Live Wire with Luke Burbank
with Dani Shapiro, Colin O'Brady, Chris Garcia + Casey Neill & The Norway Rats
Thu, Feb 21 at 7:30pm
Best-selling author Dani Shapiro is a literary truth teller. The author of five novels, four memoirs, and a plethora of essays, short fiction, and journalism, Shapiro’s latest memoir, “Inheritance,” deals with the aftermath of finding out through a genealogy website that her father was not her biological father. The captivating book details how she grappled with this discovery as a writer who has examined identity and family for years. Shapiro also encourages truth as a renowned writing teacher at various institutions as well as at her own writing conference in Positano, Italy. In addition to “Inheritance,” the straight talk continues this year with the launch of her new podcast, “Family Secrets,” a look at how secrets can both shape and liberate us.
Portland native Colin O’Brady quite literally goes the distance - in a world record-breaking way. Already the world record holder for the fastest to climb the tallest peak on all seven continents, at the end of 2018 O’Brady also became the first person ever to cross the continent of Antarctica alone and without the aid of resupplies or wind/kite power. The New York Times called O’Brady’s success, “one of the greatest achievements in polar history.” This incredible, unprecedented journey coined “The Impossible First” is just the latest in a string of seemingly unbelievable feats of skill, endurance, and determination by the former professional triathlete and outdoor adventurer. When he’s not traversing continents solo or speedily mountaineering, O’Brady champions his community impact through his nonprofit, Beyond 7/2, which encourages kids and communities to live active, healthy lives and pursue their dreams. O’Brady is a sought after speaker at Fortune 500 companies, conferences across the globe, and his TED talk has over 1 million views. He uses his own history of setbacks as an accelerant to reach greater heights and believes that we all have the ability to unlock the potential inside of us.
Veteran comedian Chris Garcia has always incorporated stories about his Cuban-American family into his standup sets. Following his father’s death from Alzheimer’s, he began using humor as a vehicle to process his grief and remember his dad. His willingness to find laughs in life’s hard stuff has brought him solace from connecting with others – as well as a Comedy Central special, a new audio project with WNYC about death, family and comedy, and a pilot based on his life in process at FOX Television. For this funny guy, allowing in the darkness let his work and perspective shine the brightest.
Even in a world with a dystopic tinge, Casey Neill remains strangely hopeful about the future. That contrasting mix of hope and chaos, looking to both the past and future, fuels "Subterrene", his magical new album with his band The Norway Rats. The Portland supergroup has convened on their first album in almost five years, fusing Neill’s evocative storytelling with alt-rock abandon and punk grit. Neill describes "Subterrene" as a “dystopian romance,” and it follows a distinct story arc inspired by vintage sci-fi novels, our current political climate, and Neill’s worldly travels. It’s a definitely optimistic, sonically bold album that also serves to illuminate the most strangely hopeful thing of all - truly finding connection with others.