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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1:37pm

Wed May 7, 2014
Author Interviews

From Poker Amateur To World Series Competitor In 'The Noble Hustle'

Poker players take part in the 2004 World Series of Poker Tournament in Las Vegas.
Frazer Harrison Getty Images

When the World Series of Poker began in 1970, it was a pretty modest affair — seven veterans of the game competing for just the honor, no prize money. Today, more than 6,000 players pay the $10,000 entrance fee for the No-Limit Texas Hold 'em Tournament. ESPN televises the final table, and last year the winner took home more than $8 million in prize money.

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1:37pm

Wed May 7, 2014
Television

'Hill Street Blues' Created Two Eras For TV Drama: Before And After

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 2:49 pm

Among Hill Street Blues' many innovations, says David Bianculli, was focusing on a large ensemble cast instead of one or two central stars. Pictured here: Veronica Hamel as Joyce Davenport, Daniel J. Travanti as Capt. Frank Furillo and Robert Prosky as Sgt. Stan Jablonski.
David Sutton NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

It's very easy, and not at all inaccurate, to divide dramatic series television into two eras: before Hill Street Blues — which has just been released on DVD in its entirety for the first time -- and after. Before NBC televised Hill Street in 1981, most continuing drama series were presented as stand-alone, interchangeable hours starring the same characters. Every week, TV detectives Joe Mannix or Theo Kojak or Tony Baretta would investigate a crime, catch the villains and wait for next week to do it again.

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1:34pm

Tue May 6, 2014
The Fresh Air Interview

Sam Baker: Finding Grace In The Wake Of Destruction

Sam Baker's new album is titled Say Grace.
C. Lawrence Courtesy of the artist

1:43pm

Mon May 5, 2014
Television

Todd Barry's New Stand-Up Strategy: 'Does Anyone Want To Talk To Me?'

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 3:51 pm

Todd Barry has appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, the Late Show With David Letterman and Late Night With Conan O'Brien.
Mindy Tucker

Todd Barry is one of comic Louis C.K.'s favorite comedians. So when Barry had the idea to film a tour in which all he did was crowd work — or, engage the audience in improvised conversations — Louis C.K. decided to produce the film, called The Crowd Work Tour, and feature it on his website.

Barry also plays a version of himself on Louis C.K.'s show Louie, which begins a new season on Monday. He's recorded several comedy albums, appeared in the film The Wrestler and done a lot of voice-over work for animated TV series.

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1:43pm

Mon May 5, 2014
Book Reviews

In 'Hotel Florida,' Three Couples Chronicle The Spanish Civil War

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 3:40 pm

Ernest Hemingway and his third wife, Martha Gellhorn, at the Sun Valley Lodge in Idaho.
AP

There's something romantic about biographer Amanda Vaill's device of making the Hotel Florida in Madrid the hub of her new book about the Spanish Civil War, called Hotel Florida; but, then again, there's always been something romantic about the Spanish Civil War itself. For the Spanish loyalists — who were supported by Russia and Mexico as well as the International Brigades of civilians from Europe and the Americas — the Spanish Civil War was a gallant stand against fascism.

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1:43pm

Mon May 5, 2014
Music Reviews

tUnE-yArDs: Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing

tUnE-yArDs.
Holly Andres Courtesy of the artist.

12:32pm

Sat May 3, 2014
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Alan Cumming, 'Godzilla' And Matthew Weiner

This is the third time Alan Cumming has starred in Cabaret. Each of the productions with Cumming was directed by Sam Mendes. Rob Marshall choreographed both American productions and co-directed the new one.
Andrew H. Walker 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:

For Alan Cumming, Life Is (Once Again) A Cabaret: This is the third time Cumming has starred in the musical. He talks about the new production — everything from his costume (which he calls a "Wonder Bra" for men) to the darker themes of the show.

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12:04pm

Fri May 2, 2014
Author Interviews

The Making Of 'Godzilla,' Japan's Favorite 'Mon-Star'

Originally published on Fri May 2, 2014 2:23 pm

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

We're celebrating Godzilla's 60th anniversary today on FRESH AIR. When the film was first shown in America, about 40 minutes were deleted from the original Japanese version to make it shorter and to make way for new footage that was added to make the movie more marketable to American audiences. The new footage featured an American wire service reporter whose reports provided the narration for the story.

The reporter was played by Raymond Burr, who went on to play TV lawyer Perry Mason. Here's how Burr opened the film.

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12:04pm

Fri May 2, 2014
Movie Reviews

'Ida': A Coming-Of-Age Story With An Eerie Luster

Originally published on Fri May 2, 2014 2:23 pm

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

The Polish-born director Polish-born director Pawel Pawlikowski's is best known for the English-language movie "My Summer of Love," a lesbian coming-of-age film that was a breakthrough for actress Emily Blunt. His new film is called "Ida," spelled I-D-A and centers on an orphan who learns the secret of her past when she's on the brink of becoming a nun. Film critic David Edelstein has this review.

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12:04pm

Fri May 2, 2014
Remembrances

'Fresh Air' Remembers British Actor Bob Hoskins

Originally published on Fri May 2, 2014 2:23 pm

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

British actor Bob Hoskins, who played a human detective in a world of cartoon characters in the acclaimed movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," died this week after contracting pneumonia. He was 71 years old.

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1:13pm

Thu May 1, 2014
Television

'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner On The End Of Don Draper's Journey

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 2:35 pm

Matthew Weiner says sometimes he wakes up in the middle of the night wondering if there'd even be a Mad Men without Jon Hamm, who plays Don Draper.
Michael Yarish AMC

It's now 1969 on AMC's Mad Men, and the start of advertising genius Don Draper's final journey. Show creator Matthew Weiner is currently at work writing and shooting the series' concluding episodes. The final season, which began last month, is divided into two parts, with the second half to be shown next year.

The new season opens with Don and his advertising agency dealing with the consequences of what happened at the end of Season 6, when the partners forced Don to take a leave of absence after he chose the wrong time to tell the truth about his past.

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12:54pm

Thu May 1, 2014
Music Reviews

The Animals: The British Invasion That Wasn't

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 2:35 pm

The Animals.
Courtesy of ABKCO Records

2:27pm

Wed April 30, 2014
The Fresh Air Interview

At 90, 'Fiddler' Lyricist Tells His Story

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 10:13 am

Sheldon Harnick (right) with the late Jerry Bock, his long-time musical collaborator. Together they worked on musicals like Fiddler on the Roof and Fiorello!
Astrid Stawiarz Getty Images

3:28pm

Tue April 29, 2014
NPR Story

Exploring 'What We Left Behind' In Iraq

New Yorker writer Dexter Filkins finds an increasingly authoritarian prime minister — Nouri al-Maliki — sectarian violence, and concern for the future. Iraq holds parliamentary elections Wednesday.

2:42pm

Mon April 28, 2014
Theater

For Alan Cumming, Life Is (Once Again) A Cabaret

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 6:20 pm

This is the third time Alan Cumming has starred in Cabaret. Each of the productions with Cumming was directed by Sam Mendes. Rob Marshall choreographed both American productions and co-directed the new one.
Andrew H. Walker Getty Images

Alan Cumming has starred in the musical Cabaret three times — a 1993 London production, a Tony-winning 1998 Broadway revival, and a new Broadway revival — and it hasn't gotten old. "It's so energetic, and it just takes up every single element of being an actor," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

Cumming plays the master of ceremonies in a debaucherous Berlin nightclub called the Kit Kat Klub. The role was originated by Joel Grey, who starred in the original 1966 Broadway production as well as the 1972 movie.

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1:01pm

Sat April 26, 2014
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Seth Meyers And Hari Kondabolu

Comic Hari Kondabolu's album Waiting for 2042 is a reference to the year the Census Bureau projects whites will be the minority in the U.S. "Don't worry, white people," he says. "You were a minority when you came to this country. Things seemed to have worked out for you."
Kyle Johnson

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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1:31pm

Fri April 25, 2014
NPR Story

Poet Marie Howe On 'What The Living Do' After Loss

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 3:54 pm

Marie Howe is the author of three collections of poetry. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship.

Brad Fowler courtesy of the author

This is an excerpt from a longer interview that was originally broadcast on Oct. 19, 2011.

A few years after her younger brother John died from AIDS-related complications in 1989, poet Marie Howe wrote him a poem in the form of a letter. Called "What the Living Do," the poem is an elegiac description of loss, and of living beyond loss.

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1:31pm

Fri April 25, 2014
Movie Reviews

In 'Locke,' A Man's Life Unravels En Route To London

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 4:11 pm

Tom Hardy plays the title character in the British film Locke — in which a man's life unravels in the course of a solo drive from Birmingham to London. He's the only person the audience sees in this film, written and directed by Steven Knight.
A24

Locke is a most unusual film. It might not seem so odd as a radio play or even a stage play. The protagonist, his situation — they're fairly conventional. But to do what Locke does as a movie — that takes daring. The film is set in one space at one time. The arc of action is continuous. There is only one character on screen and just the top third of him, a man in a car, southbound on a motorway toward London. His name is Ivan Locke, he's played by Tom Hardy, and he's upending his life in front of your eyes.

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1:31pm

Fri April 25, 2014
NPR Story

A Poetry Reading: 'To My Oldest Friend, Whose Silence Is Like A Death'

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 3:54 pm

Originally broadcast on March 12, 2014.

Fresh Air's classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz is also a poet. He published a poem about friendship and loss on Poets.org. It's titled "To My Oldest Friend, Whose Silence Is Like A Death:"

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1:31pm

Fri April 25, 2014
NPR Story

Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco: 'I Finally Felt Like I Was Home'

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 3:54 pm

Richard Blanco is the first Latino and openly gay inaugural poet.
Blue Flower Arts

This is an excerpt from a longer interview that was originally broadcast on Feb. 18, 2013.

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3:41pm

Thu April 24, 2014
The Picture Show

Tyler Hicks Tells The Story Behind His Pulitzer-Winning Nairobi Mall Photos

Tyler Hicks took this photo of a woman sheltering her children on the floor of a cafe at the Westgate Mall during an attack by militants in Nairobi on Sept. 21, 2013. The woman later contacted Hicks and told him she kept her kids quiet and still by singing along to songs that were playing on the mall loudspeakers.
Tyler Hicks The New York Times

A few days after winning a Pulitzer Prize for his photos of a 2013 terrorist attack in a Nairobi mall, Tyler Hicks received an email. It was from one of the women he'd photographed that day — sheltering her two young children on the floor of a cafe. She had heard about the Pulitzer and seen her photo on The New York Times website.

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2:44pm

Wed April 23, 2014
NPR Story

Seth Meyers' 'Late Night' Challenge: What To Do With His Hands

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 4:32 pm

Seth Meyers hosts the premiere of his talk show, Late Night with Seth Meyers, in February. "The trickiest part of this job the first week was just figuring out what to do with my hands," says Meyers, who was used to holding a microphone during standup. Remembering that he had pockets was key.
Peter Kramer AP

Seth Meyers already had his dream job. As the host of Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update, "I sort of had already accomplished the job I never thought I would accomplish," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. He joined the cast in 2001 and was there for 12 years.

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2:44pm

Wed April 23, 2014
Music Reviews

For Jessica Lea Mayfield, Sometimes Sanity Is The Better Option

Jessica Lea Mayfield.
LeAnn Mueller Courtesy of the artist.

3:51pm

Tue April 22, 2014
Author Interviews

'Forcing The Spring' Tells One Chapter In Story Of Marriage Equality

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 5:34 pm

In her new book, Forcing the Spring, investigative reporter Jo Becker goes behind the scenes in the fight for marriage equality. Above, Eric Breese of Rochester, N.Y., joins hundreds of others to rally outside the Supreme Court during oral arguments in a case challenging the Defense of Marriage Act on March 27, 2013.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

In her new book, Forcing the Spring, investigative reporter Jo Becker tells the behind-the-scenes story of an important chapter in the fight for marriage equality. She embedded with the team that challenged Proposition 8 — the 2008 anti-gay-marriage California ballot initiative that called for amending the state constitution to say that the state would only recognize marriage between a man and a woman.

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2:14pm

Mon April 21, 2014
Pop Culture

For Comic Hari Kondabolu, Explaining The Joke IS The Joke

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 4:23 pm

Comic Hari Kondabolu's album Waiting for 2042 is a reference to the year the Census Bureau projects whites will be the minority in the U.S. "Don't worry, white people," he says. "You were a minority when you came to this country. Things seemed to have worked out for you."
Kyle Johnson

At first, Hari Kondabolu's comedy was mostly about catharsis: "I was doing some work in detention centers and meeting families who had family members who were going to be deported," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "It was really powerful work ... but it was incredibly hard and performing at night was a relief. It was cathartic. It was just a way to get things out."

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1:00pm

Sat April 19, 2014
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: 'Missing Microbes,' 'The Both,' And Mike Judge's 'Silicon Valley'

According to Dr. Martin Blaser, the overuse of antibiotics has contributed to killing off strains of bacteria that typically live in the gut.
Joe Raedle 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:

Modern Medicine May Not Be Doing Your Microbiome Any Favors: In Missing Microbes, Dr. Martin Blaser argues that the overuse of antibiotics, as well as now-common practices like C-sections, may be messing with gut microbes.

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2:21pm

Fri April 18, 2014
Interviews

'Inside Amy Schumer': It's Not Just Sex Stuff

On Inside Amy Schumer, the comic (here with Jon Glaser and Adrian Martinez) deploys everything from scripted vignettes to stand-up comedy and man-on-the-street-style interviews.
Matt Peyton Comedy Central

This interview was originally broadcast on June 25, 2013.

One of Amy Schumer's comedy routines begins with the declaration, "I'm a little sluttier than the average bear. I really am."

Degrees of sluttiness may be hard to define, but Schumer does talk frankly about many subjects — including sex — that can be uncomfortable for people, both in her stand-up act and on her Comedy Central series, Inside Amy Schumer, which is now in its second season.

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2:20pm

Fri April 18, 2014
Movie Reviews

Undead Hipsters And An Abstract Alien Star In Two Arty Horror Pics

In Under The Skin, Scarlett Johansson plays an alien who adopts an English accent and cruises Scotland enticing hitchhikers into a darkened building.
Film4

Every so often a high-toned arthouse director dips a toe into the horror genre and the results are uplifting: You realize vampires and space aliens are subjects too rich to be the sole property of schlockmeisters. That's the case with two new arty genre pictures: Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin and Jim Jarmusch's Only Lovers Left Alive — both slow, expressionist, non-narrative, the kind of films that drive some people crazy with boredom and put others in their thrall.

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4:57pm

Thu April 17, 2014
Music Reviews

A Duo's Debut Album: A Collaboration From 'The Both'

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 8:26 am

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

The Both is the name for the duo formed by veteran singer-songwriters Aimee Mann and Ted Leo. "The Both" is also the name of their debut album. The two began performing together in 2012, when Ted Leo was Mann's opening act. Mann began joining Leo onstage during his set. They liked the sound their voices together and started collaborating. Rock critic Ken Tucker has this review of "The Both."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE GAMBLER")

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4:34pm

Thu April 17, 2014
Television

'Silicon Valley' Asks: Is Your Startup Really Making The World Better?

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 6:45 pm

Kumail Nanjiani (from left), Martin Starr, Thomas Middleditch, Zach Woods and T.J. Miller star in Silicon Valley, Mike Judge's new sitcom about young programmers trying to hit it rich.
Isabella Vosmikova HBO

Mike Judge is no stranger to workplace comedy — back in 1999, he wrote and directed the cult classic Office Space, which poked fun at desk job-induced ennui in a 1990s software company.

Now, more than a decade later, Judge continues to find humor in the tech industry. In his new HBO sitcom, Silicon Valley, Judge explores what happens when young computer geeks become millionaires.

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