Luke Burbank brings 'Too Beautiful to Live' to LA

Luke Burbank
Luke Burbank
Photo by John Keatley, Seattle Met Magazine

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Many KPCC listeners are probably familiar with the name Luke Burbank. He was a reporter and host for NPR, based out of Culver City. A few years back, he moved to Seattle, where he now hosts a radio show and podcast called “Too Beautiful To Live.” Next week, Burbank will take a live version of his show to Los Angeles with some very special guests.

He gave a sneak preview to KPCC’s Alex Cohen.

Burbank says the name of his podcast came to him after working on NPR shows like "Day to Day" and "The Bryant Park Project."

"I have worked on a number of radio programs that have been canceled unceremoniously," he says, "I just thought I would beat them to the punch by immediately declaring that the show was so beautiful, so perfect that is was almost too beautiful for this world."

The liver version of "Too Beautiful To Live" will happen on Thursday, September 9 at the Troubadour in West Hollywood. It will include special guests Garfunkel and Oates, actor Rob Corddry, Dana Gould, Princeton, The Dinner Party Download, Jesse Thorn (The Sound of Young America/Jordan, Jesse GO). The show will be recorded and adapted for podcast the following day.

Luke Burbank is no stranger to live shows... he often fills in for Peter Sagal on the NPR program "Wait Wait ...Don't Tell Me!" But he says performing in front of a crowd can still be an anxious experience. "It's weirdly terrifying, so I tend to really over-prepare for the live shows," he says.

"I spend countless sleepless nights thinking about it," Burbank explains. "Then when I'm actually onstage I'm relaxed and it feels like a comfortable place... but the lead up to it is murder."

Though he will be performing in a venue best known for rock shows, it remains unclear whether he'll do any musician interviews. A few years back he gained notoriety for this interviews on NPR with the Icelandic band Sigur Ros: