March 6th, 2008 5:33 pm | by LocalCut News | Posted In: CLEAN UP

Live Wire! Celebrates the Radio Stars

IMG_4838Neatly blending the variety show dynamics of classic radio—one bit comedy; one bit songs; an unhurried melange of articulate and clear-voiced showmanship—and the servicey cleverness that's sold a million NPR tote-bags, Live Wire! Radio celebrates its fourth anniversary March 15th with yet another distinct blend of comedy, music and sparkling monologues/interviews.

Podcasts of previous performances can be found here, but, while the audience (over-laughing Fresh Air fetishists wildly drunk on self-satisfaction) can irritate, one really should attend the live performances for full value. Lovely as Amelia Teisha Helgerson's vocals may be on record (and however gripping the acoustic backing of Jesse Emerson and Scott Weddle), their stripped-down lushness is still best experienced in concert. The local chamber-roots act played the very first Live Wire show and return with selections from their eagerly-awaited third release A Long Lovely List of Repairs.

Similarly, the rigorously engineered chaos of Portland's premier performance art marching band, March Fourth must lose something over the airwaves. Whatever the universal appeal of their eccentric vaudevillian rendering of gypsy be-bop, 23 horn players, 10 drummers, and a mad retinue (stilt-walkers, unicyclists, fire eaters, puppeteers, burlesque dancers, clowns, acrobats, etc) can't so easily shift mediums.

Alongside original sketch comedy from Faces For Radio Theater and musical staples Ralph Huntley and the Mutton Chops, Soujourn Theatre's Artistic Director Michael Rohd and Associate Artist Maureen Towey discuss the company's Drammy-winning Throwing Bones, travel writer Chuck Thompson speaks of his adventures, Stacey Bolt waxes comedic about motherhood, and comic book legends Jacob and Arnold Pander shall be interviewed about their feature-length film debut, Accelerate.

Can't speak to the visual delights of these guests, but Live Wire! ringleader/Godhead Courtnay Hameister has earned the benefit of the doubt over four years' superlative cavalcades. The program is edging ever closer to regular national syndication—their Wordstock show aired on WNYC on New Year's Eve—and we should take note of the program's remaining days as hometown treasure. The golden age of radio is at hand!

The fourth anniversary show is Saturday, March 15 at Aladdin Theater (3017 SE Milwaukie Avenue) Doors at 7 pm, show at 8. $15 tickets available at the Aladdin Theater box office or through


Photos: Wire Moore
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