Live Wire with Luke Burbank: Studio Session
with Abdi Nor Iftin + Tessa Fontaine + Moses Storm + Laura Veirs + more
Sat, Jun 30 at 12pm
In his new memoir, Call Me American, Abdi Nor Iftin weaves together the inspiring, compelling, and complicated threads of his life journey from Somalia to the United State. He recounts learning English from listening to Michael Jackson, using the internet to post secret dispatches from Mogadishu to NPR, and improbably winning entrance to the US via the annual lottery. But his harrowing journey from Mogadishu to Maine is not without intense trials, danger, and pain, which he explores in this “essential immigrant story” that has previously been heard in pieces on This American Life.
Come one, come all, you’re invited to writer Tessa Fontaine’s big show – her new memoir THE ELECTRIC WOMAN beautifully chronicles her time working in World of Wonders, the last American traveling circus sideshow. Fontaine writes about her experience as an escape artist, a snake charmer, and a high-voltage Electra as part of her carnival life, as well as how she trained her body to ignore fear even as she suffered through the pain of personal loss. Come for the unique sideshow stories, but stay for the universal themes of camaraderie and self-discovery.
Moses Storm is a comedy machine who takes in life and spits back out hilarity in the form of lauded standup sets, winning storytelling, and viral social experiments (such as throwing his birthday party at the security-dense LAX airport). Storm spent the first half of his life traveling in a bus with his family of religious missionaries. In the second half, he’s already received a standing ovation after his set on Conan, won the Moth’s storytelling GrandSLAM, and will appear in the upcoming season of Arrested Development on Netflix. For Moses Storm, life experiences + time = funnier and funnier material.
If you’re a productivity buff, consider this case study – singer and songwriter Laura Veirs released her TENTH solo album this year. Oh, and she also released her podcast Midnight Lightning, and a book, Libba: The Magnificent Musical Life of Elizabeth Cotton. Veirs has always been a musical workhorse, both with her own recording and performing as well as running the record label Raven Marching Band Records. The Lookout is a concept album about the fragility of precious things that’s the result of a year of daily songwriting. Veirs puts in the work, and we benefit from the fruits of her labor.