistol from his father-in-law; musician Fabi Reyna shares why she launched "She Shreds" – the only magazine devoted to...


"Character Building" with Lauren Groff, Tommy Orange, Caitlin Weierhauser, and Lucy Kaplansky

In this second installment from the Portland Book Festival, host Luke Burbank and Elena Passarello explore the process of “character building” for actors; celebrated author Lauren Groff makes the case for why art is not a competition; writer Tommy Orange discusses how urban Native identity became the theme of his debut novel There There; comedian Caitlin Weierhauser admits to telling all her secrets to pugs; and singer-songwriter Lucy Kaplansky performs her tune “Keeping Time.”


"Hitting the Road" with Abbi Jacobson, Nicole Chung, Peter Sagal, and The Dip

In this special Portland Book Festival episode, host Luke Burbank and Elena Passarello discuss "hitting the road" and the risks of hitchhiking; Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson recounts her solo cross-country road trip; writer Nicole Chung discusses her journey of discovering the difficult truth behind her own adoption; Peter Sagal, host of Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!, takes a marathon-length inspired quiz; and Seattle soul group The Dip perform their single “Atlas.”