Radio, music and critical thinking come live to Stage Werx today, Sunday, June 5 as the radio program Philosophy Talk, “the program that questions everything…except your intelligence,” hosts two live sessions at the theater. We had the opportunity to quiz host Ken Taylor about doing live shows and what’s in store for today.

ML: You’re returning to the Mission with this show. Is the Mission populated by particularly philosophical individuals?

KT: The Mission is full of smart urban people. We think of the whole Bay Area is full of smart, thoughtful, reflective people but we like being in the city. We like doing shows in front of urban audiences and we wanted to get in front of our audience and meet them up close and personal.

We think of ourselves as not just a radio show but we think of our show as engaging the audience in a multitasking way. Because not only do we engage them through live performance, we engage through the radio show we engage through live performance and we engage through the web…a community of thinkers where people read blogs, comment on blog, user forum, generate their own blog, live online chat with guests.

We try to engage our audience in a multimodal way. We think of philosophy as a conversational thing.

ML: Tell me about the move to Stage Werx

Ken Taylor: Well, it’s an experiment…I don’t know if it’s permanent, but we love doing shows in the area. We had done shows at the Marsh in the past and the marsh isn’t available to us so we’re looking for a Mission venue because we love doing shows in the Mission. We think of ourselves as Philosophy Talk invades the Mission.

It’s a nice venue and available to us we haven’t done a show in the Mission in over a year.

Up in Oregon we draw 800 people. Our shows in SF are smaller, it’s more intimate…if you come to a live performance you get to see radio being made. We have a band now, it’s called Tin Cup Serenade, they play music that’s connected to the theme.

You get a chance to interact live with us, we take questions from the audience, not all the questions will get on the air but we take as many as we can.

It’s a little bit like Prairie Home Companion because it’s music and storytelling and an intense discussion and our two guests.

And we’re doing two shows, one at noon and one at 3 p.m. We invite people to come to one or both.

ML:So they’re different shows?

KT: Yes, two different shows. The first is one is on radical democracy and one is on the mystery of music.

Our first show at 12 is about how to listen to music, is there such a thing as good listening or bad listening? If you listen to a piece of music and I say, you don’t get it, you’re not listening well enough. Similar to how if you’re looking at something and you miss something, I can say well, you’re not looking hard enough – Can we do  the same with music?

At 3 o’ clock we’re doing a show on the Radical Democracy Movement, which is about how some people argue that liberal democracy of the sort practiced around most developed countries of the world… encourages a kind of conformism and silences radical voices.

Tickets are $20 at the door and Stage Werx is located at 446 Valencia Street.