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.


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


J. Kenji López-Alt, Sara Schaefer, and Dehd

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello talk ambitious DIY projects; chef and food writer J. Kenji López-Alt tests his knowledge of cooking gadget infomercials; comedian Sara Schaefer leads a seminar on how to perform standup in various comedic styles... including puppetry; and indie rock group Dehd discusses bad loves stories and dental work, before performing "Bad Love" from their new album Blue Skies.


John Waters, Sasha LaPointe, and Deep Sea Diver

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello reveal what our listeners would like to have named after them; legendary filmmaker John Waters (Pink Flamingos, Cry Baby) 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...


Aubrey Gordon, Chris Meija, and Danielle Ponder

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello recall some fads of the past; Aubrey Gordon discusses how her hit podcast Maintenance Phase debunks the junk science behind nutrition, wellness, and fatness; stand-up comedian Chris Meija gives us an unexpectedly hilarious account of his call to the suicide hotline; and lawyer-turned-powerhouse vocalist Danielle Ponder performs "Only the Lonely" from her newest album Some Of Us Are Brave.


EXTRA: Maintenance Phase's Aubrey Gordon & The Jar of Truth

In this podcast EXTRA, Maintenance Phase podcaster Audrey Gordon participates in a round of “The Jar of Truth” and gives her hot takes on some fads past and present.


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.


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.


Paul F. Tompkins, Sarah Marshall, and Jimmie Herrod

In this special Holiday Edition of Live Wire, host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello share their favorite holiday traditions; comedian Paul F. Tompkins unpacks "weekend water" and passive-aggressive Christmas carolers; social critic Sarah Marshall, host of the hit podcast You're Wrong About, discusses why our misperceptions of the past are largely influenced by the news cycle; and jazz vocalist Jimmie Herrod, of Pink Martini fame, performs his moving piano ballad "Each Time."


EXTRA: Demi Adejuyigbe Sings "Rock n' Roll Santa Claus"

In this podcast EXTRA, comedian and writer Demi Adejuyigbe serenades us from the live stage with his own holiday song, "Rock n' Roll Santa Claus."


Nora McInerny, Nabil Ayers, and Madison Cunningham

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello discuss the ways in which we are too hard on ourselves; writer and podcaster Nora McInerny (Terrible, Thanks for Asking) explains why she is the saddest happy person she knows; music entrepreneur Nabil Ayers chats about his memoir My Life in the Sunshine and his estranged relationship with his biological father, funk/soul musician Roy Ayers; and singer-songwriter Madison Cunningham gives a show-stopping performance of her song "All I've Ever...


Jamie Loftus, Jelani Memory, and Tolliver

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello remember some beloved comic strip characters; comedian Jamie Loftus unpacks her newest podcast Aack Cast, which takes a deep dive into how the Cathy comic still pertains to feminist struggles today; writer and publisher Jelani Memory (A Kids Book About Racism) discusses how he launched a book series for parents and kids to tackle heavy topics; and soul-funk artist Tolliver performs his single "Say What!"


John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats and Dessa

Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello reveal the unexpected expertise of our listeners; novelist John Darnielle, frontman of The Mountain Goats, reflects on America's obsession with true crime and becoming a writer in his own right; and rapper and podcaster Dessa discusses falling out of love for a behavioral science experiment, before performing "Jumprope" from her album Chime.


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.