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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8:31am

Wed February 8, 2012
Television

Two Rowdy Talk Shows Showcase Vintage Humor

Writers for Sid Caesar include Mel Brooks (front, lower right corner) and Neil Simon (back row, upper left corner.)
courtesy of Michael Hirsh

The two DVDs I want to talk about today are hilarious, but they aren't sitcoms. They're talk shows โ€” well, one's a talk show, and one's a filmed seminar. But they're both fascinating examples of a specific pop-culture moment frozen in time.

And they're something else as well: Both are highly entertaining real-time examples of talk-show Darwinism. Both shows feature a large, unwieldy guest roster, all of the guests competing for attention at the same time โ€” and by the time the programs are over, the winners are apparent.

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9:34am

Tue February 7, 2012
Author Interviews

The Risks And Rewards Of Practicing Yoga

Five people on a beach stand in the warrior pose.
iStockphoto.com

Twenty million people practice yoga in the United States. William Broad, a Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer for The New York Times, is one of them. Broad started doing yoga as a freshman in college in 1970 and has been practicing ever since.

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9:01am

Tue February 7, 2012
Music Reviews

Matt Wilson: Trios, Quartets And 'Don Knotts'

Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 8:35 am

Like a comedian, drummer Matt Wilson knows about offhand dexterity and split-second timing.
Courtesy of the artist

Brooklyn drummer Matt Wilson keeps busy with many bands and projects โ€” other people's and his own. Two new Wilson albums find him as part of a co-op all-star trio, and at the helm of one of his own quartets. Part of Wilson's appeal is that he keeps things light, in a good way.

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9:36am

Mon February 6, 2012
Movie Interviews

Meryl Streep: The Fresh Air Interview

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 8:39 am

As of 2012, Meryl Streep holds the record for the actor with the most Academy Award nominations รขย€ย” her tally stands at 17.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Meryl Streep is known for completely enveloping herself in her characters, capturing their nuances, speech patterns and personalities. In her films, she's transformed herself into such disparate people as the chef Julia Child, the writer Susan Orlean and plutonium-plant worker Karen Silkwood, winning countless honors and awards along the way.

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9:17am

Fri February 3, 2012
Music Interviews

A Studio On The Road To 'Fame' For Soul Musicians

Ace Records

Rick Hall and Billy Sherrill were a couple of Alabama boys in their teens when they started writing songs. At first, the only place they had to record was in a room in the back of the Trailways bus station in Florence, Ala. But one of the songs they recorded there, "Sweet and Innocent," became a small local hit, and a guy named Tom Stafford read about it in the local paper. He built a recording studio above City Drugs in Florence and went into business with the two young men. It didn't last long: Sherrill was hugely ambitious and was soon off to Nashville.

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8:00am

Fri February 3, 2012
Movie Interviews

Going In '50/50' On A Cancer Comedy, With Laughs

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 9:26 am

In 50/50, Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Adam, a public radio host stricken with cancer who enlists his best friend, played by Seth Rogen, for moral and physical support.
Chris Helcermanas-Benge Summit Publicity

This interview was originally broadcast on September 28, 2011. 50/50 is now available on DVD.

When screenwriter Will Reiser was 24 and diagnosed with a rare form of spinal cancer, he coped by thinking up ideas for cancer comedies with his best friend, actor Seth Rogen.

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12:02pm

Thu February 2, 2012
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Baratunde, Stew, Leonard Cohen

Originally published on Sat February 4, 2012 8:24 am

Baratunde Thurston is an American comedian and the digital director of The Onion. He co-founded the black political blog Jack & Jill Politics. He is also a prolific tweeter.
Courtesy of the author

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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10:20am

Thu February 2, 2012
Energy

Clean-Tech Industry Facing Lean Times After Solyndra

President Obama tours the headquarters of the Solyndra solar panel company in Freemont, Calif., on May 26, 2010.The company declared bankruptcy in August 2011.
Pool Getty Images

Three years ago, venture capitalists were pouring billions of dollars into technologies like solar power, wind power, biofuels and fuel cells. The federal government followed, directing some $44.5 billion into clean technology from late 2009 to late 2011 through loans, subsidies and tax incentives.

But now the clean-tech industry is facing leaner times, in part because of cheaper natural gas prices, the effects of the financial crisis and China's growing solar industry.

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9:58am

Thu February 2, 2012
Music Reviews

Lana Del Rey: The Self-Made Pop Star As Target

Lana Del Ray
Nicole Nodland Shore Fire

Lana Del Rey appeared on Saturday Night Live recently, giving two rather tentative performances that, depending on your point of view, were awkward and amateurish or shrewdly restrained and vulnerable. Del Rey, in her mid-20s, attracts polarizing opinions.

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9:04am

Thu February 2, 2012
Television

The Producers Behind NBC's Musical 'Smash'

Originally published on Thu February 2, 2012 10:30 am

Ivy Lynn (played by Megan Hilty) is one of two actresses vying for the coveted lead role in Smash, which premieres Monday on NBC.
Will Hart NBC

Producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan have been making musicals together for almost 20 years. They're the team behind movie musicals like Hairspray, Chicago and Annie, and the TV musicals Gypsy and The Music Man.

Now Meron and Zadan have teamed up once again on the new NBC series Smash, a drama that goes behind the scenes as a motley crew of creative types put together a Broadway musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe.

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8:48am

Mon January 30, 2012
Book Reviews

'An Available Man': Love After Loss

cover detail

In my family, we referred to them as "the brisket brigade" โ€” those single ladies of a certain age who began bombarding my brother-in-law with casseroles and commiseration soon after my sister-in-law died. It's a cruel fact of life that nobody plies widows with months of home-cooked meals and baked goods; as Jonathan Swift might have modestly proposed, widows might as well eat each other โ€” there's a surplus supply of them, anyway. But, a new widower gets the Crock-Pots and the romantic fantasies all fired up.

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8:24am

Mon January 30, 2012
The Fresh Air Interview

Stew: 'Making It' After A Tough Breakup

Stew.
Courtesy of the artist

Stew's new album Making It is, in part, about his relationship with his ex-girlfriend and songwriting partner, Heidi Rodewald.

The two musicians, who still work together professionally, dated each other for years. They collaborated on songs for their band The Negro Problem, as well as on orchestrations for Passing Strange, their semi-autobiographical Broadway musical about a young African-American trying to understand himself while traveling around Europe. But during Passing Strange's initial run in Berkeley, Calif., Stew and Rodewald broke up.

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7:53am

Sat January 28, 2012
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Glocks, David Milch, The Smiths

This Glock was used at a police department and then sold at an auction.
iStockphoto.com

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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8:49am

Fri January 27, 2012
Television

HBO's 'Luck': A Winning TV Show, Set At The Track

Nick Nolte plays a horse owner who spent most of his career working as a horse trainer in Luck.
HBO

It isn't a long shot that David Milch's newest series for HBO, called Luck, will be on par with his HBO series Deadwood. It's a sure thing. HBO sent out all nine episodes of the show's first season for preview, so there's no guesswork here.

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8:31am

Fri January 27, 2012
Movie Interviews

Woody Allen: Blending Real Life With Fiction

"Making a movie is a great distraction from the real agonies of the world," filmmaker Woody Allen told Fresh Air in 2009.
Brian Hamill/MGM PBS

This interview was originally broadcast on June 15, 2009.

For someone who has spent the majority of his career making comedies, Woody Allen sees the world โ€” and his lifelong profession โ€” through a surprisingly dark lens.

"Life is a terrible trial, and very harsh and very full of suffering ... [Film] is a different kind of pain. Making a movie is a great distraction from the real agonies of the world," Allen tells Terry Gross.

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9:46am

Thu January 26, 2012
Music Reviews

Jimmy Owens Navigates Monk's 'Brilliant Corners'

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 1:27 pm

Jimmy Owens mostly dresses Monk's tunes for uptown wear โ€” Monk the Harlem jam session swinger.
Stephanie Myers

In 1974, trumpeter Jimmy Owens helped prepare and played on a Carnegie Hall concert of Thelonious Monk's music. On the night in question, the orchestra featured a surprise soloist: Monk himself. It was one of the pianist's last public performances.

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9:23am

Thu January 26, 2012
Movie Reviews

In 'Albert Nobbs,' Glenn Close Does More Than Pass

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 11:39 am

Albert Nobbs (Glenn Close) and Helen (Mia Wasikowska) go on a series of awkward dates in Albert Nobbs, a film based on a 1918 George Moore story.
Patrick Redmond Roadside Attractions

As Albert Nobbs, Glenn Close has hair that's cropped and orangey, and a voice that rarely rises above a nasal croak. She lives and works as a waiter in a high-toned hotel, where she stands with lips pressed together, tight yet tremulous, her searching eyes her only naturally moving parts. She resembles no man I've seen, but no woman, either. She's the personification of fear โ€” fear of being discovered to be a woman. Because hers is a society that treats all poor people badly, but poor women worse.

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10:13am

Wed January 25, 2012
Television

David Milch: Trying His 'Luck' With Horse Racing

Luck, the new HBO drama created by David Milch, is about the inside world of horse racing.
Gusmano Cesaretti HBO

Veteran TV writer and producer David Milch grew up in Buffalo, N.Y. But a few times each year, Milch would accompany his father across the state to Saratoga Springs, where the two would bet on horse races.

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9:17am

Wed January 25, 2012
Music Reviews

Long Live The Smiths' 'Complete Works'

The Smiths.
Wright Photo/Rhino Records

When Steven Patrick Morrissey was 13, he was watching The Old Grey Whistle Test, a BBC rock television show, when the New York Dolls came on. Later, he called it "my first real emotional experience." It was hardly his last: Growing up awkward, tall and shy in suburban Manchester, he was the archetypal kid who didn't fit in, writing poetry and letters to members of the British rock press, disagreeing articulately with their critics.

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9:00am

Wed January 25, 2012
Television

A Boy's Magical 'Touch' Predicts The Future

When Kiefer Sutherland ended his series of very long, very intense days as Jack Bauer on the Fox series 24, few people, including Sutherland himself, expected him to be starring in another TV series right away.
Fox

The new Fox series Touch stars Kiefer Sutherland as a father โ€” a widower โ€” raising a withdrawn preteen son with behavioral problems.

But it doesn't begin with Sutherland.

It begins, instead, with the son โ€” Jake, played by David Mazouz โ€” providing the narration that opens the series. By the time the opening narration is over, you already know you're watching something a little different.

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