Podcast | Live Wire Radio


"Facing Your Demons"
Author Maria Semple gives tips for sneaking into rock bands' hotel rooms, actor Misha Collins talks about doing good through his philanthropic scavenger hunt, activist and author Gyasi Ross reports back from his time at the Standing Rock protests and demonstrates the transformational power of a long hug, and Telekinesis reminds us of all the good in the world.
"Second to None"
Performer Reggie Watts talks improvisation and composes a ringtone for us, chef Rick Bayless discusses the merits of eyeball tacos, and journalist Jenn White reveals why Oprah's legacy continues to resonate.
"Local Flavor"
Congressman Earl Blumenauer shares his perspective on the recent election, chef Naomi Pomeroy strives to make a gourmet dish with ingredients sourced from our local convenience store, Darcelle reflects on her path to becoming America's oldest drag queen, comedian Mohanad Elshieky compares notes on life in Portland to his hometown of Benghazi, and My Bubba makes us lonesome... in a good way.
"Family Ties"
Sherman Alexie discusses how his father's death inspired him to write a children's book, Garrard Conley recounts his journey through gay conversion therapy and how it impacted his relationship with his parents, and Shovels & Rope harvest their family's experiences into a rollicking hootenanny.
"Rolling the Dice"
Lindy West shares why she keeps speaking up on the internet despite her better judgment, Jonathan Lethem explains why he only plays poker with college professors, Emma Straub reveals why she believes her first four novels were (deservedly) rejected, and Blitzen Trapper does us right with a Gillian Welch cover.
"Unconventional Wisdom"
In this special election episode of Live Wire, Radiolab hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich provide a cautionary tale of civic strife, comedian Baratunde Thurston speculates how the election has come to this divisive point, coder and artist Roopa Vasudevan explains what social media can show us that the polls can't, and subway performer Mike Yung demonstrates why his powerful voice went viral and reassures us that “A Change is Gonna Come.”
"Here We Are"
MSNBC's Chris Hayes' parents compete to see who knows the most about his career, comedian Michelle Buteau recounts the challenges of communicating with her Dutch in-laws, author Jonathan Safran Foer discusses negotiating the distance between who we are and who we want to be, and Kadhja Bonet casts a musical spell with her dreamy vocals.
"Seriously Funny"
Comedian Phoebe Robinson discusses the unexpected value of Googling herself and other not-so-guilty pleasures, former Simpsons writer Bill Oakley describes the dark reality of a comedy writers' room, Dr. Brian Druker shares why he is hopeful about the future of cancer research, and Blind Pilot navigates us through a lush musical landscape.
"Gut Instinct"
Comedian Nicole Byer professes her deep love for her therapist, Dr. Embriette Hyde explores the mysterious workings of our guts, NBA legend Terry Porter recalls overcoming his own doubt as an athletic late bloomer, and David Bazan's music resurfaces all those feelings we were trying to forget.
"The Invisible World"
Live Wire goes to Phoenix, where Luke attempts to eat the hottest pepper in the world, entomologist Justin Schmidt tells us what getting stung by thousands of insects has taught him about pain, magician Penn Jillette describes the startling benefits of eating only potatoes, and Tucson’s official troubadour Ted Ramirez sings a love song to his hometown.
"Going the Distance"
Bruce Campbell reflects on his status as a cult film actor, Colin O’Brady explains how it feels breaking the world record for climbing the highest peaks on each of the seven continents, Shannon Balcom discusses her gardening-related Pinterest fail, and Farnell Newton & The Othership Connection brings all the funk we can handle.
Comedian Paul F. Tompkins talks about his role on BoJack Horseman the simple joy of receiving handwritten mail, Another Round host Heben Nigatu describes how her podcast fits into the long tradition of black women talking to each other... and what she had to say to Hillary Clinton, The Oatmeal cartoonist Matthew Inman discusses accepting that he'll never be happy despite his massive success, and Pete Bernhard of The Devil Makes Three gifts us with a hauntingly beautiful Townes Van Zandt cover.
"Labor Day Special"
In a special Labor Day episode, comedian Mike Birbiglia chats about his latest film as well as his evolving definition of success, former NFL quarterback Joey Harrington discusses whether he’ll allow his sons to play football, and the band Joseph demonstrates how to achieve harmony between siblings.
"The Art and Science of Being a Lady"
In a show all about the art and science of being a lady, Luke plays "Marry, Boff, Klll: Scientist Edition" with Science: For Her! writer Megan Amram and talks to trans activist Joanna Lynne Ponce about seeing both sides of the gender equation, all while the Alialujah Choir lays down some boss harmonies.
"Square Pegs"
Luke quits Facebook and darkness falls, Community creator Dan Harmon opens up about booze and NBC, comic Jackie Kashian explains why Native Americans may not be over the whole "stealing their country" thing and indie superband Eyelids rocks it.
"The Sky's The Limit"
Top Chef Boston finalists Gregory Gourdet and Doug Adams judge the first-ever Live Wire Bottom Chef competition, astrophysicist Sara Seager fills us in on the heated discussions behind naming planets, and Loch Lomond fill the hall with beautiful harmonies.
"Known Unknowns"
In an episode all about the unknown, The Gist's Mike Pesca tells Luke how to take the perfect nap, we go to great lengths to discover what scares "The Indiana Jones of Journalism" Nicholas Kristof (spoiled milk is on the list) and jazz great Bill Frisell plays a haunting version of "In My Life."
Author Sebastian Junger examines the struggles soldiers face readjusting to life at home and what they can tell us about the flaws of modern society, comedians Natasha Leggero and Moshe Kasher discuss the traditions they invoked (and invented) for their Jewish wedding, comic Claire Mulaney provides a cautionary tale for mixing pot cake with bowling, and La Luz’s “surf noir” sweeps us away.
"Playing by Ear"
Mandolinist Chris Thile discusses what excites him about his new gig as host of A Prairie Home Companion, comedian Dave Hill recounts what it was like writing ringtones for Donald Trump, and The Wild Reeds dazzle us with their astounding harmonies.
"Secret Worlds"
Comedian Paul Gilmartin discusses how his podcast helps erase the stigma around mental illness, Neal Bascomb recounts a courageous group of Norwegians that stopped the Nazis from obtaining the atomic bomb, and Open Mike Eagle reveals what “the Kurt Vonnegut of rap” sounds like (spoiler alert: pretty awesome).
"Under Pressure"
Peggy Orenstein discusses how young women struggle to achieve “intimate justice” in their sex lives, professor D. Watkins recounts the path that took him from selling drugs in East Baltimore to his life as a published author, and Walter Martin charms us with his musical musings.
"If Memory Serves"
Sarah Vowell challenges Luke's public radio references, writer Chris Offutt examine's his father's secret profession, Sam Outlaw's sings about heading home again, and the Live Wire Lovebirds face-off in "The Cohabitation Examination."
"Pretty Big Deal"
Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist Jack Ohman talks about the most amazing moment of his career, poet Kevin Young reads from his latest collection, Minnesota Public Radio music host Andrea Swensson reminisces about the time Prince asked her to dance, and The von Trapps musically bid us adieu.
"How on Earth?"
Live Wire celebrates Earth Day! Survivalist and Alone reality show contestant Dr. Nicole Apelian reveals her packing list for living solo in the wilderness, two teen activists explain why they are suing the U.S. government, wildlife photographer Gerrit Vyn attempts to identify some very... uh... unique bird calls, Anis Mojgani poeticizes his memories of growing up in New Orleans, and Fruition’s strings and harmonies take us out of this world and back again.
"Uh Oh"
Author Paolo Bacigalupi warns us about the dangers of magical thinking when it comes to the environment, Ijeoma Oluo tells us why she has hope for the future of race relations, Sallie Tisdale discusses the dangers of writing about your own family, and Liz Vice’s soulful sound lifts our spirits.
"Tight Five"
Four comedians share some of their best material and do battle with hecklers you’d only hear on public radio. Eliza Skinner describes the “magic intelligence” that is comedy, Alex Falcone shares the first joke he ever wrote, Bri Pruett recounts a terrible early gig at an Applebee’s, and Anthony Lopez reflects on how his career path to faith healer / professional wrestler went off the rails. Plus, Ayron Jones blows us away with an acoustic song off his electrifying new album.
"Rebel Rebel"
This week on Live Wire, Paul F. Tompkins explains the difference between a fop and a dandy, Timothy Egan tells us what the struggles of an Irish revolutionary can tell us about our current political climate, and Drive by Truckers' Patterson Hood treats us to a preview of a soon-to-be released song.
"Just Visiting"
Live Wire visits the Twin Cities! Local TV pitchman Fancy Ray McCloney shows Tom Bodett how to spice up his Motel 6 ads, the mayors of St. Paul and Minneapolis (Chris Coleman and Betsy Hodges) face-off in a trivia contest to determine who is the superior mayor, and The Jayhawks share their signature sound that put Minneapolis on the musical map.
"Bonus: The Jayhawks"
A special preview of last week's show at The Fitzgerald Theater featuring two classic songs from the Twin Cities' own (and Live Wire favorites) The Jayhawks. The Jayhawks If there is an OG of American alternative country-rock bands, it’s The Jayhawks. Emerging from the Twin Cities more than 25 years ago, this highly influential quartet has released 8 studio albums, and their 9th, produced by R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, drops later this year.
"Making History"
Author Rebecca Traister explores the rising power of unmarried women, historian Ruth Goodman reveals what living like a Tudor can teach us about modern life, and musical artist The Last Artful, Dodgr does Portland’s hip hop community proud.
"Learning Curve"
Writer and comedian Jen Kirkman recounts a horrific blind date in Sweden, filmmaker Lance Bangs imagines an elaborate Burning Man prank, and Hey Marseilles provide the soundtrack.
"If Memory Serves"
Sarah Vowell challenges Luke's public radio references, writer Chris Offutt examine's his father's secret profession, Sam Outlaw's sings about heading home again, and the Live Wire Lovebirds face-off in "The Cohabitation Examination."
"Here Goes Something..."
Stephen Tobolowsky recalls getting held up at gunpoint while browsing for mangoes, MLB umpire Dale Scott talks about coming out as gay in the world of baseball, and Jewish reggae icon Matisyahu attempts to teach Luke how to beatbox.
"Reality Check"
Comic Kristina Wong fills Luke in on the virtues of live-streaming a first date, Mark Bitterman explains what bitters can do for your holiday cocktails, comic Sean Jordan offers up the sickest burn to his dad ever, and Esmé Patterson's lilting voice warms up your winter.
Ep. 301: "On the Road"
Wait Wait Don't Tell Me's Tom Bodett offers up the key to a happy, sober life (not hanging out with drunk jackasses plays a role), Scott Poole waxes poetic about corn dogs, Head Writer Courtenay Hameister says farewell, and Box Set offers up stunning harmonies.
Ep. 300: "Who Am I to Judge?"
Humorist and former eccentric millionaire John Hodgman manages to make a conversation about frequent flyer miles hilarious, writer and viral video hero Prescott Harvey wonders whether JJ Abrams took his advice about Star Wars, and nerdcore band The Doubleclicks sing about important holiday stuff: hanging out with cats at parties.
Ep. 299: "True Stories"
Filmmaker Irene Taylor Brodsky discusses her documentaries about people regaining their sight and hearing after decades of darkness and silence, author Meghan Daum fills us in on how long you can count on being a better person when you almost die ("Two weeks, tops."), and David Wax Museum brings their musical brand of Mexo-Americana music to the stage.
Ep. 298: "Along for the Ride"
Luke gets "Crash Test" comics Paul Scheer and Rob Huebel to open up about asking for George Clooney's phone number and things they couldn't say on the Paramount set, standup comic Emily Heller plays hits from the radio station in her head, while singer/songwriter Matt Morris does the same.