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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9:59am

Thu May 31, 2012
Author Interviews

The Internet: A Series Of 'Tubes' (And Then Some)

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 12:08 pm

iStockphoto.com

Increasingly, Internet users are working "in the cloud" — creating and sending data that isn't stored on local hard drives. It's easy to imagine our emails and photos swirling around in cyberspace without a physical home — but that's not really how it works. Those files are still stored somewhere, but you can only find them if you know where to look.

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9:58am

Thu May 31, 2012
Movies

2012: Not The Best Year At Cannes

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 12:08 pm

Emmanuelle Riva co-stars in the French film Amour, which won the festival's Palme d'Or.
La Festival de Cannes

John Powers, Fresh Air's critic-at-large and the movie critic for Vogue, returns from the 2012 Cannes Film Festival to share his thoughts on the films he liked and the films he didn't care for.

Though Powers says 2012 was not the best year at Cannes, the experience once again left him feeling rejuvenated about the movies.

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9:54am

Wed May 30, 2012
Commentary

The Word 'Hopefully' Is Here To Stay, Hopefully

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 1:52 pm

The word "hopefully" has been used in thousands of NPR stories.
Stephanie d'Otreppe/NPR

Geoff Nunberg, the linguist contributor on NPR's Fresh Air, is the author of the book The Years of Talking Dangerously.

There was something anticlimactic to the news that the AP Stylebook will no longer be objecting to the use of "hopefully" as a floating sentence adverb, as in, "Hopefully, the Giants will win the division." It was like seeing an obituary for someone you assumed must have died around the time that Hootenanny went off the air.

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6:45am

Wed May 30, 2012
Music

Fresh Air Remembers Traditional Music Legend Doc Watson

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 10:00 am

Doc Watson performs at the 2009 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on May 1, 2009.
Rick Diamond/Staff Getty Images Entertainment

This interview was originally broadcast on March 24, 1988.

Doc Watson, who was called "a living national treasure" for his virtuoso flat-picking and his repertoire of traditional folk and bluegrass tunes, has died. He was 89.

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10:52am

Tue May 29, 2012
Music Reviews

Anti-Virtuoso Piano, Delicate And Despoiled

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 11:11 am

Left to right: Masabumi Kikuchi, Thomas Morgan, Paul Motian.
John Rogers

The death of a great musician ripples through the jazz community. It's a special loss to those improvisers we might call immediate survivors: working partners who'll miss that special interaction with a singular musician.

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9:13am

Tue May 29, 2012
Movie Interviews

Wes Anderson, Creating A Singular 'Kingdom'

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 10:58 am

Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom opened the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. He received Academy Award nominations for The Royal Tenenbaums and Fantastic Mr. Fox.
Niko Tavernise Focus Features

Director Wes Anderson has many credits to his name — The Royal Tenenbaums, The Darjeeling Limited, Bottle Rocket and Fantastic Mr. Fox among them — but Moonrise Kingdom is his first film to open the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.

Starring Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Bruce Willis and Edward Norton, the quirky independent picture tells the story of a 12-year-old girl and boy who fall in love and then make a pact to run off into the woods together.

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6:03am

Mon May 28, 2012
Music Interviews

Catherine Russell: An In-Studio Fresh Air Concert

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 5:49 am

Catherine Russell.
Stefan Falke

This interview was originally broadcast on February 21, 2011.

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11:58pm

Fri May 25, 2012
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: David Alan Grier, Sacha Baron Cohen

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 9:02 am

In Porgy and Bess, David Alan Grier plays the drug dealer Sporting Life, a role closely associated with Sammy Davis Jr. and Cab Calloway.
Courtesy of the American Repertory Theater

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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10:19am

Fri May 25, 2012
Music Reviews

James Burton: The Teen Who Invented American Guitar

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 1:11 pm

What were you doing when you were 16?

When he was 16, James Burton was inventing the American guitar. He'd been born in Dubberly, La., in 1939, and was apparently self-taught on his instrument. At 15, he cut a single backing local singer Carol Williams, and then one day he came up with a guitar riff that he liked. He took it to a singer from Shreveport he was touring with, and they worked out a song to use in his act. One thing led to another, and it wound up on a record called "Suzie Q," credited to Dale Hawkins, the singer.

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9:30am

Fri May 25, 2012
Movie Reviews

A Wes Anderson 'Kingdom' Full Of Beautiful Imagery

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 1:11 pm

Edward Norton plays a scoutmaster in search of his lost charge in Wes Anderson's latest film, Moonrise Kingdom.
Focus Features

Many people are rapturous over the work of Wes Anderson, and for them, I expect, Moonrise Kingdom will be nirvana. The frames are quasi-symmetrical: a strong center, often human, with misaligned objects on each side suggesting a universe that's slightly out of balance, like a series of discombobulated dollhouses.

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8:11am

Fri May 25, 2012
Author Interviews

Examining 'The Leftovers,' After The Rapture

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 1:11 pm

Tom Perrotta is the author of several novels, including Election and Little Children.
Mark Ostow Courtesy Tom Perrotta

This interview was originally broadcast on August 25, 2011. The Leftovers is now available in paperback.

Last year, California-based preacher Harold Camping announced that the beginning of the end of the world would take place on May 21, 2011. The date passed by with no apparent rapture, and Camping became the butt of many late-night talk show jokes.

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10:01am

Thu May 24, 2012
Digital Life

Keeping Your Kids Safe Online: It's 'Common Sense'

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 12:44 pm

iStockphoto.com

If you're a parent, you may have wondered what your kids are texting to each other or posting on their Facebook pages. Or maybe you've thought about it and decided you don't want to know.

That's not the best approach, says child advocate James Steyer. Steyer runs Common Sense Media, an organization that helps parents decide which kinds of technology are age-appropriate for their kids.

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9:59am

Thu May 24, 2012
Music Interviews

How Wes Anderson Gets His Soundtracks

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 2:28 pm

Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman star in Wes Anderson's latest film, Moonrise Kingdom.
Courtesy of Focus Features

If you see the new Wes Anderson movie Moonrise Kingdom, you'll hear background music from composers Benjamin Britten and Alexandre Desplat, as well as several songs from Hank Williams.

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10:52am

Wed May 23, 2012
Music

Remembering Baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 12:58 pm

German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau performing Benjamin Britten's 'War Requiem' in Coventry Cathedral.
Erich Auerbach Getty Images

9:45am

Wed May 23, 2012
Fitness & Nutrition

Happy Feet: Tips For Healthier Running

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 12:58 pm

iStockphoto.com

After hearing a lot about barefoot running, New York Times Phys Ed columnist Gretchen Reynolds decided to try it out for herself. An amateur runner for several decades, Reynolds says she thought the transition would be easy. But almost immediately, she got injured.

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8:24am

Wed May 23, 2012
Music Interviews

Jeremy Denk: Playing Ligeti With A Dash Of Humor

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 8:03 pm

Jeremy Denk has recently written for The New Yorker and The New York Times Book Review.
Courtesy of the artist

Not many classical pianists maintain blogs where they ruminate on everything from eating a terrible bowl of meatballs while on tour with Joshua Bell to seeing Twilight: New Moon (twice) and hearing strains of a Schubert song.

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10:02am

Tue May 22, 2012
Book Reviews

'Right-Hand': A Lush Prequel To 'Mason's Retreat'

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 10:22 am

Whenever I think about Christopher Tilghman's writing — and I have many times since his atmospheric novel, Mason's Retreat, came out more than 15 years ago — I think of critic John Leonard. John, among many other distinctions, was my predecessor as book critic for Fresh Air and, every once in a while before his death in 2008, we'd have occasion to talk or exchange e-mails about books. I remember John sending me a note in 1996, in which he mentioned Mason's Retreat and said of Tilghman, "He's the real deal."

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10:02am

Tue May 22, 2012
Theater

David Alan Grier's 'Sporting Life' On Broadway

In Porgy and Bess, David Alan Grier plays the drug dealer Sporting Life, a role closely associated with Sammy Davis Jr. and Cab Calloway.
Courtesy of the American Repertory Theater

In 1935, George Gershwin brought the script for his folk opera Porgy and Bess to the opera's original cast, which was entirely made up of African-American actors. "[In the original], every other word was N-word this, N-word that," says actor David Alan Grier. "[And] there's a very famous story: Al Jolson really wanted to play Porgy, in blackface."

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10:38am

Mon May 21, 2012
Music Reviews

John Fullbright: How To Connect 'From The Ground Up'

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 6:51 am

Though he's not yet 25, Fullbright's music sounds like he's lived through a lot — or at least thought it through.
Vicki Farmer

John Fullbright's voice rises up and around the guitar chords in "Me Wanting You," his tone intended to haunt the person he's addressing. His desire, his "me wanting you," is as direct as he can possibly make it — it's not a cry of despair or hope or lust. It's the sound of someone intent on making as strong a connection with the listener as he possibly can.

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10:16am

Mon May 21, 2012
Movie Interviews

Sacha Baron Cohen: The Fresh Air Interview

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 6:51 am

Sacha Baron Cohen plays Admiral General Aladeen, the authoritarian, anti-Semitic and unexpectedly sympathetic protagonist of The Dictator.
Melinda Sue Gordon Paramount Pictures

Actor and writer Sacha Baron Cohen is famous for taking his characters — Ali G., Borat, Bruno — into the real world, interacting with people who have no idea that they're dealing with a fictional character. But his new movie, The Dictator, is a scripted comedy about a tyrant on the loose in New York.


Interview Highlights

On why he enjoyed playing a dictator

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