Fresh Air

Weekdays, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

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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12:49pm

Wed July 2, 2014
Music

Strand Of Oaks: Songs Heal All Wounds

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 8:49 am

If you're going to be downbeat, glum, or morose, it's best to do it the way Timothy Showalter does it. Which is, with an energy and purpose that doesn't contradict the melancholy, but rather frames it as various stories — studies in seriousness. He records under the name Strand of Oaks, he writes and performs nearly all of the music on this new album himself. It's titled Heal as in "healing a wound," something Strand of Oaks frequently seems in need of.

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1:36pm

Tue July 1, 2014
All Tech Considered

Do Feelings Compute? If Not, The Turing Test Doesn't Mean Much

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 2:20 pm

Vertigo3d iStockphoto

To judge from some of the headlines, it was a very big deal. At an event held at the Royal Society in London, for the first time ever, a computer passed the Turing Test, which is widely taken as the benchmark for saying a machine is engaging in intelligent thought. But like the other much-hyped triumphs of artificial intelligence, this one wasn't quite what it appeared. Computers can do things that seem quintessentially human, but they usually take a different path to get there.

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1:36pm

Tue July 1, 2014
The Salt

'The Great Fish Swap': How America Is Downgrading Its Seafood Supply

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 10:09 am

Paul Greenberg says the decline of local fish markets, and the resulting sequestration of seafood to a corner of our supermarkets, has contributed to "the facelessness and comodification of seafood."
J. Scott Applewhite AP

What's the most popular seafood in the U.S.? Shrimp. The average American eats more shrimp per capita than tuna and salmon combined. Most of that shrimp comes from Asia, and most of the salmon we eat is also imported. In fact, 91 percent of the seafood Americans eat comes from abroad, but one-third of the seafood Americans catch gets sold to other countries.

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12:45pm

Mon June 30, 2014
Pop Culture

Comedian Joel McHale Talks Dyslexia, Bad TV And Filming A Thriller

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 8:19 am

Comedian Joel McHale spoke at the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner in May. He says everyone wanted to see his jokes ahead of time, but he likes keeping them a secret.
Olivier Douliery-Pool Getty Images

Update: Since this story was published, Sony Pictures Television — which produces Communityannounced that Yahoo will be picking the show up for a sixth season. This story has been updated to reflect that development.

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10:27am

Sat June 28, 2014
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Mary Gauthier, Miranda Lambert, The Women Behind 'Obvious Child'

Director Gillian Robespierre (left) co-wrote Obvious Child as a short film in 2009 with an empowered lead female in mind. Jenny Slate, who starred as Donna in the feature film, says she was excited about the role.
Courtesy of A24 Films

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:

Mary Gauthier De-Romanticizes Romantic Love: Trouble & Love is about a relationship that went bad. "I think that this is one where Mary finally gets the lesson," Gauthier tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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9:58am

Fri June 27, 2014
Remembrances

'Fresh Air' Remembers Actor Eli Wallach

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 11:25 am

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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9:58am

Fri June 27, 2014
Author Interviews

After The Rapture, Who Are 'The Leftovers'?

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 11:25 am

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm TV critic, David Bianculli, sitting in for Terry Gross. Our next guest, Tom Perrotta, is a novelist whose latest book, "The Leftovers," is being turned into an HBO series of the same name which premieres Sunday. Perrotta adapted it along with Damon Lindelof, one of the stars of ABC's "Lost." The story of HBO's "The Leftovers" is the same as in Perrotta's novel.

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9:58am

Fri June 27, 2014
Movie Reviews

In The Mood For Apocalypse? Skip 'Transformers,' See 'Snowpiercer'

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 11:25 am

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Opening today, in many theaters, is the fourth in Michael Bay's "Transformer" series, "Transformers 4: Age Of Extinction." It's inspired by the Hasbro toys that turn mostly cars and trucks into robots. Another very different kind of apocalyptic, action movie that rolls out today is "Snowpiercer" by South Korean director Bong Joon-ho, who made the acclaimed giant monster film, "The Host." Film critic David Edelstein has these reviews.

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12:26pm

Thu June 26, 2014
Movie Interviews

The Women Behind 'Obvious Child' Talk Farts, Abortion And Stage Fright

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 2:16 pm

Director Gillian Robespierre (left) co-wrote Obvious Child as a short film in 2009 with an empowered female lead in mind. Jenny Slate, who stars as Donna in the feature film, says she was excited about the role.
Courtesy of A24 Films

When director Gillian Robespierre co-wrote the new romantic comedy Obvious Child, she says she wanted to bring attention to an empowered, funny woman who has a realistic, safe abortion.

"We ... wanted to combine a lot of things that we felt our culture was suppressing," Robespierre tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

In the movie, Jenny Slate stars as Donna, a 27-year-old stand-up comic who still doesn't think of herself as an adult. After a drunken one-night stand, she finds out she's pregnant and decides to have an abortion.

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12:09pm

Thu June 26, 2014
Music

Lana Del Rey's 'Ultraviolence' Has A Firm Grasp On Pop History

Lana Del Rey is a figure of some controversy for her suggestive lyrics, and critical debate as to the extent of her vocal talent versus her talent for publicity. She recently caused a stir when she gave an interview in which she said, quote, "I wish I was dead already," and drew criticism from, among others, Kurt Cobain's daughter Frances Bean.

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12:09pm

Thu June 26, 2014
Book Reviews

'Most Dangerous Book': A Rich Treasury Charting James Joyce's 'Ulysses'

There are many heroes in the tale of how James Joyce's masterpiece, Ulysses, which was banned for over 10 years throughout the English-speaking world, finally won its long battle to be legally published, sold and read. Kevin Birmingham tells that extraordinary story in his new book about Ulysses, called The Most Dangerous Book.

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1:22pm

Wed June 25, 2014
Interviews

Dexter Filkins On ISIS And The 'Bitter Consequences' Of The Iraq War

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 2:42 pm

The journalist who covered the war in Iraq, and its aftermath, details the militant Sunni Islamist group, the power it has in Iraq and Syria and how its war is destabilizing neighboring countries.

12:02pm

Tue June 24, 2014
The Fresh Air Interview

Mary Gauthier De-Romanticizes Romantic Love

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 12:28 pm

"Music and books, I think, were the two things I trusted the most as a child," Mary Gauthier says.
Jack Spencer Courtesy of the artist

1:14pm

Mon June 23, 2014
History

50 Years Ago, Students Fought For Black Rights During 'Freedom Summer'

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 2:50 pm

Fannie Lou Hamer was an activist who spoke out for black rights during Freedom Summer.
Courtesy of Ken Thompson/General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church

This summer marks the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer, a movement to open the polls to blacks in Mississippi and end white supremacy in the state.

Freedom Summer was organized by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, or SNCC, which recruited 700 college students — mostly white students from the North — to travel to Mississippi and help African-Americans register to vote. The organizers, the students and the black people trying to register were all risking their lives, a measure of how pervasive racism was at the time.

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1:14pm

Mon June 23, 2014
Interviews

'Fresh Air' Remembers Writer And Middle East Scholar Fouad Ajami

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 12:49 pm

In 1988, Ajami spoke with Terry Gross about an essay he'd written about how political catastrophe came to Beruit, Lebanon, and how the city where he grew up became a land of cruelty and hatred.

9:33am

Sat June 21, 2014
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: John Oliver, Parquet Courts And Joshua Ferris

Originally published on Sat June 21, 2014 10:00 am

John Oliver's new political satire Last Week Tonight airs on HBO. Oliver says the network gives him an almost "confusing amount of freedom."
Eric Liebowitz Courtesy of HBO

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:

John Oliver Is No One's Friend On His New HBO Show: The comedian who was a correspondent on The Daily Show for 7 1/2 years now pokes fun on Last Week Tonight. Oliver talks about tasing his leg, temping for a thief and remaining an outsider.

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1:00pm

Fri June 20, 2014
Author Interviews

A Reclusive Novelist Reckons With His Legacy '& Sons'

David Gilbert tells the story of a famous, aging writer whose children do not feel as warmly toward him as his readers do. Originally broadcast July 23, 2013.

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

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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1:00pm

Fri June 20, 2014
Movie Reviews

'Jersey Boys' And 'Venus In Fur' Are Just As Intense On Screen

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Film critic, David Edelstein, reviews two movies based on shows he saw on Broadway - the Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons musical, "Jersey Boys," directed for the screen by Clint Eastwood and the David Ives play "Venus In Fur," filmed by Roman Polanski.

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1:00pm

Fri June 20, 2014
Music

Remembering Horace Silver, Hard Bop Pioneer

Jazz pianist, bandleader and composer Horace Silver died Wednesday at age 85. Fresh Air critic Kevin Whitehead says that Silver had been off the scene awhile, but his influence is as strong as ever. Hear an appreciation.

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

11:38am

Thu June 19, 2014
Television

John Oliver Is No One's Friend On His New HBO Show

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 12:37 pm

John Oliver's new political satire Last Week Tonight airs on HBO. Oliver says the network gives him an almost "confusing amount of freedom."
Eric Liebowitz Courtesy of HBO

After serving as a correspondent on The Daily Show for 7 1/2 years — and hosting it last summer while Jon Stewart took a break to direct his movie — British comedian John Oliver now has his own show.

Last Week Tonight, a political satire, airs on HBO on Sunday nights.

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