Fresh Air on WEKU

Weekdays 3-4PM
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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1:15pm

Fri December 19, 2014
Television

J.K. Simmons On Playing A Neo-Nazi On HBO's 'Oz'

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 1:48 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

1:15pm

Fri December 19, 2014
Movie Reviews

The Strange World — And Life — Of 'Mr. Turner'

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 1:48 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

1:15pm

Fri December 19, 2014
Movie Interviews

Meryl Streep: The Fresh Air Interview

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 1:48 pm

Meryl Streep won a Golden Globe for her performance as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. She talks about preparing for that role and how her perceptions of herself have changed over the years.

Originally broadcast Feb. 6, 2012.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

3:24pm

Thu December 18, 2014
Television

A Tribute To Stephen Colbert, A Self-Proclaimed 'Junkie For Exhaustion'

Stephen Colbert will host his final episode of The Colbert Report Thursday after nine years on air.
Pool Getty Images

After nine years, Stephen Colbert is retiring the character he created for The Colbert Report, the conservative, self-important blowhard who opines about the news and the media. The final episode airs Thursday. Colbert will take over as host for The Late Show, replacing the retiring David Letterman.

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1:32pm

Wed December 17, 2014
Author Interviews

Between World Wars, Gay Culture Flourished In Berlin

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WILLKOMMEN")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Singing) Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome.

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1:32pm

Wed December 17, 2014
Music

D'Angelo's 'Black Messiah' Collapses Years, Genres

D'Angelo has built a considerable reputation on the basis of three albums: 1995's Brown Sugar, 2000's Voodoo, and now Black Messiah, unexpectedly released early Monday morning. The singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist has been widely praised for connecting many decades of different rhythm & blues styles, and Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker says Black Messiah is as adventurous as any fan could hope for.

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2:40pm

Tue December 16, 2014
Author Interviews

Early On, Comedian John Cleese Says, He Had Good Timing But Little Else

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 9:41 am

John Cleese, pictured above in 1976 with Monty Python's Flying Circus (from left, Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones), says he worked hard to learn physical comedy by imitation — "It was not something I was naturally gifted at," he says.
AP

Performing live comedy is like "a series of little scientific experiments," says John Cleese. "When you do comedy in front of an audience, they are the ones who tell you whether it's funny or not," he tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies, and each subsequent night on stage is an experiment in making jokes land better than the night before.

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2:24pm

Tue December 16, 2014
The Best Music Of 2014

Ken Tucker's Top 9 Albums Of 2014, Plus A Book

Elizabeth Grant is better known by her stage name, Lana Del Rey.
Neil Krug Courtesy of the artist

3:42pm

Mon December 15, 2014
Movie Interviews

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

Timothy Spall says he had to use a lot of empathy to play a character like Mr. Turner, who wasn't always "very pleasant" and was a "man of massive contradictions."
Simon Mein Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Before he could play British artist J.M.W. Turner, actor Timothy Spall first had to learn how to paint; over the course of two years, Spall took private fine art lessons from London artist Tim Wright.

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3:42pm

Mon December 15, 2014
Book Reviews

Sometimes You Can't Pick Just 10: Maureen Corrigan's Favorite Books Of 2014

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 1:12 pm

Rows of characters enjoying reading books.
Gustav Dejert Ikon Images/Getty Images

For this year's Best Books of the Year list, I reject the tyranny of the decimal system. Some years it's simply more than 10. Here, then, are my top 12 books of 2014. All of the disparate books on my list contain characters, scenes or voices that linger long past the last page of their stories. In fact, The Empire of Necessity by Greg Grandin, which is my pick for Book of the Year, came out in January and I haven't stopped thinking about it since.

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12:08pm

Sat December 13, 2014
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Chris Rock, Nunberg's Word Of The Year, Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson has published 30 books, and won three Newbery honors and a Coretta Scott King Book Award for her young adult book Miracle's Boys.
Marty Umans Courtesy of Penguin Group USA

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:

Chris Rock On Finding The Line Between Funny And 'Too Far': "No comedian wants to have to analyze and defend" jokes, says Rock, who wrote, directed and stars in the new film Top Five. He adds: "I'm not a politician; I'm not a thinker. I'm a comedian."

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1:32pm

Fri December 12, 2014
Television

Funny, Dirty, Sad: The 'Holy Trinity' For 'Transparent' Creator Jill Soloway

When writer Jill Soloway's father came out as a trans woman, Soloway says, it was a huge relief. And it helped her create the series Transparent about "boundaries, legacy, gender, family."

Originally broadcast Oct. 30, 2014.

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1:32pm

Fri December 12, 2014
Movie Interviews

Filmed Over 12 Years, 'Boyhood' Follows A Kid's Coming Of Age

Writer-director Richard Linklater says picking the film's star was vital because he had to guess what he'd be like at 18. "I just went with a kid who seemed kind of the most interesting."

Originally broadcast July 10, 2014.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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1:32pm

Fri December 12, 2014
Movie Reviews

Depicting An Unstable Era, 'Inherent Vice' Never Jells, But It's Addictive

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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2:21pm

Thu December 11, 2014
Music

Three Jazz Box Sets For Stocking Stuffers

Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews three box sets featuring memorable pianists: the Chick Corea Trio's Trilogy, Herbie Hancock's Warner Bros. Years (1969-1972), and The Rosemary Clooney CBS Radio Recordings 1955-1961.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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2:21pm

Thu December 11, 2014
Author Interviews

Richard Pryor, A Comedy Pioneer Who Was 'Always Whittling On Dynamite'

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 3:14 pm

Comedian Richard Pryor, pictured in 1977, grew up in a brothel, surrounded by violence. "He said once that it's easier for him to talk about his life in front of 2,000 people than it is to do it one on one," says Scott Saul, whose new book is Becoming Richard Pryor.
AP

Comedian Richard Pryor's legacy still reverberates nearly 10 years after his death. Pryor took the most difficult troubling aspects of his life and turned it into comedy. He talked about being black in ways that had never been done before in mainstream entertainment. And he was fearless and hilarious talking about race relations.

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2:58pm

Wed December 10, 2014
All Tech Considered

Feeling Watched? 'God View' Is Geoff Nunberg's Word Of The Year

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 9:47 am

Geoffrey Nunberg says technology makes it seem as if we're always being watched, which is creepy.
Ralf Hirschberger AFP/Getty Images

"Infobesity," "lumbersexual," "phablet." As usual, the items that stand out as candidates for word of the year are like its biggest pop songs, catchy but ephemeral. But even a fleeting expression can sometimes encapsulate the zeitgeist. That's why I'm nominating "God view" for the honor.

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2:38pm

Wed December 10, 2014
Code Switch

Jacqueline Woodson On Growing Up, Coming Out And Saying Hi To Strangers

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 3:01 pm

Jacqueline Woodson has published 30 books, and won three Newbery honors and a Coretta Scott King Book Award for her young adult book Miracle's Boys.
Marty Umans Courtesy of Penguin Group USA

When author Jacqueline Woodson was growing up in Greenville, S.C., in the '60s and '70s, she was keenly aware of segregation.

"We knew our place," Woodson tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "We knew our place was with our family. We knew where it was safest to be. There wasn't a lot of talk about the white world and what was going on in it; it didn't really have a lot to do with us, except in situations where there was the talk of resistance."

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1:35pm

Tue December 9, 2014
Afghanistan

Reporter In Kabul Wins Award For Courage In Journalism

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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1:17pm

Mon December 8, 2014
Movie Interviews

Chris Rock On Finding The Line Between Funny And 'Too Far'

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 1:52 pm

Chris Rock wrote, directed and stars in Top Five, a film about a standup comedian who is trying to reshape his career.
Ali Paige Goldstein Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

In the new film Top Five, Chris Rock plays Andre Allen, a standup comedian who has starred in a series of blockbuster comedies as a catchphrase-spewing character called Hammy the Bear.

When Top Five begins, Allen has given up the Hammy movies, given up drinking and is trying to reshape his career with his new dramatic film about a Haitian slave rebellion. Like Allen, Rock says he has had doubts about his own career.

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1:13pm

Mon December 8, 2014
Art & Design

Spanish Artist Francisco Goya On Display In Boston: An Extraordinary Exhibit

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

1:13pm

Mon December 8, 2014
Music

Steve Lacy's Monk Quartet, Solo Sax Albums Reissues

Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews two reissues featuring the late soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy — a live recording of a 1963 quartet that only played Thelonious Monk tunes, and later music for solo soprano. Monk was always Lacy's biggest influence.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

12:56pm

Sat December 6, 2014
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Ray Davies, Books For Jazz Lovers And Josh Brolin

In Inherent Vice, Joaquin Phoenix (left) plays a burned-out hippie private eye, while Josh Brolin is a Los Angeles Police Department detective --€” Lt. Detective "Bigfoot" Bjornsen --€” who is investigating a murder and kidnapping case.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment

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:

Naive, Yet Revolutionary: Ray Davies On 50 Years Of The Kinks: "I think if I had been an accomplished songwriter, I wouldn't have written 'You Really Got Me,'" Davies tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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4:19pm

Fri December 5, 2014
Music

A Punk Memoir That Makes The Ordinary Seem Transcendent

Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker says that one of the best books he's ever read about punk rock is a new memoir by Viv Albertine, one of the founding members of the British punk rock band the Slits. The book, titled Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. chronicles Albertine's life with punk legends such as Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols and Mick Jones of the Clash, on through subsequent careers as a film director and mother.

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4:15pm

Fri December 5, 2014
Remembrances

Fresh Air Remembers British Rock Keyboardist Ian McLagan

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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1:42pm

Fri December 5, 2014
Movie Reviews

Prayers And Holy Water Can't Exorcise The Terrifying 'Babadook'

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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3:04pm

Thu December 4, 2014
Book Reviews

Set In Appalachia, This Rewarding Story Collection Is 'Rich And Strange'

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 3:29 pm

Ron Rash is a poet, novelist and short-story writer whose 2009 novel Serena was a New York Times bestseller. Rash's signature subject is life in Appalachia, past and present.
Ulf Andersen Courtesy of Ecco

Expect to be good for nothing for a long time after you read Ron Rash. His writing is powerful, stripped down and very still: It takes you to a land apart, psychologically and geographically, since his fiction is set in Appalachia.

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3:04pm

Thu December 4, 2014
Movie Interviews

After Decades Acting, Josh Brolin Still Wonders If He's 'Good Enough'

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 9:34 am

In Inherent Vice, Joaquin Phoenix (left) plays a burned-out hippie private eye, while Josh Brolin is a Los Angeles Police Department detective --€” Lt. Detective "Bigfoot" Bjornsen --€” who is investigating a murder and kidnapping case.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment

The new film Inherent Vice satirizes overcomplicated detective-story plots by having an especially overcomplicated plot of its own. It's a Paul Thomas Anderson adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's 2009 novel.

"It's so dense," co-star Josh Brolin tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I mean, Pynchon will be following some linear structure, and then suddenly he'll take a big bong hit and go off on some tangent that still, you realize, eventually comes around and actually is connected in various ways."

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1:28pm

Wed December 3, 2014
Politics

President Obama And The Courts: A Shift In Balance

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 1:53 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

1:28pm

Wed December 3, 2014
Music

Three Books For The Jazz Lover On Your List

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 4:33 pm

Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews three jazz books out this holiday season—a singer's biography, a pianist's autobiography, and a fat coffee table book. Whitehead says they're all worth a look, though he has a couple of quibbles — and also a confession.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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