Trent Finlay's blog | Live Wire Radio

Take a look at some of our favorite Live Wire moments of 2015 hand-picked by the Live Wire Team.


Jason Rouse, Performer / Writer:


I’d wanted to write a musical sketch for sometime, so naturally when faced with writing something on the occasion of Chuck Palahniuk’s visit to talk about the Fight Club graphic novel, I put two and two together and came up with Fight Club: The Musical, as one does. The real key to this sketch working so well is our House Band. They’re amazing. You don’t hit comedy paydirt like that all time, but when you do it’s nice to know you have a recording of it. And video. And we do. We have both. Because we’re a radio show and also we have people who film the shows. I felt like you should know both of those things.



What can I say about Laura Gibson. I can say a lot, actually. Like, I know she knows the rap to TLC’s No Scrubs. You heard me. For fun we wanted to hear her sing Metallica and some god awful country song about butts and whatever, and she did. She didn’t blink. She’s a badass. I wonder what we’ll ask her to do next time, whatever it is, it will be awesome.


Laura Hadden, Marketing Manager:


I am a huge fan of Neko Case in general (I am still searching for a "Don't Peggy Olson Me, Motherfuckers" bumpersticker), but the fact that we share a hometown makes me particularly devoted. When she came on our show at Bumbershoot and discussed the unique petri dish and cultural underdog status of Tacoma, WA and its influence on her creative trajectory, I almost passed out from excitement and recognition ("we had to love ourselves because we had no choice."). She also discusses her conception of her gender and how that empowers her (along with "Toxic" by Britney Spears) to be such a badass. All hail Neko. The entire episode is fantastic and, in my opinion, among our best – from Luke's monologue about being a teen father and the always hilarious Ophira Eisenberg reflects on the anxiety surrounding the upcoming birth of her first child – and a night I'll never forget.



Once again, Courtenay Hameister fearlessly and hilariously skewers the ridiculousness of being a woman with a body in this culture. It's a call to arms – really hairy ones – to embrace a culture of happy, furry people. You win, Hameister. Just tell me where to sign.


Courtenay Hameister, Head Writer:


Last year, a woman named Mandy Lynn Catron wrote a column for the New York Times called "To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This."

It was about a list of 36 Questions a psychologist had come up with for strangers to ask each other that ramped up the intimacy to a point that made them more likely to fall in love.

Because we recorded on Valentine's Day, I had the idea for us to have a couple take the test during the one-hour show, and the result couldn't have been more charming or sweet. After working through the test, Jed Arkley and Katie Watkins stood in front of a sold-out crowd at Rev Hall a little love-drunk. Some audience members thought we staged it. We didn't.

Jed and Katie had fallen in deep like backstage, and later fell in real-live love. Almost a year later, they're still together, and have been one of the most adorably, sickeningly cute couples in my social circle.

As a lifelong pessimistic romantic (you try to live with that combo), I couldn't be more shocked and pleased by this outcome. We bizarrely brought actual love into two people's lives, and not many people can say that about a day at work.



The theme for episode 283 was "Playing the Part." Writer Alex Falcone had the idea to utilize the badassness of cast member and writer Sean McGrath by having him read Shakespeare's "To Be Or Not To Be" soliloquy with a twist: while he read it, Luke would randomly choose impersonations he's done during his ten years on the show for him to switch into on a dime.

Sean never missed a beat. The first switch was from Ira Glass to Arnold Schwartzenegger. Later, he moves mid-sentence from Casey Kasem to Pacino. I loved this piece because of how simple the idea was, how difficult it must've been to do, and how effortless Sean made it seem. I also loved the interplay between high and low brow entertainment, a balance we've always played with on the show. Additionally, it was the perfect way to highlight Sean's incredible talent and how he always made the show better and funnier.

by Trent Finlay on January 1, 2016 - 12:02pm.

We had Chuck Palahniuk on our show back in May, and he talked to Luke about a possible Fight Club musical that David Fincher has been talking about for years.

After the interview, we had our band perform our vision for the Fight Club Musical. That went something like this:


Many thought the project was dead in the water, but it appears to be alive and well again.

As this article attests, Chuck tweeted the following at Comic Con:

"Julie Taymor working with David Fincher on a FIGHT CLUB rock opera? You didn't hear it from me. :) #SDCC"

Want to hear more about it? Check out Luke's interview with Chuck:

Click here to skip to 9:07, where Chuck talks about the Fight Club rock opera or watch a shorter clip.

by Trent Finlay on July 17, 2015 - 9:37am.

Thank you to the Oregon Community Foundation for continuing to support Live Wire's marketing and audience growth initiatives.
We appreciate you.

The mission of OCF is to improve life in Oregon and promote effective philanthropy. OCF works with individuals, families, businesses and organizations to create charitable funds to support the community causes they care about. Through these funds OCF awards nearly $70 million annually in grants and scholarships.

Thank you OCF for supporting Live Wire.

by Trent Finlay on May 27, 2015 - 2:40pm.

he part-time (0.6 FTE) Managing/Development Director will be responsible for overseeing the operations of the Live Wire Radio organization and spearheading all development activities.  This position is supported by the Executive Producer, Marketing Manager, part-time operations staff and a part-time grant writer (contractor).

Development Duties 
Development efforts focus on corporate giving and sponsorships, individual giving, grants and fundraising events designed to ensure Live Wire’s continued growth. 


  • Develop and execute a formal strategic plan and initiatives to engage potential donors.
  • Solicit and secure financial support from individuals and corporations.
  • Develop and track proposals for foundation and corporate foundation requests, in coordination with the grant writer. Create project budgets related to grant applications and write reports.
  • Manage and grow the League of Extraordinary Listeners (LOeL), a budding individual giving and membership program. Administer benefit fulfillment.
  • Maintain and improve the donor database on Salesforce.
  • Oversee the comprehensive planning, organization, and implementation of special events.
  • Prepare and send appeals for donations (on-line and direct mail).
  • Ensure organization is compliant with all donor and sponsorship acknowledgments including, but not limited to, donor lists for show program and other printed materials and in digital media.
  • Lead board development committee. Facilitate calls/meetings, set agendas, track assignments and follow up.

Managing Duties  
Managing efforts include oversight of governance, finance and operations.


  • Oversee day-to-day operations. Seek to make improvements as the organization grows to expand infrastructure and resources.
  • Develop and manage annual budgets and policies. Forecast and track financial performance against budget on a monthly basis. Code invoices and deposits for the bookkeeper.
  • Work with the organization’s Board of Directors, assisting in the preparation of agendas and documents for board meetings. Archive attendance records and minutes created by the board secretary.
  • Manage Human Resources for the organization, including new hire paperwork, IRS forms, and employee contracts.
  • Act as a representative of Live Wire in the non-profit arts community, attend cultural and community events.


  • Two years or more of relevant experience.
  • Knowledge of Live Wire Radio and enthusiasm for our mission
  • Experience in and understanding of the non-profit world, comfortable in small office environment.
  • Knowledge and experience with standard human resources best practices and regulations.
  • Proven development and fundraising skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Detail oriented and effective at identifying ways to improve processes, set standards and grow the organization
  • Working knowledge of Salesforce is beneficial
  • BA required

Please send cover letter and resumé to by May 15, 2015

by Trent Finlay on April 16, 2015 - 9:13pm.

Welcome to Blue Monday!
Psuedoscience claims this is the most depressing day of the year, but Live Wire is here to help. On this page, you’ll find some peppy tunes from our musical guests over the years (Download them and take them with you to fight off the blues!), and some delicious recipes perfect for these gloomy days. Enjoy! (As much as you can on this dark, dark day.)




Peanut Butter and Jelly Bacon S’morrito
Peanut Butter
Grape Jelly
Bacon (cooked? Probably?)
1 standard-size chocolate bar
4 large marshmallows
1 Large Flour Tortilla

Place tortilla on your kitchen counter, coffee table or bedside table. Spread 1-20 tablespoons of peanut butter over the full circle of tortilla, then do the same with the jelly. Cook 12 strips of bacon, eat 8 of them and then place four slightly off-center on the left side of the tortilla and cover them with the chocolate bar. Place the marshmallows on a pencil, fork or pair of children’s scissors and hold over a burner to cook. When they catch fire, they’re ready! Place them immediately on top of the chocolate, fold in the top and bottom of the tortilla, then fold in the left-hand side, and roll all the way to the right. Pair with your favorite bottle of scotch and a collection of YouTube videos of dogs unsuccessfully trying to befriend cats.


The Baker’s Dozen
13 doughnuts or cheeseburgers or anything you buy for the office, but actually eat in your car by yourself.


Bologna and Cheese SammichSadness Sandwich
Bologna and American cheese on white bread with mayonnaise (TM Divorced Dad).








The Chuck E. Cheese Gloater’s Special
Single and depressed? Go to Chuck E. Cheese at 5:15 on a Saturday night and order a single slice of pepperoni pizza. Sit quietly at your table and savor every bite while “happy families” scream, rend garments and fall apart around you.


2 AM Pancakes
Pretty self-explanatory.
NOTE:If you don't have pancake mix, just take several deep pulls off a bottle of maple syrup.


The Five Dollar Cry for Help
Subway’s Five Dollar Footlong, once an hour until unconscious.



by Trent Finlay on January 22, 2015 - 11:38am.

It’s been a great year at Live Wire! Over the past 12 months, we’ve featured the work of over 120 writers, musicians, filmmakers, and comedians – people like Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Nicholas Kristof, music icon Melissa Etheridge, and Wild author Cheryl Strayed. In addition to showcasing some of the biggest names in arts and culture, we also pride ourselves in promoting the work of up-and-coming talent and thought leaders that you might not hear anywhere else.

In a year with so much compelling content, we asked our host Luke Burbank to share some of his personal highlights from this year. Although the process was nearly impossible, Luke narrowed it down to ten of his most memorable moments and explains why they stood out for him.  


Jason Padgett discussing relativity 
The last 90 seconds of this interview taught me more about theoretical physics than all my years studying at Harvard and Oxford. I should clarify that “Harvard" and “Oxford" are two of my favorite sports bars in Tucson.


Anis Mojgani
Anis Mojgani’s writing and delivery radically changed my notion of what poetry could be and how it could move me. Which is a weird realization to have as you’re crouched on the side of the stage trying to prep for your next interview segment. And yet, that’s how great this poem and performance were.


Ken Jennings - Questions and Appetizers 
For someone who talks for a living, I am uniquely terrible at the conversation game we played with Jeopardy Champ Ken Jennings. Hopefully my shame was at least somewhat entertaining.


Megan Amram
Megan Amram grew up in the wilds of Portland and then went on to Harvard (the college, not the sports bar). Yet it was on Twitter where she first started getting wide-spread notice. I’ve got to find out more about this Tweeter thing, because it seems like all the kids are doing it.

Eef Barzelay - All The Way
Eef Barzelay’s version of “All The Way” is lovely and heartbreaking. Hearbreak like a Portlander feels when they realize that scone had gluten in it.


The Doubleclicks - Cats & Netflix
In these trying times of international crisis and unrest at home, there are two things we can still rely on as a nation… Cats & Netflix. This is an entire song dedicated to them.


Ayron Jones & The Way
Without a doubt, one of the musical high points of 2014 for Live Wire. The crowd was so into this song, we considered cancelling the rest of the show and just letting Ayron play an entire concert. Then I found out that I only get paid if I “host” the “entire” “show” so we went back to the original plan. 'Dat song doe.


Children's Books Gone Dark sketch 
Let’s be honest, kid’s books are kinda boring when you’re not a kid anymore. That is, unless you create dark adaptations. Which we did this year. Then, they are upsetting and weird, two of our specialties here on Live Wire.


Cameron Esposito
Cameron Esposito is more than just a hairdo, but seriously, no one’s made more of a career out of having self-described “lesbian hair”.


Kurt Braunohler
Kurt Braunholer’s misadventures make us all feel better about how we proposed marriage and decided not to jet ski down the electrified section of the Mississippi River.

by Trent Finlay on December 29, 2014 - 7:37pm.

When our writers found out Wil Wheaton was on the show, there was much rejoicing (yay!). We couldn’t wait to write a sketch for him to act in with us, and most of our ideas were Star Trek-focused. But what ended up airing was “Wil Wheaton Erotic Fan Fiction” (listen here). So that meant that a sketch we really liked ended up…you know where. Here it is in all its glory. 

by Trent Finlay on December 1, 2014 - 4:03pm.

We're doing a members-only studio session with the very very funny Bob Odenkirk on Friday, October 24th at Mississippi Studios (3939 N. Mississippi Ave) at 4:30 (Doors at 4). You may know Bob as Saul from Breaking Bad, as the bumbling police chief from Fargo, or as half of the world's best comedy team on Mr. Show. This one's not to be missed. It's FREE & EXCLUSIVELY for members, so if you're not a member, JOIN TODAY!

Already a member? RSVP to and let us know you'll be there! (NOTE: RSVP required as space is limited!) 

by Trent Finlay on October 23, 2014 - 5:04pm.

Every year, we spend the summer thinking of ways to make Live Wire a better experience for our live and listening audience, and this summer we're hoping you can help us. We've created a short survey (4 minutes! That's just 1/14th of an Orange is the New Black episode!) with questions about your listening and internet habits and we hope you'll take the time to fill it out.

Everyone who does will be entered to win TWO FREE TICKETS to our blowout season opener on September 9th and two Live Wire t-shirts!

Just fill out the survey here, and enter your email at the end for your chance to win.

As always, thank you for your time and support of the show! Can't wait to see you in the fall!

~The Live Wire Crack Research Team*

*Not researching crack.

by Trent Finlay on June 25, 2014 - 4:47pm.

Hi. It's summer, and we miss you. We also miss beer and delicious hamburgers, so we'd like to invite you to a Live Wire Happy Hour at Bar Bar (3939 N. Mississippi) next Thursday the 26th from 6-8p.m. All are invited, but Live Wire Members will get free New Belgium Sunshine Wheat beer and delicious Bar Bar fries and sliders! (Not a member? Well, that's just nuts. Join here.)

Join us on the beautiful patio at Bar Bar for:

  • Conversation!
  • Cold beverages!
  • A game of Cards Against Humanity if we all agree to not sue each other for being terrible people!
  • Possible french fry overindulgence and shared guilt!
  • Laughs*

The winner of Cards Against Humanity will receive two free tickets to see The Von Trapps at Mississippi Studios that very night (6/26)!

Our staff, cast and crew would love to see you, so don't be a summer bummer and come out for the fun!

Sorry we said the summer bummer thing.

Live Wire

*Laughter is expected but not guaranteed.

by Trent Finlay on June 19, 2014 - 3:27pm.