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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9:45am

Tue November 1, 2011
Author Interviews

Interrupting Violence With The Message 'Don't Shoot'

David M. Kennedy is the director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control, and professor of criminal justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City.

Courtesy of David M. Kennedy

In 1985, David M. Kennedy visited Nickerson Gardens, a public housing complex in south-central Los Angeles. It was the beginning of the crack epidemic, and Nickerson Gardens was located in what was then one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in America.

"It was like watching time-lapse photography of the end of the world," he says. "There were drug crews on the corner, there were crack monsters and heroin addicts wandering around. ... It was fantastically, almost-impossibly-to-take-in awful."

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8:45am

Tue November 1, 2011
Music Reviews

The SMiLE Sessions: A Window Into The Beach Boys

The Beach Boys in 1964: Brian Wilson, Dennis Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine and Carl Wilson.

Hulton Archive Getty Images

In the early days of high fidelity, which I remember from childhood, the idea was that it was "almost like being there" when you listened to a record, something the old recordings never really delivered. The five CDs and six-plus hours of The SMiLE Sessions are certainly almost like being there, in the studio with the studio musicians — and, occasionally, The Beach Boys themselves — and Brian Wilson, as he tried to realize something he heard in his head.

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10:00am

Mon October 31, 2011
The Fresh Air Interview

Tom Waits: The Fresh Air Interview

Originally published on Thu November 3, 2011 6:40 am

Tom Waits.

Jesse Dylan

Tom Waits recorded his new album Bad As Me, his first collection of all-new studio recordings in eight years, in his studio, which he calls "Rabbit Foot" for good luck. The space, a converted schoolhouse, still has class pictures dotting the walls of each classroom.

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12:45am

Sat October 29, 2011
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Michael Shannon, David Carr

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Michael Shannon plays federal agent Nelson Van Alden on the HBO series Boardwalk Empire. "I think inside of Van Alden is a child — that arrested child — that never really got to develop its own identity," he says.

Mihcael B. Polay 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:

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9:19am

Fri October 28, 2011
Author Interviews

Scott Spencer: Plot Twists, Where Everything Changes

This interview was originally broadcast on Sept. 15, 2010. Man in the Woods is now available in paperback.

Many of Scott Spencer's novels feature a turning point — a dreadful, often unplanned act committed by one of the characters — after which nothing will ever be the same.

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9:19am

Fri October 28, 2011
Movie Reviews

Shakespeare, Thompson: Stick To The Print Versions

Rhys Ifans plays the Elizabethan aristocrat Edward de Vere in Roland Emmerich's Anonymous. The movie speculates that de Vere, not Shakespeare, was the real author of the bard's works.

Reiner Bajo Columbia Pictures

Two new films show how tough it is to do justice to good writers on-screen. Johnny Depp certainly means to do right by his pal Hunter S. Thompson in The Rum Diary. He played Thompson in Terry Gilliam's rollicking but not especially watchable Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and narrated a documentary about him.

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9:16am

Fri October 28, 2011
Television

'Primetime' TV, Like You've Never Seen It Before

Rainn Wilson, who plays Dwight on The Office, is featured in the new PBS miniseries America in Primetime, which examines the archetypes on television today.

PBS

Almost every time TV takes a look at itself, and tries to explore or explain what it does as a medium, the result is a major disappointment — at least to me. I want TV to take itself seriously, but it almost never does. Every show about TV is either one of those dumb "Top 100" lists that networks like E! and VH1 crank out every month, or it's a show that's built entirely around the guests it can book, the clips it can afford, and the shows on its own network it want to promote.

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10:28am

Thu October 27, 2011
Music Reviews

Deer Tick: Finding 'Divine Providence' Along The Way

Originally published on Fri October 28, 2011 6:51 am

The title of Deer Tick's new album, Divine Providence, is a pun: The band hails from the capital of Rhode Island. But the other side of the pun is sarcastic. There's little on the album concerning divine providence or care. Nor is the band provident — frugal or prudent — about its talent and music. Group frontman John McCauley continues to sing as though the primary idea is to shred his vocal cords.

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8:59am

Thu October 27, 2011
Fine Art

Degas' Nudes Depict The Awkwardness Of Real Life

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 12:32 pm

Many of Degas' nudes have their backs turned to the viewer. Above, Degas' pastel work, After the Bath, Woman Drying Her Neck, 1886-95.
Photo Musee d'Orsay/rmn Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Musee d'Orsay in Paris have two of the world's best collections of the work of the French postimpressionist Edgar Degas. The two museums have collaborated on an important show called Degas and the Nude, which includes pieces from major museums and private collections all over the world. Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz, who lives in Boston, was moved by the show, which also triggered a sweet personal memory.

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9:14am

Tue October 25, 2011
Remembering Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

Steve, Myself And i: The Big Story Of A Little Prefix

Originally published on Tue October 25, 2011 11:39 am

A message honoring Steve Jobs is scrawled on a blacked-out window at an Apple store in Seattle.

Elaine Thompson AP

Steve Jobs did his last product launch last March, for the iPad 2. At the close, he stood in front of a huge picture of a sign showing the intersection of streets called Technology and Liberal Arts.

It was a lifelong ideal for Jobs, the same one that had drawn him to make his famous 1979 visit to the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, or Xerox PARC for short. That was where a group of artistically minded researchers had developed the graphical user interface, or GUI, which Apple's developers were to incorporate into the Lisa and the Macintosh a few years later.

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8:42am

Mon October 24, 2011
Television

Going Under The 'Boardwalk' With Michael Shannon

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Michael Shannon plays federal agent Nelson Val Alden on the HBO series Boardwalk Empire. "I think inside of Van Alden is a child — that arrested child — that never really got to develop its own identity," he says.

Mihcael B. Polay HBO

HBO's Boardwalk Empire, set in Atlantic City in the 1920s, is about organized crime in the era of Prohibition. The show stars Steve Buscemi as Nucky Thompson, an Atlantic City politician who sees the coming of Prohibition as an opportunity to make even more money from illegal activities and kickbacks.

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7:15am

Sat October 22, 2011
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: MacFarlane, Zombies, 'Snatchers'

Seth MacFarlane voices several characters on Family Guy, including Brian (left) and Stewie (right) Griffin.

Fox

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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4:02pm

Thu October 20, 2011
Movie Reviews

'Margin Call': A Movie Occupied With Wall Street

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Kevin Spacey gives "a major performance, his best in a decade," as a Wall Street executive trying to do the right thing in the middle of a financial panic.

JoJo Whiden Roadside Attractions

The timing is almost too good: a terrific Wall Street melodrama at the moment the Occupy Wall Street protests are building. We haven't seen the like since Three Mile Island had a near-meltdown a couple of days after The China Syndrome exploded into theaters. Now, Margin Call seems anything but marginal.

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9:44am

Thu October 20, 2011
Country

Shelby Lynne: A 'Revelation' With An Exceptional Voice

Shelby Lynne.

Jason Harter

If the title of her new album is a tad portentous, Shelby Lynne is determined to make precisely detailed mood music, not a succession of revelatory moments, throughout Revelation Road. That's ultimately what gives the album its strength. It's underpinned with sturdy melodies, the occasional bright image and, above all else, Lynne's exceptional voice, which cuts across every song with a sharp, slicing motion.

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9:45am

Wed October 19, 2011
Author Interviews

Justice Stevens Reflects On The Court And Its Chiefs

Originally published on Wed October 19, 2011 12:15 pm

President Ford nominated John Paul Stevens as an associate justice of the Supreme Court. Stevens took his seat on Dec. 19, 1975.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

After 35 years serving on the Supreme Court, Justice John Paul Stevens retired last year. Appointed by President Gerald Ford in 1975, Stevens was the third-longest-serving justice in the court's history. Now 91, he spends his days playing tennis, lecturing and writing. But instead of legal briefs and opinions, Stevens is now sharing personal stories from his time on the Supreme Court.

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9:39am

Wed October 19, 2011
Author Interviews

A 'Zone' Full Of Zombies In Lower Manhattan

Colson Whitehead is a 2002 recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship. His writing has also appeared in Salon, The Village Voice, and The New York Times.

Erin Patrice O'Brien Doubleday

A zombie plague has wiped out 95 percent of America. Camps of survivors band together in pockets across the country, waiting for small squadrons of human "sweepers" to inch their way across major cities, destroying the remaining zombie-like creatures hiding out in office buildings and shopping malls.

But now the human sweepers have to tackle their biggest challenge yet: clearing the undead from Lower Manhattan.

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8:47am

Wed October 19, 2011
Author Interviews

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

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

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.

"When he died, it was a terrible loss to all of us," she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "As you know, as everybody knows, you think 'My life is changed so utterly I don't know how to live it anymore. And then you find a way.'"

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10:04am

Tue October 18, 2011
Health

The Man Who Tracks Viruses Before They Spread

H1N1 virus virons appear in a tissue sample.

C. Goldsmith and D. Rollin CDC Public Health Image Library

The New Yorker once called virologist Nathan Wolfe "the world's most prominent virus hunter." Wolfe, the director of the Global Viral Forecasting Initiative, spends his days tracking emerging infectious diseases before they turn into deadly pandemics.

In The Viral Storm, Wolfe describes how most of those emerging infectious diseases originally start out in animals before making the jump to us.

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8:36am

Tue October 18, 2011
Music Reviews

'Turkish Freakout': A Musical Turkish Delight

Bouzouki Joe Records

The relentless quest to reissue every decent piece of rock 'n' roll from the '60s and '70s long ago exhausted the U.S. and U.K. warehouses. The new trend for the past couple years is to dig up all sorts of so-called "funk" and "garage rock" from countries around the world. This has worked fine in Africa and South America, though few potent new performers have come to light. The surprise has been Turkey, forever underestimated and overlooked in the Western market.

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1:03pm

Mon October 17, 2011
Television

Jimmy Fallon's Giant List Of 'Thank You Notes'

Jimmy Fallon says he spends almost 12 hours each day at the Late Night offices, which makes the rest of his life difficult. "If I want to play video games now, I have to schedule it," he tells Terry Gross.
Virginia Sherwood NBC

This interview was originally broadcast on May 23, 2011.

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