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


George Saunders and Samantha Crain

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello celebrate teachers and the impact their words have had on us; award-winning author George Saunders unpacks his writing process and how creating confusion for himself often leads to interesting literary worlds; and singer-songwriter Samantha Crain discusses the importance of making music in her Choctaw language, before performing "Joey" from her album A Small Death.


Silvia Vasquez-Lavado, Curtis Cook, and Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello share some "personal Mt. Everests" from our listeners; writer and mountaineer Silvia Vasquez-Lavado discusses how she became the first openly gay woman to climb “The Seven Summits” while overcoming addiction and childhood trauma; comedian Curtis Cook explains why you shouldn't wear a suit to Red Lobster; and Patterson Hood, frontman of Drive-By Truckers, unpacks his decades-long collaboration with bandmates, then performs "Shake and Pine" from...


Best News: Too Much Gobble

Luke and Elena discuss disturbing Times Square billboards, kittens in a fighter jet, and cuddling turkeys.


Casey Parks and Thunderstorm Artis

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello set out to solve some mysteries; Washington Post reporter Casey Parks unpacks her new book Diary of a Misfit, wherein she reckons with her own sexuality, her Southern identity, and her complicated relationship with her mother; and singer-songwriter Thunderstorm Artis explains how his music went from The Voice to Grey's Anatomy, before performing his single "Stronger."


Best News: The Dolly-dar is Beeping!

Luke and Elena discuss a (now debunked) dazzling detail about Julia Roberts, Dolly Parton's rock 'n' roll aspirations, and how a man provided the city of Philadelphia some much-needed solace... via a rotisserie chicken-eating marathon.


Kaveh Akbar, Danielle Henderson, and Deep Sea Diver

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello remember the things we were better at as children; celebrated poet Kaveh Akbar explains how learning Farsi as his first language shaped his poetic sense of the English language; writer Danielle Henderson (Feminist Ryan Gosling) unpacks her memoir The Ugly Cry and how her iconoclastic grandmother helped forge her own fiercely independent path; and indie rock group Deep Sea Diver performs "Impossible Weight," the title track off their newest...


Best News: Expect Spectacle

Luke and Elena discuss a motorcycling sabbatical, Susie Burbank's dance stylings, and wedding rendition of Mambo No. 5.


Ginny Hogan, Anis Mojgani, and Pink Martini's Jimmie Herrod

Host Luke Burbank and Elena Passarello unpack some dating red flags; comedian and satirist Ginny Hogan explains the terms and conditions of being her undetermined partner; Oregon Poet Laureate Anis Mojgani describes a surprising encounter with an unlikely poetry fan; and jazz vocalist and Pink Martini member Jimmie Herrod recounts his successful run on America's Got Talent before performing his new song, "I Love You."


Best News: It's Wine O'Clock Somewhere

Luke and Elena discuss Airbnb decor, a man who made a floating suit out of wine bottle corks, and an emo festival that collided with a Katy Perry concert in Las Vegas.


Gary Shteyngart, Atsuko Okatska, and The Lowest Pair

Host Luke Burbank and Elena Passarello discuss the kindest things our friends have done for us; author Gary Shteyngart takes us into the world of fictionalized friendship in his latest book Our Country Friends, which is lauded as the Great American Pandemic Novel; comedian Atsuko Okatska explains why getting married is more childlike than staying single; and indie folk duo The Lowest Pair perform "Mt Rainier" from their latest album Horse Camp.


Best News: Durland and Darvin

Luke and Elena discuss furniture-scratching cats, saxophone-accompanied brain surgery, and twins who finally sold their domain name.


Sona Movsesian, Marcella Arguello, and Brown Calculus

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello share the worst jobs our listeners have ever had; writer and podcaster Sona Movsesian makes the case for why she is "the world's worst assistant" to Conan O'Brien; stand-up comedian Marcella Arguello unpacks the politics of airport parking; and spiritual jazz duo Brown Calculus perform their song "Seven Seas."


Best News: I Love Fat Bears and I Cannot Lie

Luke and Elena discuss Fat Bear Week, Trader Joe's sample resurgence, and Russell Crowe's charitable donations.


Tom Scharpling, Mohanad Elsheiky, and MAITA

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello unpack some controversial music opinions; writer and radio host Tom Scharpling (The Best Show) explains how his dislike for Billy Joel began as a teenage misadventure to Madison Square Garden; comedian Mohanad Elshieky describes why navigating checkpoints is better than talking to his Uber driver; and indie rock group MAITA perform "A Beast" from their album Best Wishes.


Best News: Dreams of Crystal Flutes

Luke and Elena discuss misremembered vocal stylings, Lizzo taking James Madison's crystal flute out for a spin, and a 91-year-old man who found a new lease on life via macadamia farming.

Sam Sanders, Erika L. Sanchez, and John Craigie

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello chat about those pop culture moments we can't seem to let go of; writer Erika L. Sanchez unpacks her memoir-in-essays, Crying in the Bathroom, and how Lisa Simpson taught her about feminism; podcaster Sam Sanders (Into It, Vibe Check) argues that pop culture gives us the script for how to be in the world; and singer-songwriter John Craigie admits to being terrible at small talk, before performing "Drown Me" from his latest album Mermaid Salt.


Best News: Terrible Sandwich

Luke and Elena discuss the Millennium Falcon of litter boxes, how Elton John made the President cry, and a kid whose lunch complaint went viral.


Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe, Todd Haynes, and Melanie Charles

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello share our listeners' go-to karaoke songs; Mötley Crüe co-founder and bassist Nikki Sixx describes how his love of storytelling propelled him from a small town kid to a heavy metal icon; Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Todd Haynes (Far from Heaven, Carol) unpacks his first documentary feature The Velvet Underground, which looks at the lasting legacy of the 1960s experimental rock group; and genre-bending powerhouse Melanie Charles performs a...


Best News: Cardboard Dad

Luke and Elena discuss Tony Passarello's Live Wire fandom, the first female Mariachi band in Denver Colorado, and rescuing a busload of stranded Torontonians.


Isaac Fitzgerald, Carmen Lagala, and No-No Boy

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello chat about childhood misperceptions; writer Isaac Fitzgerald grapples with identity, forgiveness, and a new vision of masculinity in his searing memoir Dirtbag, Massachusetts; stand-up comedian Carmen Lagala explains how her love of the WNBA broke up a teenage relationship; and singer-songwriter No-No Boy performs "Boat People" from his album 1975, as a tribute to the millions who fled southeast Asia after the fall of Saigon.