Fresh Air

Weekdays at 11am
Terry Gross

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Each week, nearly 4.5 million people listen to the show's intimate conversations broadcast on more than 450 National Public Radio (NPR) stations across the country, as well as in Europe on the World Radio Network.

Though Fresh Air has been categorized as a "talk show," it hardly fits the mold. Its 1994 Peabody Award citation credits Fresh Air with "probing questions, revelatory interviews and unusual insights." And a variety of top publications count Gross among the country's leading interviewers. The show gives interviews as much time as needed, and complements them with comments from well-known critics and commentators.

Fresh Air is produced at WHYY-FM in Philadelphia and broadcast nationally by NPR.

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Television
11:24 am
Mon May 4, 2015

Last Days Of Dave: Paying Homage To Letterman's Weird And Quirky Legacy

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 8:20 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Sports
11:24 am
Mon May 4, 2015

Silence On The Sidelines: An MLB Insider's 'Manifesto' On Youth Sports

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 11:25 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Fresh Air Weekend
9:22 am
Sat May 2, 2015

Fresh Air Weekend: Louis C.K, A Memoirist's 'Struggle', Pokey LaFarge

Louis C.K. remembers getting "really big laughs" during his third try at stand-up. "I was so excited that I had a little foot in the door," C.K. says. He's pictured above in his FX series Louie.
KC Bailey FX

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Louis C.K. On Life And Stand-Up: 'I Live In Service For My Kids': The star of the FX series Louie talks about the pain of his first-ever open mic experience and the "massive gift" of taking care of others before himself.

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Movie Reviews
1:42 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

Hollywood Offers Up A Bevy Of Superheroes In 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Music Reviews
1:41 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

Nellie McKay Celebrates The '60s With 'My Weekly Reader'

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Interviews
1:12 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

Timothy Spall Takes On Painter J.M.W. Turner, A 'Master Of The Sublime'

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Environment
12:37 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

Drought In Calif. Creates Water Wars Between Farmers, Developers, Residents

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF NEWS MONTAGE)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER #1: California going back to the drawing board to deal with their drought.

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Music
12:37 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

Two Takes On Billie Holiday

In honor of Billie Holiday's 100th birthday this month, several artists are releasing out Holiday tribute albums. Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead looks at a couple of these by other singers. One he rather likes; the other, not so much.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Author Interviews
1:40 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

Ohio Kidnapping Survivors Recount Captivity, Escape From Horror

House of horrors: The exterior of the Cleveland house where Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were held captive.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 29, 2015 2:44 pm

On the day before her 17th birthday, in 2003, Amanda Berry disappeared as she made her way home from her job at a Burger King in Cleveland. A year later, another Cleveland teen, 14-year-old Gina DeJesus, vanished while returning from middle school. Searches for both girls came up empty, and as the years passed it seemed less and less likely that either girl would ever be seen again.

In fact, the girls were still in Cleveland. They had been abducted by a man named Ariel Castro, who had kidnapped another young woman, Michelle Knight, in 2002.

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Music
1:40 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

Brooklyn Rider Blurs Classical Boundaries On 'Almanac'

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 1:15 pm

Some 30 years ago, the Kronos Quartet created a sensation by releasing an album of chamber music that included an arrangement of Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze." Now Brooklyn Rider, another gifted string quartet, is again blurring the boundaries between classical and more popular kinds of chamber music. Fresh Air classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz says he admires that blur.

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Book Reviews
12:38 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

3,600-Page Autobiographical Novel Is An Honest And Masterful 'Selfie'

Originally published on Wed April 29, 2015 1:59 pm

It seems like there's always some writer you're supposed to be reading. These days, it's Karl Ove Knausgaard, the 46-year-old Norwegian whose six-volume, 3,600-page autobiographical novel, My Struggle, has become a literary sensation. Over the past couple of years, I haven't been able to go to a social gathering without someone asking what I thought of his work. When I've said that I hadn't read a word, they would look genuinely startled and tell me, "You have to."

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Television
1:21 pm
Tue April 28, 2015

Louis C.K. On Life And Stand-Up: 'I Live In Service For My Kids'

Louis C.K. remembers getting "really big laughs" during his third try at stand-up. "I was so excited that I had a little foot in the door," C.K. says. He's pictured above in his FX series Louie.
KC Bailey FX

Originally published on Wed April 29, 2015 5:01 pm

After years working the stand-up circuit, Louis C.K. is well established as a comic powerhouse; his FX series Louie is in its fifth season, and C.K. also has a new comedy special that's available as a digital download on his website. But the laughs didn't always come easily. C.K. was a teenager when he first ventured onstage at a local comedy club's open mic night.

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Commentary
11:31 am
Mon April 27, 2015

From TED Talks To Taco Bell, Abuzz With Silicon Valley-Style 'Disruption'

Martin Starr plays software designer Gilfoyle in the HBO comedy Silicon Valley. In the show's new season, Gilfoyle and his fellow techies attend a startup competition named "Disrupt."
Frank Masi HBO

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 3:22 pm

HBO's Silicon Valley is back, with its pitch-perfect renderings of the culture and language of the tech world — like at the opening of the "Disrupt" startup competition run by the Tech Crunch website at the end of last season. "We're making the world a better place through scalable fault-tolerant distributed databases" — the show's writers didn't have to exercise their imagination much to come up with those little arias of geeky self-puffery, or with the name Disrupt, which, as it happens, is what the Tech Crunch conferences are actually called.

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Music Interviews
11:31 am
Mon April 27, 2015

Pokey LaFarge Mines His Midwestern Roots, Finds 'Something In The Water'

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Music
11:31 am
Mon April 27, 2015

Alabama Shakes Opens New Territory On 'Sound & Color'

Over the course of Sound & Color, Alabama Shakes messes with what had already, after its first album, become its signature sound. Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker has this review.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Fresh Air Weekend
7:03 am
Sat April 25, 2015

Fresh Air Weekend: Toni Morrison, Ross Macdonald's Crime Fiction, Will Forte

Toni Morrison's novels include Beloved, The Bluest Eye and Song of Solomon. She won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1993.
Timothy Greenfield Sanders

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 9:14 am

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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Author Interviews
11:58 am
Fri April 24, 2015

'Pope And Mussolini' Tells The 'Secret History' Of Fascism And The Church

It's commonly thought that the Catholic Church fought heroically against the fascists in Italy. But historian David Kertzer says the church actually lent organizational strength and moral legitimacy to Mussolini's regime. Kertzer recently won a Pulitzer Prize for his book The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe.

Originally broadcast Jan. 25, 2014.

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Movie Reviews
11:58 am
Fri April 24, 2015

Deception And Suspense By The Sea In The Iranian Mystery 'About Elly'

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Middle East
1:14 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

Saudi Bombing In Yemen Has Led To New Gains For Al-Qaida

Reporter Gregory Johnsen talks with Fresh Air's Dave Davies about the humanitarian crisis in Yemen and how the chaos is impacting the U.S. fight against al-Qaida. Johnsen describes a country torn apart. "I don't even think it's accurate to speak of Yemen as one country anymore," he says. "I think the country has been definitively and decisively broken in the way that no one will ever be able to put it back together again."

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Music
1:14 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

Dwight Yoakam's 'Second Hand Heart' Is First Class

Dwight Yoakam has been making music that mixes country with rock 'n' roll since the 1970s. Working out of Los Angeles rather than Nashville, he's built a career that has also included a solid acting career, appearing in movies like 1996's Sling Blade and the recent TV series Under the Dome. Yoakam's new album is called Second Hand Heart, and Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker says it's one of Yoakam's most stylistically diverse.

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Deceptive Cadence
1:49 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

How The Met Opera's Chorus Master Gets 150 To Sound Like One

Donald Palumbo became the Met's chorus master in the 2007-2008 season. He sang in choruses all his life, he says, and eventually worked his way up without any formal conservatory training.
Marty Sohl Courtesy of the Met

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 9:05 am

Metropolitan Opera Chorus Master Donald Palumbo knows voices, and how to instruct singers to protect them.

Palumbo says that all singers have to monitor their voices while rehearsing during the day. The goal, he says, is to insure singers are at their "freshest" and "most solid" for the evening performance.

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Television
1:46 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

'Last Man' Will Forte On Beards, Comedy And Bruce Dern's Acting Advice

A man and his beard: Will Forte plays a man seeking companionship in a world wasted by disease in The Last Man on Earth.
Jordin Althaus Fox

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 7:25 am

In Fox's television show The Last Man on Earth, Saturday Night Live alum Will Forte plays a man who survives a deadly virus that has decimated the human population. In the show, Forte's character, Phil, despairs when he thinks he is the last human on earth. He drives around a lonely landscape, creating billboards that announce "Alive in Tucson" on the off-chance that someone will see them.

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Author Interviews
1:25 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

After 20 Years On The Job, NYC Police Officer Tells His Intense Stories

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 4:46 am

In his 20 years as a New York City police officer, Steve Osborne made thousands of arrests. He says that when he was in uniform, it wasn't unusual to handle 20 jobs a night. And in plainclothes, in the anti-crime unit, his teams would make several felony collars a week, mostly robberies, assaults and gun arrests.

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Book Reviews
1:25 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Revisiting A Suburbia-Gone-Sour In Ross Macdonald's Crime Fiction

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 2:54 pm

Ross Macdonald had a smart answer to the tedious question of why he devoted his considerable talents to writing "mere" detective stories: Macdonald said that the detective story was "a kind of welder's mask enabling writers to handle dangerously hot material." Like Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler (the great hard-boiled masters whom he revered), Macdonald set out to excavate the dark depths of American life, but to find his own "dangerously hot material" Macdonald descended into uncharted territory.

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Author Interviews
1:06 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

'I Regret Everything': Toni Morrison Looks Back On Her Personal Life

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 10:15 am

Now that she's in her mid-80s, celebrated author Toni Morrison feels aches, pains and regret.

She tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, "When I'm not creating or focusing on something I can imagine or invent, I think I go back over my life — I don't recommend this, by the way — and you pick up, 'Oh, what did you do that for? Why didn't you understand this?' Not just with children, as a parent, but with other people, with friends. ... It's not profound regret; it's just a wiping up of tiny little messes that you didn't recognize as mess when they were going on."

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Fresh Air Weekend
9:34 am
Sat April 18, 2015

Fresh Air Weekend: Mark Ronson, The Mountain Goats, Beau Willimon

Mark Ronson is a music producer, DJ and guitarist who's recorded with Adele, Paul McCartney, Ghostface Killah, Lily Allen and Duran Duran, among others.
Astrid Stawiarz Getty Images

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

The Story Behind Mark Ronson's Hit Song 'Uptown Funk': The producer says there was a moment when his co-writers thought, "Maybe this song wasn't meant to be." He also describes working with Amy Winehouse and Bruno Mars.

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Movie Reviews
11:17 am
Fri April 17, 2015

In 'True Story,' A Shamed Journalist Interviews A Fugitive Who Stole His Identity

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Pop Culture
11:17 am
Fri April 17, 2015

Comedian Joel McHale Talks Dyslexia, Bad TV And Filming A Thriller

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli sitting in for Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "COMMUNITY")

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Digital Life
1:08 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

On YouTube, A Global Archive Of Daily Life, Both Humble And Transcendent

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Music Interviews
1:08 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

The Story Behind Mark Ronson's Hit Song 'Uptown Funk'

Mark Ronson is a music producer, DJ and guitarist who's recorded with Adele, Paul McCartney, Ghostface Killah, Lily Allen and Duran Duran, among others.
Astrid Stawiarz Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 2:43 pm

When singer Bruno Mars and producer Mark Ronson first landed on the instrumental track and a few lines of what would become the hit song "Uptown Funk," Ronson says the room was filled with electricity.

"There's nothing more exciting than that period of the song, because the potential is unlimited," Ronson tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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