Podcast | Live Wire Radio

Episodes

Episode #420
Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello discuss how they've been staying in touch with their loved ones during lockdown; author Jami Attenberg unpacks the complexities of American families in her new book "All This Could Be Yours;" podcaster James Kim explains how language barriers and silence are used as narrative tools in his fictional podcast Moonface; and psychedelic rock group Federale perform the title track from their album "No Justice."
Episode #419
Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello discuss what they've learned about themselves recently; writer Lidia Yuknavitch describes her latest collection of stories as a series of devotionals to the outcasts among us; comedian Atsuko Okatsuka admits to her insecurities around teenagers; and rock group The Black Tones perform "Mama! There's A Spider In My Room!"
Episode #418
Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello tell us about their simple delights; poet Ross Gay ponders his fascination with the themes of joy and gratitude; Casey Cep, staff writer for The New Yorker, discusses her debut book about a mysterious Alabama murder case that captivated beloved author Harper Lee; and Colin Hay, formerly of Men at Work, performs "Come Tumblin' Down" off his album "Fierce Mercy."
Episode #417
Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello share what they're most nostalgic for; comedian James Veitch explains his crusade to antagonize email scams, as outlined in his book "Dot Con: The Art of Scamming a Scammer;" scent archivist Allison Breed discusses how she created the Male Scent Catalogue on Twitter, which documents how the essence of male characters are described in romance novels; and singer-songwriter Chastity Brown performs her soaring song "Curiosity."
Episode 416
Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello share their honored summer traditions; comedians Thomas Middleditch and Ben Schwartz discuss the secrets behind creating their long-form improv comedy series; and Americana singer-songwriter Shakey Graves chats about the genesis of his trademark “suitcase drum," before performing his song "Dining Alone."
Episode #415
In response to nationwide protests against police brutality, host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello share conversations with writer Ijeoma Oluo, who unpacks the themes of systemic racism in her book "So You Want to Talk About Race;" poet Danez Smith, who explains how they're looking for leadership elsewhere in their poem “My President;” and singer-songwriter Amythyst Kiah, who performs her Grammy-nominated song “Black Myself."
Episode #414
Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello reveal how their self-improvement goals have progressed; writer and Dear Prudence advice columnist Daniel M. Ortberg explains how his new book, "Something That May Shock and Discredit You," revisits the media and myths of his past through the lens of his transition; New York Times best-selling author Michael Arceneaux unpacks the hard truths of student loan debt; and doom-wop singer Prom Queen performs "End of the World."
Episode #413
Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello pen their own commencement speeches and perform them to a few graduating high school seniors; writer and scholar Clint Smith discusses how he defended his Harvard dissertation over Zoom to a virtual audience of friends and family; Luke pays tribute to filmmaker and friend of the show Lynn Shelton, who passed away recently; and singer-songwriter Waxahatchee sings "Can't Do Much" from her studio in Kansas City.
Episode #412
Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello share small wins they've accomplished; François Clemmons, famously known as Officer Clemmons on "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," discusses how Fred Rogers became a mentor and father figure to him during personally turbulent times; comedy writer Joey Clift explains how he painstakingly crowdsourced musicians to make an album for every state in the union... a feat which was promised (yet never finished) by singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens; and Luke and Elena try their hands at writing and performing their own regional songs.
Episode #411
In honor of Mother's Day, host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello invite their moms on the show to discuss how their daily routines have changed since lockdown; filmmaker Barry Sonnenfeld shares anecdotes on his complicated relationship with his mother, working with the Coen Brothers, and leg wrestling Will Smith; and Grammy Award-winning blues artist Fantastic Negrito takes us on a journey through his musical rebirth, before serenading us with his song, "Nobody Makes Money."
Episode #410
Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello choose their ideal fictional characters to join them in lockdown; comedian Cameron Esposito unpacks the ups and downs of making Zoom her new comedy stage; Claude Taylor, who launched the Twitter feed @ratemyskyperoom, critiques Luke's home studio background; and The Lone Bellow share a new song they collaborated on while social distancing.
Episode #409
Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello discuss what listeners are not missing during lockdown; author and blogger Samantha Irby settles some household disputes in the "Live Wire Court;" Francis Lam, food journalist and host of The Splendid Table podcast, offers tips on how to elevate a grilled cheese sandwich; and singer-actress Mandy Moore is joined by her husband Taylor Goldsmith to perform "If That's What It Takes" from her latest album "Silver Landings."
Episode #408
Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello share stories of acts of kindness they've witnessed recently; comedian Paula Poundstone makes time to chat between walking her dogs and bleaching her house; hair stylist and salon owner Deanna Everson virtually coaches Luke through a home haircut; and Jonathan Russell of The Head and The Heart performs "Glory of Music."
Episode #407
Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello reveal those unexpected things that are getting them through this time; writer and podcaster Nora McInerny offers insight into parenting during a pandemic; poet Saeed Jones explains his decision to adopt a dog while in self-isolation; and Jeff Tweedy, of renowned alt-rock band Wilco, performs a collaborative tune with his two sons titled "Save it For Me."
Episode #406
Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello share what they've learned about themselves since being stuck inside; author Shea Serrano discusses how he uses Twitter to raise funds for people in need; comedian Brooks Wheelan recounts how he won a $500 bet with fellow comedian Nick Turner when he completed a marathon… hungover; and jazz vocalist Jimmie Herrod performs a springtime-inspired song he wrote while isolated in his Manhattan apartment.
Episode #405
Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello admit to wanting more nonessential items while being homebound; Dear Sugar advice columnist and acclaimed writer Cheryl Strayed answers listener questions on how to cope in these complicated times; author Jon Mooallem discusses the survival lessons we can glean from his topical new book "This Is Chance!: The Shaking of an All-American City, A Voice That Held It Together;" and we hear a new track from Charlie Brand, of indie-pop band Miniature Tigers, plus find out how he’s composing a break-up album in the midst of a lockdown.
Episode #397
In this "Mic Check" special edition of the "Live Wire House Party" series, host Luke Burbank and Elena Passarello record the show from their homes and discover the silver lining of self-isolation; Emily Flake, cartoonist for The New Yorker, teaches us the art of the awkward hug; master poet Eileen Myles takes on the presidency in a reading of their epic poem "Acceptance Speech;" and indie rock group Giants in the Trees, featuring Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic, perform their latest single “It Goes.”
Episode #404
Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello tell stories of risks they've taken; Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Timothy Egan unpacks his relationship to faith during a thousand-mile trek across Europe that inspired his new book "A Pilgrimage to Eternity;" activist Jeannette Ward Horton discusses her organization NuLeaf, which advocates for minority inclusion in the legal cannabis industry; comedian Adam Pasi argues for the superiority of the Samoas Girl Scout cookie; and indie pop duo Pure Bathing Culture perform "All Night" from their latest album "Night Pass."
Episode #403
Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello swap stories about their failed musical auditions; Chioke I’Anson, the voice of NPR’s underwriting, admits to feeling self-conscious about the sound of his own voice; journalist Leah Sottile unpacks the symbiotic relationship between the federal government and fringe patriot groups, as investigated in her podcast Bundyville; and indie folk trio Joseph perform “Green Eyes” from their new album "Good Luck, Kid."
Episode #402
Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello assess the most unrealistic things on their bucket lists; humorist John Hodgman ponders themes of fame, prestige and airline mileage, as outlined in his new book “Medallion Status: True Stories from Secret Rooms;” journalist and podcaster Jon Mooallem takes a deep dive into the inner-workings of this tranquil podcast “Walking;” and soul singer Allen Stone performs “Brown Eyed Lover” from his album “Building Balance.”
Episode #401
Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello describe their family crests; author Jami Attenberg struggles to feel compassion for the patriarch in her new book "All This Could Be Yours;" producer James Kim explains how language barriers and silence are used as narrative tools in his fictional podcast Moonface; chef Bonnie Morales discusses how her Belarusian background inspired the celebrated restaurant Kachka; and psychedelic rock group Federale perform the title track from their album "No Justice."
Episode #400
Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello riff on the ways they cheer themselves up; humorist, journalist, and actor Mo Rocca explains select chapters from his new book "Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving," in which he memorializes fascinating people (and objects) from history who didn't receive the send-off they deserved; poet and writer Heather Christle takes a deep dive into the art and act of crying – why we do it and even how tears reflect systems of power; and jazz vocalist Jimmie Herrod performs “Anything at All” from his new album "Falling in Love and Learning to Love Myself."
Episode #399
Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello share their fanciest little habits; writer and poet Saeed Jones reflects on growing up black and gay in North Texas and why coming out is still challenging for many people in America today; Kristen Arnett, author of "Mostly Dead Things," argues that everything is taxidermy, including our reconstructed memories; and indie rock band Ages and Ages perform “Needle and Thread.”
Episode #398
Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello tell us a secret; author Tim O’Brien explains his latest work, "Dad’s Maybe Book," as a series of letters and observations to help bridge the age gap between himself and his sons; writer Mira Jacob unpacks the process of creating her graphic memoir, "Good Talk," through which she taught herself how to draw to communicate difficult conversations about identity; and virtuoso singer and guitarist Edna Vazquez performs her new song “Monita.”
Episode #397
Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello discuss where they "Draw the Line" in life; Emily Flake, illustrator for The New Yorker, teaches us the art of the awkward hug; comedian Dave Hill recounts the journey to discover his Canadian roots, as outlined in his new book "Parking the Moose;" and indie rock group Giants in the Trees, featuring Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic, perform their latest single “It Goes.”
Episode #396
Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello reveal their personal “Love Languages;” documentary filmmaker Irene Taylor Brodsky discusses her new film "Moonlight Sonata," which follows her deaf son as he attempts to master Beethoven’s famed composition; poet Matthew Zapruder speaks on employing anger as a literary emotion in his latest collection "Father’s Day;" and indie rock group Bodies on the Beach perform their new single “Ghost.”
Episode #395
Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello describe the moments that make them feel most at home; writer Dina Nayeri discusses the immigrant experience from interviews in her new book "The Ungrateful Refugee" and fleeing Iran herself as a child; author Adam Mansbach reflects on the surprise success of his children's book parody series; comedian Shain Brenden compares his former "single dad" status to a foreclosed home; and Portland's first lady of blues, LaRhonda Steele, soars through a cover of Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good.”
Episode #394
Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello write their respective epitaphs; Megan Phelps-Roper, writer and former member of the Westboro Baptist Church, recounts how she left the notorious hate-driven cult and found the path of redemption; comedian Joe Kwaczala pokes fun at online dating as a short man; Xiomara Torres recounts how she became a Multnomah County judge after aging-out of foster care; and singer-songwriter Chastity Brown performs "Boston."
Episode #393
Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello share stories of fictional and nonfictional dissertations; writer Chuck Klosterman explains why a puma in an airplane bathroom appears in his newest collection "Raised in Captivity;" humorist Tiffany Midge pokes holes in the notion of the “contemporary” Native writer; and indie pop group Tacocat performs “Grains of Salt” from their latest album "This Mess Is a Place."
Episode #392
Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello share the superpowers they would most like to possess; comedian Rhys Darby schools us on the secret underwater continent of Zealandia; comic book writer Kelly Sue DeConnick explains how she uncovers the humanity in her superhero characters; theater artist Ahamefule Oluo admits that performing a one-man show about his mother is sometimes awkward… especially when she’s in the audience; and indie rocker Cataldo teams up with Oluo to perform “When You First See the Waves” from the new album "Literally Main Street."
Episode #391
Host Luke Burbank recounts how a garter snake got “The Last Laugh” when it refused to leave his dining room; comedian Josh Gondelman attempts to be a nice guy in the competitive world of comedy; author Clyde W. Ford reflects on his father’s career as the first black software engineer in the nation; endurance athletes Alex Borsuk and Kaytlyn Gerbin discuss how they broke a record by conquering Mount Rainier’s Infinity Loop; and Americana duo The Lowest Pair perform “Rosie” from their album “The Sacred Heart Sessions.”
Episode #390
In this special Live Wire episode, host Luke Burbank catches up with comedian Pete Holmes on his "Comedy Sex God" book tour, where he explains how TV success took him in a new spiritual direction; poet Franny Choi discusses how she incorporated Google Translate and the Turing Test into her latest collection "Soft Science;" and powerhouse vocalist Jimmie Herrod, with Pink Martini, performs a rendition of the classic ballad “The Exodus Song.”
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.
Episode #389
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.”
Episode #388
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."
Episode #387
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.”
Episode #386
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 Can’t Shake the Stranger Out of You.”
Episode #385
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.”
Episode #384
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 Light.”
Episode #383
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 Truth perform “Carry Me Along” from their album from "Soul Street."
Episode #382
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 Lives."
Episode #381
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 blues-rock group Revel in Dimes perform “Tough City for Love.”
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 The Kit, who performed on Live Wire in 2017.
Episode #380
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.”
Episode #379
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.”
Episode #378
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."
Episode #377
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.
Episode #376
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."
Episode #375
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 Them All.”
Episode #374
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 female guitarists; and cumbia/Latin band Sávila perform “La Danza.”