Live Wire with Luke Burbank-logo

Live Wire with Luke Burbank


Like late-night for radio, Live Wire is hosted by Luke Burbank (Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me) and artfully blends an eclectic mix of artists, musicians, writers, filmmakers, comedians, and cultural observers.

Like late-night for radio, Live Wire is hosted by Luke Burbank (Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me) and artfully blends an eclectic mix of artists, musicians, writers, filmmakers, comedians, and cultural observers.


Portland, OR


Like late-night for radio, Live Wire is hosted by Luke Burbank (Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me) and artfully blends an eclectic mix of artists, musicians, writers, filmmakers, comedians, and cultural observers.




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


Sam Jay, Sean Patton, and Kurt Vile

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello share some go-to icebreakers from our listeners; comedian and Emmy Award-nominated writer Sam Jay (SNL) chats about turning a party with her friends into poignant content for her HBO show PAUSE; stand-up comedian Sean Patton pokes fun at regional airports with a tough TSA; and singer-songwriter Kurt Vile confesses to being Philadelphia's best forklift driver, before performing "Flyin (Like a Fast Train)" from his new album (watch my moves).


Best News: Summer Break is Here!

In this final episode before a brief hiatus, Luke and Elena discuss their summer plans, including an Alaska writing residency and mega home renovations. The Best News will return weekly beginning September 14, so stay tuned!


Kirsten Johnson, Chris Garcia, and Jeff Tweedy

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello celebrate dads this week, in honor of Father's Day; filmmaker Kirsten Johnson comes to terms with the life, death, and legacy of her father through her Netflix documentary Dick Johnson is Dead; comedian and podcaster Chris Garcia pokes fun at his life choices by channeling his Cuban father; and Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy serenades us with "Save It For Me," accompanied by his two sons.


Best News: Whatever Rolls Your Meatball

Luke and Elena discuss the Kate Bush resurgence, a missing dachshund that made its way into Hillary Swank's lap, and sexy Swedish trash cans.


Cecily Wong & Andrew Bird

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello dish out some yums and yucks from our listeners; writer Cecily Wong chats about her book Gastro Obscura, which features fascinating food stories from across the globe, including psychedelic honey that was once used as a weapon; and Grammy Award-nominee Andrew Bird explains how he balances painful shyness with being a public figure, before performing "Make a Picture" from his new album Inside Problems.


Best News: Pounce de León

Luke and Elena discuss a turtle on a Hot Wheel, "Hero Rats" with tiny backpacks, and endangered bees now classified as fish.


Kristen Arnett, James Kim, and Lavender Country

In this special episode celebrating "Pride Month," host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello give a shout-out to some unsung (or under-sung) queer heroes; writer Kristen Arnett (Mostly Dead Things) shares why she specifically likes to be referred to as a queer writer and why 7-Eleven is her happy place; podcaster James Kim shares how the language barrier between him and his mother complicated his coming out process… and ultimately inspired his fictional podcast Moonface; and Lavender...


Kathryn Schulz, Keanon Lowe, and John Craigie

Luke and Elena discuss a baby giraffe with human leg braces and a dog that snuggled its way into a stranger's bed; Pulitzer Prize-winning New Yorker writer Kathryn Schulz unpacks her memoir Lost & Found, which weaves together the loss of her father with finding true love; football coach and mentor Keanon Lowe recounts the day he intercepted a potential school shooter with a hug; and storyteller and singer-songwriter John Craigie explains having to sing around "naughty" words for public radio...


Best News: The Hunter S. Thompson of Public Radio

Luke and Elena discuss kitten claws, a high school student who subbed in as Pearl Jam’s drummer, and a Minnesota prison program that teaches tattooing to inmates.


Anna Sale, Elissa Washuta, and Juliana Hatfield

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello discuss two wildly different yet equally inspiring graduation stories; podcaster Anna Sale reveals how she gets to the heart of the matter in her podcast Death, Sex & Money and in her new book Let's Talk About Hard Things; writer Elissa Washuta explains how magic and witchcraft helped her get sober, as detailed in her collection of essays White Magic; and indie rock icon Juliana Hatfield performs "Mouthful of Blood" from her album Blood.


Best News: Spring Pong!

Luke and Elena discuss ping-pong showmanship, TikTok's favorite baseball team, and a passenger with no flight experience who emergency-landed a plane at Florida airport.


John Waters, Sasha LaPointe, and Deep Sea Diver

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello discuss an emotional support pig and a DoorDasher who saved a customer's life. Plus, legendary filmmaker John Waters chats about his first novel Liarmouth and why he'll never leave Baltimore; writer Sasha LaPointe (Red Paint) unpacks her nomadic upbringing in the Pacific Northwest and why Twin Peaks made an impact on her as young Native woman; and indie rock group Deep Sea Diver performs "Shattering the Hourglass" from their album Impossible...


Best News: Space Crime & Punishment

Luke and Elena discuss a young listener's quest to transcribe a 200-year French diary, Canadians barred from committing murder in space, and the triumphant return of the California condors.


Michelle Zauner, Quiara Alegría Hudes, and Moorea Masa

In honor of Mother's Day, host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello share some thoughtful mom-centric conversations: musician Michelle Zauner, a.k.a. Japanese Breakfast, discusses her memoir Crying in H Mart, in which she reconnects with her late mother and their Korean heritage through a love of food; Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes (In the Heights) reflects on how her mother's use of language informed her writing career; and singer-songwriter Moorea Masa...


Best News: "A Robot Walks into a Bar..."

Luke and Elena discuss recording this week from a Mazda rental car, a robot living with a penguin colony in Antarctica, and a nonprofit that sends unused hotel soap to people in need.


Gregory Gourdet and No-No Boy

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello talk wacky cooking hacks; acclaimed chef and restaurateur Gregory Gourdet (Top Chef) discusses how his newest cookbook Everyone's Table begins with his journey to sobriety; and musician and scholar Julian Saporiti, a.k.a. No-No Boy, describes how he transformed his doctoral research on Asian-American history into a multimedia project, before performing "Tell Hanoi I Love Her" from his latest album 1975.


Best News: Smell You, Nancy Drew!

Luke and Elena discuss a guilt-ridden mail bag, a lemonade stand raising money for the Humane Society, and an anonymous French man who's donating his lottery winnings to help the planet.


Laci Mosley, Marlee Matlin, and Kishi Bashi

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello reveal some scams our listeners have fallen for; comedian and podcaster Laci Mosley (A Black Lady Sketch Show, Scam Goddess) lends her expertise to real-life "sketchy" situations; actor Marlee Matlin discusses her Academy Award-winning film CODA and why she's advocating for Deaf actors to play Deaf roles; and multi-instrumentalist Kishi Bashi performs "Wait for Springtime" from his latest EP Emigrant.


Best News: Teaching Them to Flush is the Hard Part

Luke and Elena discuss kitty adoptee Bubbles Burbank, a new Pink Floyd song in solidarity with Ukraine, a prom dress giveaway, and 90s butt cuts.


Molly Shannon and Tuelo

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello share some stories of when our listeners went "over the top;" actor and comedian Molly Shannon chats about her memoir Hello Molly and how she championed her famous character Mary Katherine Gallagher for Saturday Night Live; South African rocker Tuelo explains why she secretly believes her native Mwana tribe inspired rock 'n roll music; plus, Tuelo performs the track "Trouble" off her debut album The Life of Margaret Cornelius.