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Live Wire with Luke Burbank

413 episodes   Last Updated: Sep 01, 23

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.


Comedian Maria Bamford chats about her new book Sure, I’ll Join Your Cult, which unpacks mental illness and the quest to belong... and why 12-step programs and the Suzuki Method have more in common than you might think. Then, singer-songwriter Isabeau Waia'u Walker performs her song "The Prince," written as a tribute to her father and the young men of Hawaii who often slip through the cracks. Plus, host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello share some cult-adjacent experiences from our listeners.
Poet and Kirkus Prize winner Saeed Jones unpacks his newest collection Alive at the End of the World and why Billie Holiday had a bone to pick with Maya Angelou; writer Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Mexican Gothic) explains how her love of horror at a young age found its way into her latest book The Daughter of Doctor Moreau; and indie folk duo The Lowest Pair perform "Pear Tree" from their first record 36 Cents. Plus, host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello discuss our strange childhood obsessions.
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. Plus, host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello recall some fads of the past.
In this extra episode, podcaster, writer, and road-tripper Jamie Loftus (Raw Dog: The Naked Truth about Hot Dogs) tests her knowledge of the official slogans of various American states.
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 Known” from her Grammy-winning album Revealer. Plus, host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello discuss the ways in which we are too hard on ourselves.
Award-winning author George Saunders (Lincoln in the Bardo) unpacks his writing process and explains how creating confusion 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. Plus, host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello celebrate teachers and the impact they've had on us.
Author and Jeopardy host Ken Jennings takes us on a journey to the afterlife with his latest book, 100 Places to See After You Die, and explains why contestant interviews are so darn awkward; writer Erica Berry discusses her debut book Wolfish, which examines all things "wolf" – from fables to fears; and international rock group Making Movies performs "Porcelina" from their album XOPA. Plus, host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello share versions of the perfect afterlife, according to our listeners.
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." Plus, host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello set out to solve some mysteries.
Ari Shapiro, journalist and co-host of All Things Considered, unpacks his new book The Best Strangers in the World: Stories From a Life Spent Listening, which chronicles his reporting adventures across the globe, from Air Force One to the stage of the Hollywood Bowl; comedian and TV writer Demi Adejuyigbe explains how the WGA strike has afforded him so much free time... to go to the Renaissance Faire. Plus, host Luke Burbank and Elena Passarello share stories of the most amazing strangers our listeners have encountered.
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." Plus, host Luke Burbank and Elena Passarello unpack some dating red flags.