Fresh Air

Weekdays at Noon

Fresh Air opens the window on contemporary arts and issues with guests from worlds as diverse as literature and economics. Terry Gross hosts this multi-award-winning daily interview and features program. The veteran public radio interviewer is known for her extraordinary ability to engage guests of all dispositions. Every weekday she delights intelligent and curious listeners with revelations on contemporary societal concerns.

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Fresh Air Weekend
9:06 am
Sat May 9, 2015

Fresh Air Weekend: Inside 'Mad Men'; British Pulp Fiction; Youth Sports

Don Draper (Jon Hamm) faces personal and professional upheaval in the final season of Mad Men.
Justina Mintz AMC

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 12:09 pm

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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Movie Reviews
11:56 am
Fri May 8, 2015

Schwarzenegger Meets Zombies In A Haunting, Slow-Paced New Film

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

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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Interviews
11:56 am
Fri May 8, 2015

'Fresh Air' Remembers Mystery Novelist Ruth Rendell

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

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

We're remembering British mystery writer Ruth Rendell, who died last Saturday in London at the age of 85. Rendell was interviewed twice by Terry Gross, first in 1989. Terry asked her to describe her best-known character, Reg Wexford.

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Interviews
11:56 am
Fri May 8, 2015

'Fresh Air' Remembers Soul Singer Ben E. King

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

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "STAND BY ME")

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Book Reviews
12:32 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

Gangsters, Goons And 'Grievous Bodily Harm' In Ted Lewis' London

Ted Lewis' gritty storytelling takes readers inside London's seedier quarters.
Soho Press

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 3:29 pm

In his famous essay, "The Simple Art of Murder," Raymond Chandler put down the classic British mystery, making fun of its arcane killings and hokey air of gentility. He preferred the tough American style and praised Dashiell Hammett for, as he put it, taking murder out of the vicar's rose garden and dropping it in the alley where it belonged.

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Television
12:32 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

'Mad Men' Creator On Don Draper's Losses And The End Of The Road

Don Draper (Jon Hamm) faces personal and professional upheaval in the final season of Mad Men.
Justina Mintz AMC

Originally published on Thu May 7, 2015 3:08 pm

Editor's note: This conversation discusses plot points from the seventh season of Mad Men.

With just two episodes to go until the AMC series Mad Men wraps for good, Don Draper (Jon Hamm), the series protagonist, seems to have nothing left — no Sterling Cooper ad agency, no apartment, no wife, no lover and no family life.

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Television
12:02 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

Meet The Power Couple Behind 'The Good Wife'

Julianna Marguiles plays attorney Alicia Florrick in the CBS drama The Good Wife.
CBS

Originally published on Thu May 7, 2015 7:31 am

The CBS drama series The Good Wife explores the behind-closed-doors drama of a smart female lawyer who stands by, silently supportive, as her husband admits to scandals both political and extramarital. Robert and Michelle King, the real-life husband and wife team who created the show, say that when it came to creating the series' main character, it was a question of art imitating life.

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Music Reviews
12:02 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

Cuban Drummer Dafnis Prieto's Crisp Rhythms Are 'Good For Jazz'

Originally published on Thu May 7, 2015 7:31 am

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

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Television
10:49 am
Wed May 6, 2015

The Allure Of Gore: 'Walking Dead' Producer On Zombies And Mean Tweets

Andrew Lincoln plays Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead.
Frank Ockenfels 3 AMC

Originally published on Thu May 7, 2015 7:31 am

The AMC series The Walking Dead, about a band of survivors in a zombie apocalypse, is known for killing off characters without much warning. But while the show's sudden plot twists keep viewers engaged, they can also create explosions of fan grief and rage on social media. Much of the audience's ire has landed on Scott M. Gimple, the series' executive producer and this season's showrunner.

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Book Reviews
11:20 am
Tue May 5, 2015

'One Of Us' Examines The Damaged Inner Terrain Of Norwegian Mass Shooter

Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Wed May 6, 2015 6:08 am

Columbine; Port Arthur, Australia; The Sikh Temple of Wisconsin; Newtown — the list goes on and on. And, by now, the elements of this type of massacre have become ritualized: usually one, but sometimes more than one, deeply disaffected person, almost always male, who is heavily armed with guns and/or explosives, targets the innocent. In the aftermath, which sometimes includes a trial, the crucial question of "Why?" is never really answered. Instead, most of us are left to wonder how any human being, however twisted, could be capable of such horror.

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The Salt
11:20 am
Tue May 5, 2015

'Tales' Of Pig Intelligence, Factory Farming And Humane Bacon

Author Barry Estabrook says pigs can be taught to play computer games and recognize themselves in a mirror.
W. W. Norton & Company

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 3:59 pm

Journalist Barry Estabrook knows how to enjoy a juicy heritage pork chop. He'll also be the first to tell you what intelligent, sensitive creatures pigs are. "I had no idea how smart they were until I got in the research," Estabrook tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies.

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Television
11:25 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
11:25 am
Mon May 4, 2015

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

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/.

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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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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DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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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/.

Transcript

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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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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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/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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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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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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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

Originally published on Thu May 14, 2015 7:49 pm

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

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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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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