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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1:24pm

Tue May 24, 2011
Music News

Raphael Saadiq: Paying Homage To Soul's Past And Future

Raphael Saadiq's fourth studio album is titled Stone Rollin'.
Jeff Vespa WireImage.com

Three years ago, Raphael Saadiq's The Way I See It was a neck-snapping collection of almost-perfect Motown-style soul. For his new album, Saadiq remains intent on making a new generation mindful of the great music of decades past.

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12:19pm

Tue May 24, 2011
Crisis In The Housing Market

How 'Reckless' Greed Contributed To Financial Crisis

Gretchen Morgenson, who covers world financial markets for The New York Times, has been untangling the complex foreclosure mess and efforts to reform government regulations on Wall Street for several years.

Now Morgenson and co-author Joshua Rosner have written a book about the origins of the financial meltdown. In Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon, Morgenson and Rosner describe how regulators failed to control greed and recklessness on Wall Street.

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12:26pm

Fri May 20, 2011
Movie Interviews

'Beginners': A Son's 'Love Letter' To His Gay Father

Academy Award nominee Christopher Plummer (left) and Ewan McGregor star as father and son in Mike Mills' Beginners.
Focus Features

Filmmaker Mike Mills' parents met in junior high school. For 45 years, they lived together, raising Mills and his older sisters, until Mills' mother died in 1999. Six months later, Mills' father — a 75-year-old retired museum director — announced that he's gay.

Mills' second movie, Beginners, is loosely based on his own relationship with his father, Paul. The movie stars Ewan McGregor as a graphic designer whose 75-year-old father, played by Christopher Plummer, has just come out and wants to experience the gay life he denied himself when he was married.

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1:07pm

Tue May 17, 2011
Author Interviews

Area 51 'Uncensored': Was It UFOs Or The USSR?

Area 51, seen from above, in 1968.
U.S. Geological Survey

Seventy-five miles north of Las Vegas sits a land parcel in the middle of the desert. Called Area 51, the parcel is just outside of the abandoned Nevada Test and Training Range, where more than 100 atmospheric bomb tests were conducted in the 1950s. Officially, the U.S. government has never acknowledged the existence of Area 51. Unofficially, it has become a place associated with conspiracy theories, alien landings and tiny spaceships.

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11:33am

Mon May 16, 2011
Music Reviews

Neil Diamond: The Earliest Days Of A 'Solitary Man'

Legacy

Sony Legacy has just released Neil Diamond: The Bang Years 1966-1968, a compilation of songs Diamond recorded during his two years at Bang Records. Rock historian Ed Ward has this appreciation.

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11:51am

Fri May 13, 2011
Music Reviews

Early Impulse: A 50-Year Legacy In Jazz

Verve

In 1961, ABC Records got into the jazz market when producer Creed Taylor set up the Impulse label, whose glossy fold-out album covers with orange and black spines were easy to spot on collectors' shelves. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says collectors usually had lots of them — more for the music than the packaging. The label turns 50 this year, and First Impulse: The Creed Taylor Collection, 50th Anniversary, a commemorative box of early Impulse releases, has just been released.

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11:40am

Fri May 13, 2011
Movie Reviews

'Bridesmaids': A Raunchy, Hilarious Chick Flick

From left to right, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Rose Byrne, Ellie Kemper and Kristen Wiig plays bridesmaids in Maya Rudolph's wedding. David Edelstein says the movie is a "terrific vehicle for Wiig."
Photo Credit: Suzanne Hanover Universal Pictures

Judd Apatow has had his own Hollywood comedy factory for years now, but the charge that comes up again and again is that it's a boy's club — or rather a child-man's club, a place for nerds to write movies about nerds who act like juveniles before growing up and marrying thin, pretty women. Where, many of us have asked, is the female perspective?

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11:39am

Fri May 13, 2011
Author Interviews

Gary Shteyngart: A 'Love Story' In A Sad Future

This interview was originally broadcast on Aug. 2, 2010. Super Sad True Love Story is now available in paperback.

Gary Shteyngart's third novel, Super Sad True Love Story, is a black comedy set in America at some point in the near future: books no longer exist, Americans spend the majority of their time watching videos on their iPhone-like "apparats" and the country is on the brink of complete collapse.

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12:00pm

Wed May 11, 2011
The Fresh Air Interview

Anna McGarrigle: On Life Without Her Sister

Originally published on Thu May 12, 2011 10:31 am

Nonesuch Records

Singer-songwriter Anna McGarrigle says it took her a long time before she was able to listen to recordings of her performing with her sister Kate, who died of cancer last year. She was 63.

"It took me a few months," McGarrigle tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "And then I had to do a lot of listening to things and I thought, 'I'm just going to grit my teeth and do this.' But every now and then, I heard her sing something and sometimes it would be so unexpected ... I'd break out in tears."

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11:23am

Wed May 11, 2011
Book Reviews

'Big Girl Small': Humiliation, High School Style

 

Don't read this novel if you have teenagers. Or ever were a teenager — especially a teenage girl. It will bring back high school in raw, oozing detail, like a psychic skinned knee. The cliques, the whispers, the glossy girls, the frantic parties, the stupid drinking, the disconnected sexual encounters and, perhaps worst of all, the carnival of lost souls that is the lunchtime cafeteria. High school: a world so hostile to the outsider that even a Navy Seal might hesitate at the threshold.

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12:36pm

Mon May 9, 2011
Theater

'Book of Mormon' Creators On Their Broadway Smash

The Book of Mormon features music and lyrics by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone and plays at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre in New York City.
John Marcus Courtesy of the artist

Take the creators of South Park and the composer of Avenue Q. Add solid musical storytelling, Mormons, Uganda, AIDS, a chorus line and a healthy amount of smut — and you have The Book of Mormon, Broadway's blasphemous, hilarious and oddly endearing new hit.

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10:30am

Mon May 9, 2011
Author Interviews

A Father's Quest To Help His Severely Disabled Son

When he was eight months old, Walker Brown was diagnosed with Cardiofaciocutaneous syndrome (CFC), a rare disorder that left him with severe cognitive, developmental and physical disabilities. By the time he was three years old, his father says, his medical chart was 10 pages long.

Now 15, Walker wears diapers and an apparatus on his wrists that prevents him from hitting and scratching himself. Developmentally, he is between one and three and will require constant care for the rest of his life.

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12:08pm

Fri May 6, 2011
Movie Reviews

'The Beaver': Redemption For Mel Gibson?

Every single person to whom I've mentioned The Beaver has announced that he or she has no intention of seeing another movie starring Mel Gibson — even if he's playing a nut job like they think he is in life.

But I couldn't wait. I think Gibson is a fascinating actor, and he was especially good playing crazy in the 1997 thriller Conspiracy Theory, a welcome change from the usual Make Mel Mad template where he's driven to take vengeance on those who kill or kidnap his wife or lover or child or dog.

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12:00pm

Fri May 6, 2011
The Fresh Air Interview

The Fresh Air Interview: The Beastie Boys

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 3:55 pm

The Beastie Boys, present-day.
Phil Andelman Nasty Little Man

This interview was originally broadcast on March 29, 2006. The Beastie Boys released a new album, Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, on May 3, 2011.

To film The Beastie Boys' 2006 concert movie, Awesome; I... Shot That!, fans attending a concert at Madison Square Garden received 50 cameras.

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12:00pm

Fri May 6, 2011
Music Reviews

The Beastie Boys: Hip-Hop With A Dash Of 'Hot Sauce'

The Beastie Boys are all about noise. Their beats are big and booming. Their production style is intentionally fuzzy and frequently distorted. Their lyrics are the dense, articulate yammerings of wiseguys who will not get out of your face.

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12:19pm

Thu May 5, 2011
Movie Reviews

Three New Action Movies Battle At The Box Office

Andrew Lau's Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen stars Donnie Yen as a fictional martial-arts Chinese hero played at times by both Bruce Lee and Jet Li. But this isn't another disposable B movie. Lau made Infernal Affairs, which was superior in every way to its Americanization, The Departed, and he grounds his action in historical traumas, in a legacy of oppression.

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11:17am

Wed May 4, 2011
Author Interviews

Pete Hamill Revisits The Newsroom In 'Tabloid City'

Veteran journalist and writer Pete Hamill fondly remembers the nearly 40 years he spent working in the newsrooms at the New York Post and the New York Daily News.

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11:05am

Wed May 4, 2011
Book Reviews

WWI: A Moral Contest Between Pacifists And Soldiers

Adam Hochschild frames his pensive narrative history about the first World War with accounts of his own walks through what once was the Western Front. He describes it as "a thin band of territory, stretching through northern France and [a] corner of Belgium [that] has the greatest concentration of young men's graves in the world."

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11:41am

Tue May 3, 2011
Author Interviews

The 'Singular Woman' Who Raised Barack Obama

In 1990, Barack Obama became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. A year later, he was approached by a literary agent, who asked if he would be interested in writing an autobiography about his life.

Obama said yes, and in 1995, his book Dreams from My Father was published. As the title suggests, it focused mainly on the relationship he had with his father, Barack Obama Sr. When articles about the book started coming out, they referred to his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, as simply "a white anthropologist from Kansas."

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9:02am

Tue May 3, 2011
Osama Bin Laden Killed

Ahmed Rashid: What Did Pakistan Know?

Pakistan's leaders have said they didn't know that Osama bin Laden was living in a large house in Abbottabad, close to the nation's capital. Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid, who has written extensively about the Taliban and al-Qaida, discusses what officials might have known about bin Laden's presence, and what impact his death may have on jihadist groups, the war in Afghanistan and the future of U.S.-Pakistan relations.

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9:48am

Mon May 2, 2011
Osama Bin Laden Killed

Lawrence Wright: Bin Laden's Death 'Long In Coming'

When writer Lawrence Wright heard the news of Osama bin Laden's death, his immediate reaction was one of relief. "This seemed like something that was so long in coming," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "And with all the changes that had been going on in the Arab world right now, real change — in some ways — couldn't come until this moment happened."

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11:00am

Fri April 29, 2011
Spotlight on Country

Roy Orbison: A 'Monument' To A Pop Legend

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 12:07 pm

Roy Orbison.
Sony Music

Sony Legacy has collected all of the singles Roy Orbison recorded for Monument Records and released them as Roy Orbison: The Monument Singles Collection (1960-1964).

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2:29pm

Thu April 28, 2011
History

Get On The Bus: 50 Years Of 'Freedom Rides'

Originally published on Thu July 14, 2011 8:24 pm

May 4, 2011, marks the 50th anniversary of the first Freedom Ride. To commemorate the occasion Fresh Air is replaying interviews with civil rights activist James Farmer Jr., one of the organizers of the 1961 Freedom Ride, and historian Raymond Arsenault. Arsenault's book Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice has just been rereleased as a companion volume to the film Freedom Riders, premiering May 16, 2011, on PBS.

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11:12am

Thu April 28, 2011
Television

Bullwinkle DVD: Take A Trip In The Wayback Machine

A recent DVD boxed set from Classic Media presents, for the first time, the complete adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle and Friends – hundreds of installments of Rocky the Flying Squirrel and Bullwinkle the Moose, as well as Fractured Fairy Tales, Dudley Do-Right and Mr. Peabody, the genius dog with a pet boy named Sherman. These prime-time TV cartoons go back about 50 years – and TV critic, David Bianculli, says that while watching them all over again, so did he.

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11:49am

Wed April 27, 2011
Spotlight on Country

Emmylou Harris: An Invigorating, Inviting 'Hard Bargain'

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 12:08 pm

Emmylou Harris' new album is Hard Bargain.
Jack Spencer Courtesy of the artist

Emmylou Harris sings with a steadfast purity that can be starkly beautiful; it can also be coldly distancing. Over the years, her public image has coalesced around the idea of a serene singer-songwriter whose elegance and wisdom is signaled by her silver-gray hair. It takes a lot to get a rise out of Harris, but producer Jay Joyce has succeeded on Hard Bargain.

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11:12am

Wed April 27, 2011
Remembrances

David Foster Wallace's Legacy: A Trove Of Good Reads

Writers love to grumble about the popularity of self-help books, yet they, like everyone else, are always looking for someone who'll teach them how to live. Just think of all those guys who learned their masculinity from Hemingway or those classy-sounding books with titles like How Proust Can Change Your Life or How To Live: A Life of Montaigne.

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12:29pm

Tue April 26, 2011
Music Reviews

Bombino: High-Energy Sounds From 'Agadez,' Niger

The Tuareg people have lived in the Sahara desert of Western Africa for thousands of years. The harsh desert environment gets woven into those who can adapt to it. So the Tuareg have long been protective of their independent, nomadic-herder culture and society. But not unlike the European Roma, Tuaregs have a tense — occasionally violent — relationship with central governments. As with the Roma, the Tuareg's modern music has become a prime vehicle for both defiance and unification.

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12:29pm

Mon April 25, 2011
The Fresh Air Interview

Remembering Hazel Dickens: A Feminist Bluegrass Voice

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 12:09 pm

Hazel Dickens onstage at 2008's Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco.
Anthony Pidgeon Redferns

Folksinger Hazel Dickens, a pioneer for women in bluegrass who influenced the likes of Naomi Judd and Emmylou Harris, died Friday. She was 75.

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12:27pm

Fri April 22, 2011
Movie Reviews

A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Horror

In the overture to Incendies, a group of small boys have most of their hair shaved off by soldiers. The boys are bloodied and bruised — some sort of attack has plainly just happened. The music underscoring this is Radiohead's sad, slurred, "You And Whose Army?," and one boy, who has three vertical dots tattooed on the back of his foot, stares into the camera with a look of monstrous hate — a stare that eats into the mind. It's not until the end of the film that you understand the full implications of that stare — what led up to it, and what happened afterward.

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11:57am

Fri April 22, 2011
Television

This Weekend, HBO Has Something For Everyone

Coupled with last week's Game of Thrones premiere, this weekend's HBO lineup really demonstrates the wide range of programming this premium TV service is capable of providing. On Friday, there's a new special, called Talking Funny, in which four top comics spend an hour sitting around and talking comedy.

On Saturday, there's a new made-for-TV movie, called Cinema Verite, which recreates the making of the landmark 1973 PBS documentary series, An American Family, which essentially marked the birth of reality television.

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