Next Live Show

September 10, 2016 (Seattle, WA)

Venue: The Neptune
Doors: 07:00pm
Show: 08:00pm

Paul F. Tompkins

Paul F. Tompkins is the place where style meets substance. Sure, he’s got his trendy bases covered, having been on Mr. Show with Bob and David, Real Time with Bill Maher, Best Week Ever, and Comedy Bang! Bang! You’ve heard of him, you know he’s cool. But did you know he’s now hosting his own Earwolf podcast—SPONTANEANATION—that’s entirely improvised, down to the comedy sketches and music? Did you know he provides the voice for shmarmy labrador Mr. Peanutbutter on the Netflix series Bojack Horseman? Did you know he’s the best-dressed man in show business? Oh wait, that’s style again. With Paul it can be hard to draw the line sometimes.

The Devil Makes Three

Many artists seem to draw inspiration from a well of raw talent, while many more spend countless, methodical hours perfecting their craft. Pete Bernhard, frontman for acoustic punk-blues trio The Devil Makes Three has spent more than a decade earning fans the hard way - pounding the grass-roots club circuit with raucous, foot-stomping hoedowns. His fifth full-length release, Redemption & Ruin continues to flesh out his variety of influences into a one of a kind sound. What about live? The Washington Post remarked, “With string-busting rhythms charging with a garage beat and a fiddle running furious enough for a mosh pit, it’s a reminder this band grew up on rock.” Pete Bernhard clearly has that rare combination of pure talent and devoted determination. Yep, we’re in.

September 15, 2016

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

Bruce Campbell

If you’re like us, you were introduced to Bruce Campbell in his recurring role as Autolycus, King of Thieves, on the show Xena Warrior Princess. But let us catch you up on what else he’s done. Once sited as the “Laurence Olivier of bad movies,” Bruce is an actor, writer, director, producer and author known for portraying Ash in the Evil Dead film series and Sam Axe on the show Burn Notice. In 2002 he published his autobiography, If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor, a New York Times Bestseller. He is currently about to unveil the second season of his hit television series, Ash vs. Evil Dead, on Starz and is touring the country with his game show, Last Fan Standing. And did we mention he was on Xena? It bears repeating.

Colin O'Brady

Colin O’Brady is an endurance athlete. Since suffering severe burns to 22 percent of his body in 2008, and told he’d never have full motion in his legs, he’s not only learned to walk again, he’s competed in more than 50 triathlons, including Ironman competitions. In January 2016, Colin began the Explorers Grand Slam, an adventure challenge to climb the highest mountains on each of the Seven Continents and reach the North and South Poles. We thought about doing that once, but it seemed to require too much effort.

September 22, 2016 (Phoenix, AZ)

Venue: Herberger Theater
Doors: 06:30pm
Show: 07:30pm

Penn Jillette

You might call Penn Jillette a bit of a trickster. Not only is he famous for being the tall, speaking half of the comedy magic team, Penn and Teller—performing around the world and in several high profile residencies in Las Vegas since 1975 with his silent partner, Teller—but his Showtime series, Penn & Teller: Bulls@#%!, pretended to be strictly entertaining and delighting audiences when in fact it was debunking and disarming institutions as ubiquitous as monogamy, the Bible, the Boy Scouts of America, and—we’re not kidding--numbers. In 2013 he made it to the finale of, Celebrity Apprectice, and the Magic Castle recognized him and Teller as “Magicians of the Year.” Coincidence? You decide. His latest book is, Presto!: How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear and Other Magical Tales, chronicling his unconventional weight loss story. He’s a disappearing act that reappears where you’d least expect to find him.

Justin Schmidt

Not only did Justin Schmidt win a 2015 Ig Nobel Prize (awarded for important, improbable, and downright weird scientific accomplishments), but he delivered his acceptance speech at the ceremony in rhyme. Schmidt won the Ig Nobel in Physiology and Entomology for his creation of the “Schmidt Pain Index,” a chart that scales and rates the stings of dozens of insects, all according to Schmidt’s personal experience. The index was mentioned in the film Ant Man, among other places. The New York Times calls him “an expert in physical agony,” and “a connoisseur of pain.” He’s the author of the new book Sting of the Wild, and is the research director of the Southwest Biological Institute. Basically, he’s getting stung by nature’s little baddies for the greater good of all. Come by to thank him.

September 29, 2016

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

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

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 PracticeTheir new album And Then Like Lions, is out now. 

October 21, 2016 (NYC)

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

Tickets On Sale Soon! 

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 (NYC)

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

Tickets On Sale Soon!

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

Venue: Aladdin Theater
Doors: 06:30pm
Show: 07:30pm

**Wordstock Book Fest Show**

Tickets on sale soon!

November 6, 2016

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

**Wordstock Book Fest Brunch!**

Tickets On Sale Soon!

November 17, 2016

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

December 2, 2016 (Chicago, IL)

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

Tickets On Sale Soon! 

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.