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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2:37pm

Thu August 7, 2014
Music Interviews

Douglas and Caine Find 'Present Joys' In The Sacred Harp Songbook

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 4:36 pm

Dave Douglas (left) and Uri Caine.
Jeff Countryman Courtesy of the artist
Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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2:37pm

Thu August 7, 2014
Music Interviews

Before War, A Punk Drummer Preserved Syrian Chants

Between 2006 and 2010, Jason Hamacher made many trips to Syria to photograph and record ancient chants.
Jason Hamacher Lost Origins Productions

Before the civil war in Syria destroyed ancient religious sites — and scattered some of the oldest Christian communities in the world — Jason Hamacher made several trips there, taking photos and recording ancient Sufi and Christian chants.

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2:37pm

Thu August 7, 2014
Television

Stick With 'The Knick,' A Medical Drama With Amazing Inventions

On The Knick, the graphic scenes are riveting, says David Bianculli, though at times you may want to look away. Here, Clive Owen's character administers a shot.
Mary Cybulski Courtesy of HBO/Cinemax

The first impression of The Knick, the new 10-part drama series that begins this weekend on Cinemax, is that it seems derivative. It's about a maverick doctor played by Clive Owen who's rude to almost everyone around him — like the abrasive hero of Hugh Laurie's Fox series, House. He works at a hospital in a big city, in the shadow of bigger hospitals, fighting for attention and respect — like the doctors on St. Elsewhere. The title The Knick, in fact, is short for Knickerbocker Hospital, and is as derisive a nickname as "St.

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12:56pm

Wed August 6, 2014
Asia

Malaysia Flight Wreckage Was 'Like The End Of The World'

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down on July 17 in eastern Ukraine. The New York Times reporter Sabrina Tavernise was one of the first reporters to arrive at the scene.
Dmitry Lovetsky AP

Sabrina Tavernise, one of the first journalists to arrive at the site of the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine last month, says it was strange how quiet it was. The wreckage was still smoldering; she was surrounded by miles of fallen bodies.

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12:56pm

Wed August 6, 2014
Music

A Label Paramount To Early Blues And Jazz

There's nothing a certain type of record collector likes better than finding a stack of 78s on the Paramount label. Between 1917 and 1932, the label, which was one of several run by a furniture company in Grafton, Wisc., released thousands of records, but its real accomplishment was recording some of the greatest early blues and jazz performers.

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1:36pm

Tue August 5, 2014
Music

A Lost Piece Of Soul History Appears

In the early 1960s when soul star Sam Cooke had his own record label, SAR, he recorded songs by his younger brother, L.C. Cooke. Ten of the tracks were supposed to become L.C.'s debut album in 1964. The release was postponed, then Sam Cooke was killed, SAR went out of business and L.C.'s album fell into limbo. Now, 50 years later, The Complete SAR Records Recordings has appeared. Fresh Air critic Milo Miles examines this lost piece of history.

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1:36pm

Tue August 5, 2014
Books

How Ronald Reagan Used An 'Invisible Bridge' To Win Over Americans

Originally published on Tue August 5, 2014 2:50 pm

In November 1973, when Ronald Reagan was governor of California, he talked with reporters about Watergate. In the years that followed, he spoke to Americans' anxieties with a simple message about America's inherent greatness.
Paul Vathis AP

In the mid-'70s, during a turbulent three-year period, Ronald Reagan emerged as a national figure and nearly captured the Republican nomination from a sitting president.

Rick Perlstein, who has spent much of his career writing about modern American conservatism, describes this time in political history in his new book, The Invisible Bridge.

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1:52pm

Mon August 4, 2014
Television

How Interactive TV Is Older Than TV Itself

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

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1:52pm

Mon August 4, 2014
Music

Spoon Wants Your Soul

Spoon has just released its first new album since 2010's Transference. Fresh Air critic says that "They Want My Soul is another fine Spoon album in a career that has now come to display a remarkable consistency."

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

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1:52pm

Mon August 4, 2014
Television

Allison Janney On Sex, Sorkin And Being The Tallest Woman In The Room

Originally published on Mon August 4, 2014 5:11 pm

On Masters of Sex, Allison Janney plays Margaret Scully. Janney was nominated for an Emmy as outstanding guest actress in a drama series for her performance.
Frank W Ockenfels 3 Showtime

Playing a woman discovering sexuality in the '50s makes actor Allison Janney think of — of all people — her mother. Janney's mother and father got married in their early 20s, and she doesn't believe her mother had sex with anyone else.

"I remember my mother talking to me about the birds and the bees," she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "Of course, I had already known [about them], probably years before she came to me. But remembering the way she talked to me about it — it's just everything about her reminds me of Margaret Scully."

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9:37am

Sat August 2, 2014
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: George Takei, 'The Honorable Woman,' Dom Flemons

George Takei's personal story is illuminated in the new, funny documentary To Be Takei.
Victoria Will AP

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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2:05pm

Fri August 1, 2014
Movie Reviews

Sailing Through Space With 'Guardians Of The Galaxy'? Hilarious

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 8:57 am

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

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DAVID BIANCULLI, BYLINE: This is FRESH AIR. The newest film adaptation of a Marvel comic is "Guardians of the Galaxy," which features five Motley warriors against an armada of space villains. Film critic David Edelstein has this review.

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2:05pm

Fri August 1, 2014
Music Interviews

Fresh Air Pays Tribute To James Brown, 'Godfather Of Funk'

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 8:58 am

Even though James Brown died in 2006 at age 73, he continues to be influential — a new biopic about him called Get On Up, premieres in theaters Friday.

In the '80s and '90s, Fresh Air recorded interviews with Brown's biographer and two musicians who played in his band. And in 2005, James Brown chatted with Terry Gross after the publication of his autobiography I Feel Good.

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1:13pm

Thu July 31, 2014
Africa

Kidnapping Is A Lucrative Business For Al-Qaida, Documents Show

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 3:39 pm

A neighborhood resident walks through a building in Timbuktu, used by al-Qaida-linked jihadi fighters for more than a year. Last year, The Associated Press found al-Qaida documents in the building.
Rukmini Callimachi AP

A recent report by journalist Rukmini Callimachi details al-Qaida's strategy of kidnapping Europeans and demanding large ransoms — and how those ransoms are a key source of funding for al-Qaida operations.

"Europe is funneling these enormous sums of money to al-Qaida," Callimachi, a foreign correspondent with The New York Times, tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "They're reluctantly and unwillingly becoming al-Qaida's main patron."

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1:09pm

Thu July 31, 2014
Television

Maggie Gyllenhaal Is 'The Honorable Woman': A Series Both Ruthless And Rewarding

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 1:34 pm

Maggie Gyllenhaal stars as Nessa Stein in the SundanceTV original series The Honorable Woman.
Des Willie Courtesy of Sundance

Maggie Gyllenhaal stars in a new eight-part miniseries that couldn't be more timely: It's about a woman who finds herself embroiled in the Israeli Palestinian conflict.

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1:50pm

Wed July 30, 2014
The Fresh Air Interview

Dom Flemons Holds On To Those Old-Time Roots

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 9:39 am

Dom Flemons with his 1920s banjo.
Michael Weintrob Courtesy of the artist

From his vintage hat to his enormous 1920s banjo, Dom Flemons looks like he's time-traveled from a different era.

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1:45pm

Wed July 30, 2014
All Tech Considered

Can Pinterest Compete With Google's Search?

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 2:33 pm

Pinterest has created a database of "things in the world that matter to human beings," says Alexis Madrigal.
Pinterest

The Pinterest interface is simple: Just click a button, and any Web page gets broken down into its constituent images. Any of those can be added to your own set of images, known on Pinterest as a board. Other people can find those boards and copy what they like — or simply search through all the photos on the site.

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12:02pm

Tue July 29, 2014
Author Interviews

In 'Blue Eyed Boy,' Author Reveals Long Recovery From Facial Burns

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

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12:02pm

Tue July 29, 2014
Book Reviews

'Ride Around Shining' Reimagines Gatsby's Nouveau-Riche Excess

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 1:54 pm

Most sports novels are about the aspiration to excel physically: to run faster, stretch out one's arms farther. The really cool thing about Ride Around Shining, a debut novel by Chris Leslie-Hynan, is that it doesn't stick to that familiar rule book. Even though it's set in the world of pro basketball, our narrator here is not the guy who aspires to be a great player; rather, he's the guy who aspires to be a great suck-up to the great player.

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1:15pm

Mon July 28, 2014
Movie Interviews

From 'Star Trek' To LGBT Spokesman, What It Takes 'To Be Takei'

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 1:44 pm

George Takei's personal story is illuminated in the new, funny documentary To Be Takei.
Victoria Will AP

Many fans know George Takei from his role as Mr. Sulu on the 1960s show Star Trek. But in the past decade, he has drawn followers who admire him because of who he is — not just who he has played. Now, the new documentary To Be Takei may interest more people in Takei's life.

Takei's personal story offers insights into a couple of key chapters of American political and cultural history.

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