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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10:28am

Thu December 15, 2011
Movie Interviews

Kevin Clash: The Man Behind Sesame Street's Elmo

Elmo and Kevin Clash have been working together for more than 20 years. Clash has also performed in Labyrinth, Muppets from Space, Follow that Bird and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Photo courtesy of Scott McDermott/Being Elmo

When Elmo first appeared on Sesame Street, the little red monster had a deep voice and rarely laughed. But then puppeteer Kevin Clash started working with the furry red creature. Clash, now the senior puppet coordinator and Muppet captain on Sesame Street, further developed Elmo's lovable personality and started providing his trademark voice. Over the past 25 years, Clash has transformed Elmo into one of the most recognizable characters on Sesame Street.

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10:05am

Thu December 15, 2011
Music Interviews

Reviving 'Songs For The Jewish-American Jet Set'

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 9:45 am

Idelsohn Society

Tikva Records was founded in 1947 as an independent Jewish record label. For the next 30 years, it would record an eclectic range of Jewish-American songs, including klezmer pop, cantorial singing, Catskills medleys and Israeli folk tunes.

Tikva Records folded in the late 1970s, but a number of singles on the label have been re-released by the Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding and preserving Jewish music through museum exhibits, concert showcases and reissues of lost Jewish classics and compilations.

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9:35am

Thu December 15, 2011
Author Interviews

Tracing Ballet's Cultural History Over 400 Years

This interview was originally broadcast on December 13, 2010. Apollo's Angels is now available in paperback.

It is ballet season, which means many companies are performing The Nutcracker for the holidays and preparing their big shows for the winter months. Everywhere you turn these days, you can see toe shoes — but there is a deep and fascinating history to the art form that few people know.

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3:51pm

Wed December 14, 2011
Books

Maureen Corrigan's Favorite Books Of 2011

This year-end list is dominated by fiction, but a couple of nonfiction titles also made the cut as well. Book critic Maureen Corrigan says that 2011 was a banner year for fiction — especially for several first-time novelists.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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7:57am

Wed December 14, 2011
Music Reviews

'Three Views' Of Trumpeter Dave Douglas

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 12:18 pm

Dave Douglas' Three Views box set collects three very different quintet albums, featuring So Percussion, his Brass Esctasy band and a group featuring Ravi Coltrane and Vijay Iyer.
Zoran Orlic

There's a nice contrast among the three quintets heard on Dave Douglas' Three Views, sketching out some of his interests. There's no overlapping repertoire or personnel. The Orange Afternoons session features the elastic rhythm trio of pianist Vijay Iyer, Linda Oh on bass and drummer Marcus Gilmore.

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6:24am

Wed December 14, 2011
Best Books Of 2011

Year-End Wrap-Up: The 10 Best Novels Of 2011

Priscilla Nielsen for NPR

This was a terrific year for fiction and a particularly strong year for first-time novelists. Some of the literary debutantes who glide through this "10 best" list are so young, their wisdom teeth probably haven't had time to become impacted yet. Majestically bringing up the rear of the procession are some much-decorated veterans whose sustained achievements in fiction should ensure that the young 'uns don't rest too comfortably on their laurels.

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9:39am

Tue December 13, 2011
Television

Louis C.K. Reflects On 'Louie,' Loss, Love And Life

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 10:37 am

Louis C.K. has written for The Late Show with David Letterman, The Chris Rock Show and Late Night with Conan O'Brien.
FX

In the FX TV series Louie, comic Louis C.K. plays a divorced father of two struggling to balance his comedy career with being a single dad. The show, which has just been picked up for a third season, is often based on events that have happened to C.K. in his own life.

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8:54am

Tue December 13, 2011
Technology

The Technology Helping Repressive Regimes Spy

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 3:43 pm

Software allows repressive governments to track and monitor the movements of dissidents.
iStockphoto.com

As protesters in the Middle East use social media to organize and communicate, the regimes they're battling are using sophisticated technology to intercept their emails, text messages and cellphone calls.

On Wednesday's Fresh Air, journalist Ben Elgin talks about a Bloomberg News series, "Wired for Repression," which details how Western companies are selling surveillance technology to regimes including Iran, Syria, Bahrain and Tunisia.

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10:37am

Mon December 12, 2011
Television

Michael C. Hall: Playing A Killer Role On 'Dexter'

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 12:39 pm

Michael C. Hall plays Dexter Morgan, a forensics expert for the Miami Police Department who harbors a deep secret: He's a serial killer who channels his murderous impulses by hunting other serial killers.
Showtime

On Dec. 18, the Showtime drama Dexter presents its sixth-season finale. The show stars Michael C. Hall — who played the repressed mortician David Fisher on HBO's Six Feet Under — as Dexter Morgan, a serial killer who kills other serial killers, and who also works for the Miami police as a blood-spatter expert.

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9:04am

Mon December 12, 2011
Fresh Food

Losing Virginity: Olive Oil's 'Scandalous' Industry

Originally published on Mon December 12, 2011 11:39 am

IFP iStockphoto.com

Extra-virgin olive oil is a ubiquitous ingredient in Italian recipes, religious rituals and beauty products. But many of the bottles labeled "extra-virgin olive oil" on supermarket shelves have been adulterated and shouldn't be classified as extra-virgin, says New Yorker contributor Tom Mueller.

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9:02am

Sat December 10, 2011
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: 'Test Kitchen,' Dustin Lance Black

Christopher Kimball offers several suggestions for making your fries deliciously crispy.
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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9:17am

Fri December 9, 2011
Movie Reviews

Spies Like Them: 'Tinker, Tailor' And Other Odd Ilk

Originally published on Fri December 9, 2011 11:28 am

Operative Jim Prideaux (Mark Strong) goes undercover in Hungary to find out more about a possible Russian spy within the U.K.'s secret intelligence agency.
Focus Features

Most people will find the first 20 minutes of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy difficult to follow — I did, and I've read John le Carre's novel and seen the haunting 1979 BBC miniseries starring Alec Guinness, although decades ago.

The movie is chopped up into short scenes featuring people we don't know working for a circus — what? — and for someone called "C," and talking about a woman called Karla? Meanwhile, the star, Gary Oldman, doesn't say a word for the first 18 minutes.

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8:21am

Fri December 9, 2011
Movie Interviews

Herzog's Doc Brings Prehistoric Paintings To Life

Anthropologist Nicholas Conard (left) and filmmaker Werner Herzog examine artifacts from the Chauvet caves in southern France.
Mark Valesella IFC Films

This interview was originally broadcast on April 20, 2011. The Cave of Forgotten Dreams is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.

In 1994, three French cave explorers discovered hundreds of prehistoric paintings and engravings on the walls of the Chauvet Cave in southern France.

Carbon dating has since shown that the depictions of rhinoceroses, lions, cave bears, horses, bison, mammoths and other animals are between 30,000 and 32,000 years old.

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8:00am

Fri December 9, 2011
The Fresh Air Interview

Fresh Air Remembers Soul Singer Howard Tate

Originally published on Sun February 5, 2012 5:28 pm

Soul singer Howard Tate died last Friday after a battle with cancer. He was 72.
Brian Branch-Price AP Photo

This interview was originally broadcast on October 27, 2003.

Soul singer Howard Tate, who rose to prominence in 1967 with the hit "Get It While You Can," died on Friday. He was 72.

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10:38am

Thu December 8, 2011
Music Reviews

The Black Keys: A Reinvention On 'El Camino'

Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 11:12 am

Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney released El Camino, their latest album as The Black Keys, earlier this week.
Courtesy of the artist

Careening into your ears like the theme to a bank-heist flick is "Lonely Boy," the first single from El Camino. Except the lyric tucked inside the roaring, curve-hugging melody isn't about anything so action-packed as robbing a bank or making a getaway. Instead, Dan Auerbach sings about stasis: "I got a love that keeps me waiting." And, being the sensible raucous rocker that he is, Auerbach is willing to wait out his love, because he knows in his heart that she's worth it.

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9:43am

Wed December 7, 2011
Fresh Food

Tried And True Tricks From 'America's Test Kitchen'

Want the perfect pie crust? Christopher Kimball from America's Test Kitchen says the secret is to substitute half of the recipe's water with vodka, for a dry, flaky crust.
iStockphoto.com

The mission of America's Test Kitchen is simple: to make "recipes that work." The syndicated PBS cooking show, hosted by Christopher Kimball, simplifies recipes in ways that home chefs can easily replicate with a fairly high degree of success.

Making sure amateur chefs can recreate recipes designed by professional chefs is of utmost importance, Kimball tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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9:50am

Tue December 6, 2011
Movie Interviews

Dustin Lance Black: Crafting The Story Of 'J. Edgar'

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 11:17 am

Leonardo DiCaprio plays J. Edgar Hoover in J. Edgar, a biopic written by Dustin Lance Black.
Warner Bros. Pictures

In the first part of his career, J. Edgar Hoover was often hailed as a hero. As a young man, he helped reorganize the cataloging system at the Library of Congress. Later on, after Hoover became the first director of the FBI, he introduced fingerprinting and forensic techniques to the crime-fighting agency, and pushed for stronger federal laws to punish criminals who strayed across state lines.

And he did all of this before 1940.

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9:09am

Tue December 6, 2011
Music Reviews

Thelonious Monk And More: 'Jazz Icons' In Kinescopes

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 12:18 pm

On the sixth Jazz Icons DVD series, Thelonious Monk plays a rare solo piano gig in 1969.
Erich Auerbach Getty Images

Jazz has long been a staple of European television programming. American musicians on tour frequently turn up on the tube, caught live or in a studio. That's partly because such shows are relatively cheap to produce, and because jazz makes for good cultural programming.

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9:43am

Mon December 5, 2011
Fine Art

At MoMA, A Look At De Kooning's Shifts In Style

Woman I (1950-52) is one of the works featured in de Kooning: A Retrospective. The exhibit is on display at the Museum of Modern Art through Jan. 9, 2012.
John Wronn Museum of Modern Art

In 2010, the Museum of Modern Art was criticized for its skimpy representation of the Dutch-American painter Willem de Kooning in its huge abstract expressionist show. The museum has now made up for that with an astounding de Kooning retrospective, the first of its kind: some 200 paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures that trace de Kooning's career beginning at age 12, when he was working for a graphic designer in his native Rotterdam and painting remarkable imitations of Cezanne, Picasso, Matisse, Miro and Gorky.

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9:34am

Mon December 5, 2011
Author Interviews

'Times' Advice Guru Answers Your Social Q's

When you're out with friends, put your cell phone away, advises New York Times advice columnist Philip Galanes.
iStockphoto.com

Need advice on when it's appropriate to break up with someone over email? Want to know how to react if your dinner companion whips out a cellphone midway through a meal? What about how to deal with your annoying relatives during the holidays?

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