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Next Live Show

September 29, 2016 (Portland, OR)

Venue: Alberta Rose Theatre
Doors: 06:30pm
Show: 07:30pm


Nicole Byer

Let's pin down Nicole Byer. She's a comedian, writer and actor. Fair enough? There's more. She is currently starring in the semiautobiographical, Loosely Exactly Nicole, on MTV. Ah, impressive. She's a regular at UCB Los Angeles. We've heard of that. And more: her screen credits include Chelsea Lately, @midnight, Adult Swim, 30 Rock, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Wait, that's sort of a lot. That's a lot, right? And yet there's one more: she's featured in a Nestle commercial that runs exclusively in Israel. We'll only stop talking about her because we're out of breath.


Terry Porter 

Nobody tell Terry Porter we’re bad at sports. As a two-time All Star for the Portland Trail Blazers, Porter has also played for the Timberwolves, the Heat, and the Spurs, coached the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns, and made literally over hundreds of points at basketball. He’s also the new and current coach for the NCAA Division I University of Portland Pilots. Porter clearly didn’t come here to mess around about basketball. We’ve been practicing our dribbles, and we think we can take him. At least as long as we keep it to a verbal interview and absolutely no basketball is involved.


Dr. Embriette Hyde

If we were to ask you what the American Gut project was, what would you say? A hot dog eating contest? A Fear-Factor-esque challenge of nerves? A solid roundhouse kick to the stomach? What if we told you it was the largest crowd sourced citizen science project in existence? What if we told you The American Gut Project enables participants to learn about their own body’s microbes while also contributing to the greater scientific effort to learn how the human microbiome is associated with our health as individuals and a community? What if we told you that Dr. Embriette Hyde-- Ph.D. in the study of the human microbiome, recent selection as one of Forbes magazine's 30 Under 30 in Science, avid runner-- was the Project Manager for the American Gut Project? What would your feelings be? Where would they be? We think we know your answer.


David Bazan

David Bazan is a Seattle-based singer/songwriter and former lead singer of indie powerhouse Pedro the Lion. Every time he has appeared on Live Wire he pretty much kills it (in the good way) and this time should be no exception. His latest album is called, Blanco and this October he will tour Mid-West living rooms in support. If you live in Champaign and have a living room…this could be your October. You’re welcome.

October 13, 2016 (Portland, OR)

Venue: Alberta Rose Theatre
Doors: 06:30pm
Show: 07:30pm


Phoebe Robinson

Phoebe Robinson has got some explaining to do. You may recently have seen her on Last Comic Standing, Late Night with Seth Meyers, Comedy Central’s Broad City and @midnight, or in the writing credits of MTV’s Girl Code. That’s pretty good coverage. She gets a lot of air time for knowing a lot of things, all the time. But did you know she’s also written for Glamour, The New York Times, bitch magazine, Vanity Fair, and that her blog, Blaria (Black Daria) has been picked up by the Huffington Post? So that’s TV and print. Oh right, she is currently hosting not one but two podcasts, both produced by WNYC Studios’: 2 Dope Queens (with Jessica Williams), and Sooo Many White Guys—a podcast about anything but. It seems she’s got a thing or two to say about a thing or two.

Bill Oakley

Bill Oakley is a writer and producer. Simple as that. Plain and uninteresting. Yet we’ll say more. He’s best known for his years as writer and show runner on The Simpsons. Big whoop. He happens to have written many classic episodes, including, “Who Shot Mr. Burns.” His other television credits (boooooring) include Mission Hill (which he co-created with Josh Weinstein) The Cleveland Show and Futurama (whose doesn’t). He was a writer and Co-Executive Producer on Portlandia, for which he shared a Writers Guild of America Award. Wait, actually that’s pretty cool. Like, very cool. Tell us more about this guy?

Blind Pilot

Blind Pilot is a band from Oregon. This is not just to say that they got their start in Portland and are now based in Astoria. It’s more to say that they're truly of Oregon. The sound of their music—sweeping strings and melancholic horns, joyful lyrics and rollicking drum licks—is doug firs. They sound like northwest coyotes in the mist. They sound like a happy kind of plaid. The band added four touring members in February 2009, and have since appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman. Their music has been heard on the television shows Chuck, One Tree Hill, Californication and Private Practice. Their new album And Then Like Lions, is out now. 

October 21, 2016 (Brooklyn, NY)

Venue: Littlefield, NYC
Doors: 07:30pm
Show: 08:00pm


Jad Abumrad & Robert Krulwich

Okay, you know these guys. Jad Abumrad and Robert Krurlwich are the hosts of Radiolab from WNYC Studios, a radio show and podcast about curiosities. Somehow they manage to find the most curious stories and make them even curiouser. Not only has the show won them two Peabody Awards; it’s inspired us want to know more about things like the biology of sleep, stochasticity—the science of random variables, and to better understand just exactly what color is.

We doubt you’re unimpressed but we’ll continue. The MacArthur Foundation awarded Jad a Genius Grant in 2011. He’s reported stories that have appeared on Studio 360, Morning Edition, All Thing’s Considered and Democracy Now! He’s the first result when you google to the name “Jad.”

Don’t forget Robert--a radio and television journalist, and the former science correspondent for NPR. His work has appeared on everything from Nightline to NOVA. The New York Times put it best when they said that he’s “the man who simplifies everything without being simple.”

These guys are the studs of science, the radicals of radio. Why are we even typing when they need no introduction?

October 22, 2016 (New York, NY)

Venue: The Greene Space, NYC
Doors: 06:30pm
Show: 07:30pm


Jonathan Safran Foer

Let’s talk about what we talk about when we talk about Jonathan Safran Foer. In part we talk about fiction, seeing as he’s written the best-selling novels Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, both recently adapted into major motion pictures. We talk, also, about diet, considering his publication of the book Eating Animals, a treatise why and how it is we justify just that: eating living things. We talk about Judaism, and family, and history, and humanity, too, because these are the things he talks about. We talk a little about awards like the Guardian First Book Award, the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction, and the New Yorker 40 Under 40 listing, because he has won them. We talk about his new book, Here I Am, out this fall, because it’s his first novel in a decade. We talk about a lot of things, but mostly we plan to let him talk for himself. 


Chris Hayes 

Are you with Chris Hayes? We are. Let us tell you why-- Chris is a journalist, author and host of Up with Chris Hayes, and now All In with Chris Hayes, on MSNBC. He has been a writer for the publication, The Nation and a guest host of the television programs The Rachel Maddow Show, Countdown with Keith Olbermann and The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell. But that’s not all that up with Chris Hayes. He’s with the times and with aplomb and with not a few impressive accolades. In 2013 Chris became the youngest person to host a prime-time show (he was 34!) on a major cable network. His first book, Twilight of the Elites: America After Mediocrity, was published in 2012. His second book, A Colony in a Nation, debuts in March 2017. We’re with him, are you with it?

November 5, 2016 (Portland, OR)

Venue: Aladdin Theater
Doors: 07:00pm
Show: 08:00pm


In collaboration with Literary Arts, we're thrilled to present Live Wire: Wordstock Book Festival Edition

Jonathan Lethem

Jonathan Lethem is a man with ambition. To wit: he’s the bestselling author of ten novels including his upcoming A Gambler’s Anatomy and the award-winning Motherless Brooklyn, which was named Novel of the Year by Esquire and won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Salon Book Award, as well as the Macallan Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger. That’s right-- his book won a Gold Dagger. He’s also one of the pioneers of accessible speculative fiction writing, has won a MacArthur “Genius” Grant, and has appeared on the cartoon Bojack Horseman, as himself. Now, he traverses his next frontier-- our show.

Emma Straub

Some people call Emma Straub a “New York” author, and they’re not wrong. Looking at her new (much-lauded) novel Modern Lovers, set in Brooklyn, it’s clear that Straub knows a thing or two about the city. But if you take a closer look at Modern Lovers, or her other books The Vacationers, Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures, and the short story collection Other People We Married, there’s a few things you could call Straub, like a family author, or an infidelity author, or a regret author, or a love author. Not to mention a bestselling author whose work has been published in fifteen countries. Her fiction and nonfiction have been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, Elle, and Conde Nast Traveler, and she is a contributing writer for Rookie.

Blitzen Trapper

Blitzen Trapper’s frontman Eric Earley describes their album Wild Mountain Nation, critical darling, as sounding “like it had been authored by a drunken scarecrow who had been dragged behind a truck.” That album was listed on Pitchfork’s ‘Best Music of 2007’, as well as making it onto Rolling Stone’s best-of list for that year. Blitzen Trapper has released eight albums to acclaim, have played virtually every cool music festival you’ve been dying to go to, and have just released a live album recorded at Third Man Records, to boot. Earley describes their sound as the kind of songs that “make you want to get loaded and get in a fight, or find a girl and fall in love forever, simultaneously.” You in? We’re in. How could we not be?

November 6, 2016 (Portland, OR)

Venue: Mississippi Studios
Doors: 10:00am
Show: 11:00AM


In collaboration with Literary Arts, we're thrilled to present this Live Wire: Wordstock Book Festival Brunch Show! 

Sherman Alexie

We have to take a deep breath for this one. OKAY. Sherman Alexie. For starters, he’s written 25 published books. You probably know his classic book of short stories The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, or his young adult novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, but did you know he also writes poetry, screenplays, and has a new children’s book out called Thunder Boy Jr? Did you know he’s also a performer? Did you know he’s won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and the National Book Award for Young People's Literature? Just listing his accomplishments is more writing than we’ve done...maybe ever. On top of all that, he’s one of the most important modern authors illustrating Native American life on the reservation, all with his signature humor, despair, irony, and toughness. And we’re still leaving a lot out, trust us. 

Garrard Conley

Our guest Garrard Conley (pronounced without the second ‘r’), is a study in starting over. When Conley was a teen in Arkansas in 2004, he was outed as gay to his family. He was subsequently given the option of living his life without them, or going to an “ex-gay” conversion program called Love In Action. He chose to attend Love In Action, and twelve years later, has published his memoir, Boy Erased, detailing his time there, his decision to flee, and life before and afterward. Now Conley’s not only living his own life freely, his work can be found in TIME, VICE, CNN, Buzzfeed Books, Virginia Quarterly Review, and many other publications. 

November 17, 2016 (Portland, OR)

Venue: Alberta Rose Theatre
Doors: 06:30pm
Show: 07:30pm
Jessi Klein

Jessi Klein has tried to fool us. We thought of her as a comedian-- the head writer and executive producer of Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer. We’ve heard her on the panel of NPR’s Wait, Wait...Don’t Tell Me!, or telling a story on The Moth; she’s famously funny. She has a new book out, You’ll Grow Out Of It, and she’s been called this generation’s Nora Ephron. And here she is walking around as though she’s not all of those things and ALSO a pioneer on the wave of funny, public feminists, women fooling us into thinking we’re just enjoying ourselves when really we’re participating in a discourse. As though she’s not saving the world a little bit with every joke about the Kardashians. Jessi Klein is doing the Good Work, and she’s fooled us into thinking she’s just having fun. 

December 2, 2016 (Chicago, IL)

Venue: Lincoln Hall
Doors: 07:30pm
Show: 08:30pm




It’s hard to describe Reggie Watts if you haven’t seen him perform, but we’ll try. First off, he does stand-up. Or, does he? Watts is known for improvising entire shows, and as such, his performances end up being mixes of stand-up comedy, spoken word poetry, beatboxing, music, and freeform thought explosions. So, he does stand-up kind of. Watts calls himself a disinformationist, which means that he… well, what does it mean? It might mean something along the lines of using his wide range of verbal techniques and versatile skills to disorient and entertain his audience, in venues like Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Bang! Bang!, The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, Ted Talks, and leading the band for The Late Late Show with James Corden. He’s also got four solo albums, and is the winner of the 2006 Andy Kaufman Comedy Award. And that’s not the half of it. Come get down and disinformed with us. 

December 9, 2016 (Seattle, WA)

Venue: The Neptune
Doors: 7pm
Show: 8pm

Tickets On Sale Soon!

Maria Semple

Maria Semple is a titan. This is to say that she’s an all-too rare author of literary fiction that is funny. Her most recent novel, Where'd You Go, Bernadette, tracks everything from the corporate culture of Microsoft to the preferred drinks of Antarctic researchers. She’s also the author of “compassionate and wickedly funny satire," This One is Mine. Not impressed with those chops? She’s also busted her chops as an Emmy nominated TV writer for shows such as Ellen, Mad About You and was a consulting producer on Arrested Development. He latest book is titled Today Will Be Different, and will debut in October. She doesn’t waste her time-- she goes for the gut; source of feelings, source of belly-laughs.