Live Wire with Luke Burbank

Live Wire with Luke Burbank

Like late-night for radio, hosted by Luke Burbank (Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me), the show artfully blends an eclectic mix of artists, musicians, writers, filmmakers, comedians and cultural observers. Music, comedy, and conversation, live and packed with surprises.... Show More

Episodes

September 18, 2020 51 min
Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello reveal their personal theme songs; cultural critic and poet Hanif Abdurraqib describes how his playlist project "68to05" reflects the origins of his personal music fandom; author Eula Biss unpacks the intersection of homeownership and white privilege in her newest collection of essays "Having and Being Had;" and alt-country singer Lydia Loveless performs "Say My N...
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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; and indie pop duo Pure Bat...
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Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello consider what misconceptions their families have about them; comedian Maria Bamford convinces us that anybody can create their own comedy special; stand-up comedian Nore Davis riffs on the secret lives of school teachers and rescue animals; and country singer-songwriter Brandy Clark spins her love of the film "Jaws" into a relevant and heartfelt new song, aptly titled "Bi...
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Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello share what they wish they had been talked out of; 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 we pay tribute to the late singer-songwriter Justin Town...
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Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello go down some internet rabbit holes; W. Kamau Bell breaks down the difference between white supremacy and white supremacists on his CNN documentary series "United Shades of America;" science reporter Julia Rosen schools us on the invasive nature of earthworms; and singer-songwriter Samantha Crain details how her days as a child powerlifter prepared her for a life of touring, b...
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Host Luke Burbank and announcer Elena Passarello give themselves some pre-pandemic advice; humorist John Hodgman ponders themes of fame, prestige and airline mileage, as outlined in his new book “Medallion Status: True Stories from Secret Rooms;” writer Jon Mooallem takes a deep dive into the inner-workings of his meditative podcast “Walking;” and soul singer Allen Stone performs “Brown Eyed Lover” from his album “Building Balance....
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Host Luke Burbank and guest announcer Hari Kondabolu admit to being undecided on matters of personal hygiene and bed-making; science journalist Sarah Scoles encounters some true believers at the International UFO Congress; and singer-songwriter Angelica Garcia performs "I Don't Believe in Death" from her latest album "Cha Cha Palace."
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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 tr...
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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!"
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July 10, 2020 53 min
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."
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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 ...
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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."
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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 son...
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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...
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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 Muc...
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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 w...
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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,...
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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.
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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 Wh...
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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."
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