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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2:55pm

Thu February 5, 2015
Author Interviews

Novelist's 'Disgruntled' Heroine Is Drawn From Her Own Childhood

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 3:23 pm

In 2007, Asali Solomon was named one of the National Book Foundation's "5 Under 35." Her previous book, Get Down, is a collection of short stories. She teaches English literature and creative writing at Haverford College.
Ron Nichols Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Growing up in West Philadelphia, novelist Asali Solomon felt like an outsider. "The lifestyle I was leading was different from what other people were leading," Solomon tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "Like, my parents taught us to revere Africa — people at school made fun of Africa."

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1:52pm

Wed February 4, 2015
Music

Lennie Tristano: Cool Reputation, Hot Jazz

Lennie Tristano had a cool, egghead reputation — Time called him the "Schoenberg of Jazz" — but he could play pretty hot. Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a newly released 1951 live recording by the pianist's sextet at Chicago's Blue Note club.

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

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1:52pm

Wed February 4, 2015
Television

'Better Call Saul,' The Prequel To 'Breaking Bad,' Stands On Its Own

Originally published on Fri February 6, 2015 4:35 pm

On Better Call Saul, Bob Odenkirk plays Jimmy McGill, a fast-talking, struggling public defender who decides to remake himself as Saul Goodman, a lawyer specializing in representing unabashed criminals.
Ben Leuner Courtesy of AMC

I'm guessing that the first thing fans of Vince Gilligan's Breaking Bad want to know is whether its AMC prequel series, Better Call Saul, premiering Sunday and Monday, is anywhere near as good as the original — which was TV at its very best. And I'm also guessing that people who haven't yet worked their way through Breaking Bad -- and, really, by now, why haven't you? — are wondering whether they can enjoy this new series without having absorbed the old one.

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1:52pm

Wed February 4, 2015
Medical Treatments

New Meds Block Heroin Craving, But Reporter Finds Treatment Centers Don't Use Them

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

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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1:51pm

Tue February 3, 2015
Music

Bob Dylan Looks To The Ageless American Songbook

Bob Dylan's unusual new album Shadows in the Night consists of ten cover versions of standards from the American Popular Songbook including "Autumn Leaves" and "Some Enchanted Evening." Dylan is accompanied by a five-piece band on songs that usually use orchestral accompaniment, and the singer has said the recordings were done live in "one or two takes." Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker says Dylan both infuses the songs with his personality, while also allowing them to be heard anew.

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1:51pm

Tue February 3, 2015
Shots - Health News

Fingertips To Hair Follicles: Why 'Touch' Triggers Pleasure And Pain

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 4:39 pm

David Linden is a professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and is a former chief editor of the Journal of Neurophysiology. He also wrote The Compass of Pleasure.
Jacob Linden Courtesy of Viking

The rate at which someone strokes your hair can cause feelings of pleasure or annoyance — too slow is repulsive, too fast is annoying, and just right soothes.

There's a scientific explanation for this: People have special nerve endings (wrapped around the base of hair follicles) that detect the deflection of the hairs.

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2:44pm

Mon February 2, 2015
Movie Interviews

Bradley Cooper: 'Sniper' Controversy Distracts From Film's Message About Vets

Originally published on Mon February 2, 2015 3:17 pm

Bradley Cooper gained 40 pounds of muscle to play Navy SEAL Chris Kyle in the film American Sniper. "It wasn't at all like a costume," he said. "It was like ... this sort of transformative experience to me because there was no going home from it."
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Picture

The film American Sniper has prompted arguments about its depiction of the Iraq War and become a cultural lightning rod. But Bradley Cooper, who plays Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and was also a producer on the film, didn't expect the conversation to go that way. Then again, "war is such an emotional subject, so maybe I was a fool to think it wouldn't," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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11:35am

Sat January 31, 2015
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Benedict Cumberbatch, 'American Sniper' Review And 'Teenage Brain'

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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2:29pm

Fri January 30, 2015
Remembrances

Fresh Air Remembers Long-Time New York TV And Radio Personality Joe Franklin

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

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE JOE FRANKLIN SHOW")

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2:29pm

Fri January 30, 2015
Author Interviews

Are We Having Fun Yet? New Book Explores The Paradox Of Parenting

Kids can be magical and maddening. The title of Jennifer Senior's book — All Joy and No Fun — contrasts the strains of day-to-day parenting with the transcendent experience of raising a child.

Originally broadcast Feb. 4, 2014.

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

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2:29pm

Fri January 30, 2015
Movie Reviews

When Islamists Impose Their Will In 'Timbuktu,' One Family Resists

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 3:09 pm

Mehdi A.G. Mohamed (left) plays Issan, the orphaned boy who lives with a family outside Timbuktu. The family decides not to leave when radical Islamists come to impose Sharia, or Islamic law.
Courtesy of Cohen Media Group

The word "Timbuktu" is slang in the West for East of Nowhere, but in the film Timbuktu, this city in Mali on the edge of the Sahara is an epicenter, a volatile crossroads for several distinct cultures. There are African women in radiant colors, white-garbed Muslim men in mosques, fishermen who live along the river and nomadic herders who pitch their tents on dunes. And then there are the most recent arrivals: an al-Qaida-affiliated group called Ansar Dine that in 2012 took over Timbuktu and announced the enforcement of Sharia, or Islamic law.

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2:21pm

Thu January 29, 2015
Book Reviews

In 'Outline,' A Series Of Conversations Are Autobiographies In Miniature

The narrator of Rachel Cusk's new novel Outline is a novelist and divorced mother of two who has agreed to teach a summer course in creative writing in Athens. The novel itself is composed of some 10 conversations that she has with, among others, her seatmate on the plane flying to Greece, her students in the writing class, dinner companions and fellow teachers.

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1:39pm

Thu January 29, 2015
Religion

Editor Picks Religions For The First Norton Anthology of World Religions

Originally published on Sun February 8, 2015 8:37 pm

A NOTE FROM FRESH AIR: Following the broadcast of our interview with Jack Miles, we heard from a number of listeners who pointed out that a question in the interview misrepresented Hinduism, describing it as a polytheistic religion. In the unedited version of the interview, Jack Miles's response included this clarification: "it is important to note that there is a kind of monotheism hidden within Hindu polytheism ... you have not only monotheism, but a step beyond it: monism, a single reality that includes both the world and the human."

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2:42pm

Wed January 28, 2015
Shots - Health News

Why Teens Are Impulsive, Addiction-Prone And Should Protect Their Brains

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 1:26 pm

Dr. Frances Jensen is a professor and chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.
Courtesy of Harper Collins

Teens can't control impulses and make rapid, smart decisions like adults can — but why?

Research into how the human brain develops helps explain. In a teenager, the frontal lobe of the brain, which controls decision-making, is built but not fully insulated — so signals move slowly.

"Teenagers are not as readily able to access their frontal lobe to say, 'Oh, I better not do this,' " Dr. Frances Jensen tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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2:38pm

Wed January 28, 2015
Movie Reviews

Full Of Complexity And Ambivalence, 'American Sniper' Shows The Cost Of War

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 3:03 pm

Bradley Cooper (right) plays Chris Kyle in American Sniper. The film has become a cultural phenomenon and has spawned knee-jerk squabbling.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

In the years following the invasion of Iraq, it became a truism that Americans simply didn't want to hear about the war — especially at the movies. While there were scads of films about Iraq, including Kathryn Bigelow's Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker, none was able to attract a big audience. Until American Sniper.

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1:23pm

Tue January 27, 2015
Music Interviews

At The BBC, The Beatles Shocked An Institution

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 6:46 pm

Between 1962 and 1965, The Beatles were featured on 53 BBC radio programs. For The Beatles: The BBC Archives, executive producer Kevin Howlett had to search for many of these recordings, and they weren't easy to find.

Originally broadcast Nov. 27, 2013.

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

1:16pm

Mon January 26, 2015
Book Reviews

These 13 'Almost Famous Women' Stirred Up Trouble, Or Trouble Found Them

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 2:17 pm

One of Megan Mayhew Bergman's short stories is based on the life of dancer and actress Butterfly McQueen.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Almost Famous Women is the kind of "high concept" short-story collection that invites skepticism. These stories are about 13 historical women whose names you mostly might sort-of recognize. Beryl Markham, Butterfly McQueen and Shirley Jackson are slam-dunks, but Romaine Brooks and Joe Carstairs are a bit blurrier. While the family names of Allegra Byron, Dolly Wilde and Norma Millay betray their relation to important figures, we don't know what they did. And who the heck was Hazel Eaton or Tiny Davis?

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1:14pm

Mon January 26, 2015
Author Interviews

'Ghettoside' Explores Why Murders Are Invisible In Los Angeles

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 1:17 pm

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

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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11:31am

Sat January 24, 2015
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Al Michaels, Review Of Sleater-Kinney's New Album, David Morris

Al Michaels will announce the Super Bowl game between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots on Feb. 1.
Doug Pensinger 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:

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1:25pm

Fri January 23, 2015
Music

Producer Cosimo Matassa Always Believed In New Orleans

New Orleans music didn't do as well in the 1960s, a few hits notwithstanding, as it had done. Musicians left town, major labels lost interest, and Motown and Memphis took over the black music charts. Nonetheless, the late Cosimo Matassa, who owned the only recording studio in town, kept busy. Fresh Air rock historian Ed Ward has the story today.

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1:25pm

Fri January 23, 2015
Author Interviews

In The World's 'Sixth Extinction,' Are Humans The Asteroid?

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

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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1:20pm

Thu January 22, 2015
Music

Tom Varner's Got 'Nine Surprises' And A Big Band Is All Of Them

In 2005, jazz composer and french horn player Tom Varner left New York for Seattle, where he put together a nine-piece band of local players. Their new album is called Nine Surprises. Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says that Varner can really write, and they can really play.

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1:20pm

Thu January 22, 2015
Sports

Broadcaster Al Michaels Gets Ready To Provide 'Lyrics' For The Super Bowl

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 3:28 pm

Al Michaels will announce the Super Bowl game between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots on Feb. 1.
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

When the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots meet in the 2015 Super Bowl on Feb. 1, the broadcast booth will be anchored by a man who has done the play-by-play for eight previous Super Bowls. Al Michaels, the announcer for NBC's Sunday Night Football, knows how to put emotion into his broadcasts.

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12:13pm

Wed January 21, 2015
Music

Sleater-Kinney Comes Roaring Back With 'No Cities To Love'

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 1:27 pm

Sleater-Kinney is one of the most widely-praised rock bands of the last 20 years. The band formed in the mid-90s in Olympia, Wash., and went on to record seven albums. The group split up in 2006, but have reunited to release a new album, called No Cities to Love, and Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker says it's a strong comeback.

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12:13pm

Wed January 21, 2015
Movie Reviews

'Leviathan' And 'Red Army' Deliver A Peek Inside Russia, Now And Then

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 1:27 pm

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

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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12:13pm

Wed January 21, 2015
Movie Interviews

Benedict Cumberbatch On Alan Turing's Awkwardness And Sherlock's Sex Appeal

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 8:58 am

The Imitation Game, starring Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch, follows the story of mathematician Alan Turing — from his efforts to break Germany's Enigma code during World War II to his conviction for homosexuality.
Jack English Courtesy of Black Bear Films

It's been a good year for Benedict Cumberbatch. The English actor has earned an Oscar nomination for his starring role in the film The Imitation Game, and he's won critical acclaim — and a big following — for his performance on TV's Sherlock.

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2:02pm

Tue January 20, 2015
Television

'The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore' Debuts In Slot Vacated By Stephen Colbert

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

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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2:02pm

Tue January 20, 2015
Author Interviews

In 'The Evil Hours,' A Journalist Shares His Struggle With PTSD

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:35 pm

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

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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10:16am

Tue January 20, 2015
Author Interviews

'Gateway To Freedom': Heroes, Danger And Loss On The Underground Railroad

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 11:35 am

Until 2007, when it was unearthed by a Columbia University undergraduate, few scholars were aware of the record of fugitive slaves written by Sydney Howard Gay. Gay was a key Underground Railroad operative from the mid-1840s until the eve of the Civil War. He was also the editor of the weekly newspaper the National Anti-Slavery Standard.

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11:29am

Sat January 17, 2015
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: 'Boyhood' Stars, 'Broad City' Co-Creators, A Review Of Ty Segall

On Broad City, Abbi Jacobson (left) and Ilana Glazer play two single, 20-somethings living in New York City with dead-end jobs. They spend a lot of time hanging out, smoking weed and making each other laugh.
Walter Thompson Courtesy of Comedy Central

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 Magic Of The 'Boyhood' Experiment: Time And Patience: If the story fell apart after 12 years of filming, it would have been a "real drag," says Patricia Arquette, and a "colossal waste of time," says Ethan Hawke. Instead, it won three Golden Globes.

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