Friday, March 27, 2009

If you take a moment to help Live Wire, we'll dance with radio-nerd glee!

Tricia Ferguson, Jonpaul Mclellan and Storm Large read haiku.

Hello, fans and friends!

Live Wire! just celebrated its fifth anniversary on air. This accomplishment occurs at a critical juncture for us: we went weekly on OPB and began airing on the East coast just as we lost a major sponsor and face more sponsors and grantors with tightened budgets (the recent ticket price increase was a direct result of these issues). We've been able to produce the show on a tiny budget-just $175K-through the energy and goodwill of our talented performers and staff, who have been willing to work for a fraction of their fee.

How you can help
We've put together a proposal for one-time funds from the City of Portland to help us grow our audience to ensure financial stability. We know our commissioners have MANY tough choices to make. We urge you to help keep the show going. Please take a minute to show your support for Live Wire! by sending an email to the city commissioners and Mayor's office. They need to hear that this show matters to you and to the city. We've included the commissioners' email addresses below.

Possible subjects for you letter: how Live Wire has impacted your life, artists you've discovered through Live Wire, and/or how attending or listening to a show makes you feel about living in Portland. (Note: if attending a show has ever made you feel crappy about living in Portland, you can probably leave that part out.)

Thank you in advance for your help. From the very beginning, we've been blessed with some of Portland's most enthusiastic and supportive audiences, and we're truly grateful for that. Thank you for your support through the years, and now as we move forward.

Please send your emails in as soon as possible, as the budget hearings are beginning to take place...and thanks again!

Kate Sokoloff, Robyn Tenenbaum, Producers
Courtenay Hameister, Associate Producer, Head Writer, Host
Jim Brunberg, Technical Producer

P.S. If you happen to get inspired, think about including an audience haiku in your appeal, i.e.:

Live Wire has taught me
The ancient art of haiku
Like school, but with beer.


Mayor Sam Adams:
Jennifer Yocom: jennifer.yocom@ci.portland
Nick Fish:
Randy Leonard:
Amanda Fritz:
Dan Saltzman:

If you have any questions about this campaign, or would like to make a suggestion, please contact us at

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mime haters, unite!

Sean McGrath illustrates the inner workings of the mind of a mime.

So, one of the sketches on our 5th anniversary show (yay!) was "Mime Kampf," a piece written by Ralph Huntley from the twisted perspective of the inside of a mime's head. Performed with a perfectly annoying French accent by Sean McGrath, the sketch killed, if we do say so ourselves.

And since our audience haiku is often linked to sketches, one of the topics this show was "Mimes." And, holy beans, did we not know the can of hate worms we were opening in giving people THAT subject to expound upon. Here are a few choice tidbits:

Wind, stairs, shrinking cubes
This is not funny to me
Annoy someone else.
- Chris W.

You paint your face white
Racist bastard that you are
Hide behind that wall.
- Tess

White face black attire
Those mimes are kind of creepy
But fun to poke at.
- Jessica

Trapped in a glass box
Hoping that someone will care
Get a real job, dick.
- Sam B.

Make-up like toothpaste
Snug polyester pants
Interesting breed.
- anonymous

Your box, your world
Fake to me but real to you
Annoying to all.
- Courtney W.

In your silent world
Melodrama reigns supreme
Trapped? Me, I would scream.
- Crystal P.

Silent, white-faced freaks
Pulling invisible ropes
That's entertainment?
- Jen S.

Mines is it, or mimes?
Mimes in mines - that's an idea
You can't hear them scream.
- Moe

Hands whirling in the air
Inspires love, hate, wonder
Empty-headed man.
- Yasmine B. and him
He stole my first kiss
Oh god, I hate mimes!
- Rebecca S.

Never use an axe
To free a mime from a box
Use a sledgehammer.
- Eric

But there were a few people who were mime fans:

So he wears make-up
Girls - he uses his hands well
And no talk. Perfect!
- Emily S.

Black and White heaven
Get one of your own, lady
Keep your hands off MIME!
- anonymous

We also had some great submissions for our Savage Love topic:

Ah, those wonder years
Crazy how fast you grow up
I love you Fred Savage.
- Sarah

Joel Prizbilla, yeah
I'd like to climb like a tree
Savage Blazer love.
- Kellie

Liberal Cal-i
Then in November Prop 8
Savage, without love.
- Hans B.

...and a couple who went off topic to give Live Wire some lovin':

Night out, no kids, yum!
Once chance for intimacy
Hope the show puts out.
- Daniel R.

Me love you long time
Happy 5th Live Wire
You supple bitches!
- Genie E.

We're crazy in love
With Live Wire's Faces Gang
Radio's Best Bunch!
- Holly F.

..and possibly the strangest one mixes mimes with..well, you'll see:

I hate this damn box
Can you please let me go free?
Courtenay's boobs for me.
- Sam S.

We did not think that was where you were going with that, Sam. But we appreciate the sentiment. And thanks to everyone who made our 5th Anniversary show such an amazing experience. Portland is quite a town.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Hey! How's Your News?

Reporter Jeremy Vest in front of the Hollywood Theater.

Mine's good. Thanks for asking.

Spent last night at the fantastic "How's Your News?" screening with director Arthur Bradford and the unbelievably charming and hilarious "How's Your News?" reporter (and drummer) Jeremy Vest.

If you're not familiar with the show, it follows five developmentally disabled reporters around the country on a tour bus as they chat with people like Arnold Schwartzenegger, Amy Sedaris and Elijah Wood. It airs on MTV, but please don't hold that against it. Before it was an MTV show, it was a great documentary by the same name.

Arthur showed us some very early clips of members of the HYN team, and he and Jeremy had a lively Q&A session with the audience. Afterwards, I got a chance to talk with Jeremy about his favorite band (Dave Matthews), whether he met girls on the road (he did) and things he doesn't like (screaming kids on planes).

Then Amber Geiger and Ted Morgan, who had organized the night's shindig, decided a trip to Voodoo Doughnuts was in order.

Jeremy takes in the sweet, sweet gloriousness
that is Voodoo Doughnuts.

Everything was going fine until Jeremy asked about the big chocolate twisty doughnut with the smaller doughnuts attached at the bottom.

"That's the cock 'n' balls doughnut," the pretty counter lady replied. "It's got creme inside."

Jeremy wasn't having any of it.

"Well, that doesn't sound good at all! I mean, who is that supposed to find that appealing? I don't know if I'm even really hungry anymore."

It would've been inappropriate to say that, actually, I found it incredibly appealing, so I kept my mouth shut and ordered a Portland Creme.

After that we went to our second stop of the night, a benefit for the great independent zine store Reading Frenzy. Arthur was reading from his book of short stories, Dogwalker while accompanying himself on the guitar. (Hello? Multi-talented!)

Arthur will be on Live Wire next Saturday night, March 14. I highly recommend you come check him out. And don't forget to check out clips of Jeremy in action at the How's Your News website.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Thanks but no thanks, Netflix!

Dear Netflix,

While I think it's pretty awesome that you have this software that recommends movies to me based on movies I've enjoyed in the past, I'd like to suggest that your system might need a little tweaking.

Yes, I did, in fact, enjoy The Deer Hunter, but my Deer Hunter love in no way foretells an affinity for Richard Pryor movies. But it's not me I'm worried about - I'm more concerned about the poor sod who takes your Deer Hunter recommendation based on their love of Richard Pryor. I'm concerned for the following reasons:
1.) Richard Pryor is not in The Deer Hunter.
2.) Christopher Walken is in The Deer Hunter. And sure, he's funny on SNL with the cowbells and such, but he is not—I repeat—NOT funny in The Deer Hunter. Not once.
3.) If someone is borderline suicidal and rents The Deer Hunter thinking it will draw them out of their sadness with its bawdy humor and hilarious first-person accounts of trips to Africa, they will not just be sorely disappointed, they will be dead.

So this is just a friendly note to encourage you to do a bit more work on the movie recommender thingy. And here's hoping next time I log in, I won't see:

Because you enjoyed: Home Alone 2
We recommend: Bucket of Blood 8 - The Chopping-Off Of Everything