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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10:11am

Mon September 26, 2011
Music Reviews

The Bangles Are Back, And Still Clever As Ever

Courtesy of the artist

When they started out at the beginning of the 1980s, The Bangles' members were never part of the Los Angeles punk scene that slightly predated them, with bands such as X, the Germs and the other significant all-girl bands of that era, The Runaways and The Go-Gos. The Bangles were always more interested in jangling guitar sounds, plaintive harmonies, catchy choruses and wistful melancholy.

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6:49am

Sat September 24, 2011
NPR Story

Fresh Air Weekend: Brad Pitt, Maurice Sendak

A Still from Bumble-Ardy
courtesy of Maurice Sendak

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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10:26am

Fri September 23, 2011
Author Interviews

'Moneyball': Tracking Down How Stats Win Games

This interview was originally broadcast on May 28, 2003. The film Moneyball, which is based on Michael Lewis' book, opens on Friday.

When Michael Lewis started researching his book, Moneyball, he had a simply question: How did the Oakland A's, a motley collection of baseball misfits and utility players with the second-lowest payroll in all of baseball, win so many games?

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6:23am

Fri September 23, 2011
Movie Reviews

'Moneyball': A 'Bad News Bears' For MBAs

Brad Pitt plays the former Oakland A's General Manager Billy Beane who revolutionized the recruiting analysis in major league baseball.
Melinda Sue Gordon ASSOCIATED PRESS

The film of Michael Lewis's game-changing nonfiction bestseller Moneyball is inside baseball, literally, but it wouldn't be so rousing if that were all it was. The book tells the story of Billy Beane, the General Manager of a small-market ball team, the Oakland Athletics. Heading into the 2002 season, he has a quarter the amount of money to pay players as the near-perennial champions the Yankees.

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10:28am

Thu September 22, 2011
Author Interviews

In 'Arabia,' Writing Life As You Wish You'd Lived It

Dana Spiotta's novel Eat the Document was a finalist for the 2006 National Book Award.
Jessica Marx

The career of guitarist Nik Worth never really took off. For four decades, he played in a few bands, almost got a few record deals and bartended part-time to pay the bills. His biggest fan and No. 1 groupie was his sister Denise, who grew up worshiping him and who always made sure he had an audience — and enough to eat.

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9:55am

Thu September 22, 2011
Movie Interviews

Brad Pitt: 'Moneyball,' Life And 'The Stalkerazzi'

Brad Pitt, left, plays Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A's, in the movie Moneyball. His assistant Peter Brand is played by Jonah Hill.
Melinda Sue Gordon Sony Pictures

Brad Pitt is aware that his portrayal of a baseball-team manager in the new film Moneyball is somewhat different from his previous roles. After all, the actor has played a Nazi-hunter, a vampire, a cowboy hitchhiker, a detective on the trail of a serial killer, the Greek warrior Achilles, a terrorist, an assassin and the outlaw Jesse James. He's ridden on horseback and dodged both flying glass and flying fists for physical roles in movies like Troy, Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Fight Club.

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9:36am

Thu September 22, 2011
Television

Some Familiar Faces Return To Fall TV Lineup

Ted Danson and Marg Helgenberger search for clues on the CBS drama CSI.
Sonja Flemming CBS

I'm well aware that most of the buzz this time of year goes to the new fall TV shows – and one of the passably watchable ones, ABC's Pan Am premieres this Sunday. But for the most part this fall, broadcast TV has been more interesting because of the older, more familiar elements – especially familiar faces who are returning to TV in new roles.

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9:58am

Wed September 21, 2011
Books

Love Longitude? 'Maphead' Locates Geography Buffs

A schoolgirl in Texas stands in front of a map in 1943.
The Library of Congress

Do you ever read an atlas for pleasure? If you go to a new city, can you imagine not knowing which way is north? Is it hard for you to imagine life without a map?

Then you might be a maphead, says trivia buff Ken Jennings.

"If there's a map on the wall of the room, people like us just cannot turn away," he tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "There's just something hypnotic about maps."

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9:43am

Wed September 21, 2011
Book Reviews

Roger Ebert: A Critic Reflects On 'Life Itself'

Pulitzer Prize-winning movie critic Roger Ebert works in his office at the WTTW-TV studios in Chicago in January 2011.
Charles Rex Arbogast AP Photo

You can divide famous people into two broad categories. Those who find fame a burden and those who take it like a tonic. Roger Ebert is one of the latter. That rarest of creatures — a film critic everyone knows — he really enjoys being Roger Ebert.

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6:00am

Wed September 21, 2011
Your Health

Becoming Mindful Of Medical Decision Making

Sean Locke iStockphoto.com

Whether making life-or-death decisions — or simply choosing a drug — we're flooded with information and conflicting advice. Doctors, the media, statistics, guidelines, family members and Internet strangers can all weigh in on the best medications to take or the most effective treatment options.

So how do you pick the best one?

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10:13am

Tue September 20, 2011
Book Reviews

'The Swerve': Ideas That Rooted The Renaissance

The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt.

The latest distress signal being sounded on the chat sites I share with my bookish friends is that IKEA is about to introduce an updated version of its classic BILLY bookcase — some 10 of which totter to overflowing in my own basement. Anticipating "the death of the book," IKEA has redesigned the good old BILLY with deeper shelves and glass doors, thus transforming it from a bookcase into a tchotchke cabinet.

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10:09am

Tue September 20, 2011
Author Interviews

'Confidence Men': Ron Suskind On White House Woes

Originally published on Tue September 20, 2011 9:00 am

President Obama meets with advisers at an economic meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, March 15, 2009. Participants include National Economic Council Director Larry Summers, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Council of Economic Advisers Chairwoman Christina Romer, senior adviser David Axelrod, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and adviser Gene Sperling.
Pete Souza White House

A new book by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind paints an unflattering picture of rivalries and dysfunction within President Obama's first economic team — rivalries that Suskind says then slowed the administration's response to the financial crisis.

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9:55am

Tue September 20, 2011
Author Interviews

This Pig Wants To Party: Maurice Sendak's Latest

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:24 am

Bumble-ardy, the latest from author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, is dark and deeply imaginative, much like his classic works Where the Wild Things Are and In The Night Kitchen.

Bumble-ardy is an orphaned pig, who has reached the age of 9 without ever having a birthday party. He tells his Aunt Adeline that he would like to have a party for his ninth birthday, so Aunt Adeline plans a quiet birthday dinner for two. But Bumble-ardy instead decides to throw a large costume party for himself after his aunt leaves for work — and mayhem ensues.

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9:28am

Mon September 19, 2011
Television

Aaron Paul: 'Breaking Bad' Dealer Isn't Dead ... Yet

Aaron Paul plays a meth-making drug dealer on the AMC drama Breaking Bad. He also played a recurring character on the HBO series Big Love.
Ursula Coyote AMC

Vince Gilligan's AMC drama Breaking Bad stars Bryan Cranston as a high school chemistry teacher named Walter White who turns to dealing drugs after being diagnosed with a terminal illness. White's partner-in-crime throughout the series is his former student Jesse Pinkman, played by actor Aaron Paul.

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9:28am

Mon September 19, 2011
Television

'Breaking Bad': Vince Gilligan On Meth And Morals

Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan received a BFA in film production from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. To make his meth-making drama realistic, Gilligan seeks guidance from chemists and former drug dealers.
Ursula Coyote AMC

The AMC drama Breaking Bad stars Bryan Cranston as Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher who has fallen into some financial trouble. When White learns he has terminal lung cancer, something inside him snaps, and he decides to use his familiarity with lab equipment to provide for his medical expenses as well as his family's future: He teams up with a former student, played by Aaron Paul, and starts dealing crystal meth.

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4:56am

Sat September 17, 2011
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: 'Justified' And 'Up All Night'

Clockwise from top: Margo Martindale in Justified; Will Arnett in Up All Night.
Prashant Gupta/FX; Trae Patton/NBC
  • "I'm David Bianculli...with Fresh Air Weekend..."

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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9:46am

Fri September 16, 2011
Author Interviews

Allison Pearson's 'Love' Letter To Keith Partridge

This interview was originally broadcast on Feb. 23, 2011. I Think I Love You is now available in paperback.

When writer Allison Pearson was growing up in Wales in the mid-1970s, she thought she knew exactly what it would take to woo David Cassidy, the teen idol who played Keith in The Partridge Family.

The color brown. And lots of it.

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4:33pm

Thu September 15, 2011
Movie Reviews

A Twisty, Brutal 'Drive' For A Level-Headed Hero

The Fast Lane: A Hollywood stunt driver (Ryan Gosling) earns a little extra by driving getaway cars by night.
Richard Foreman FilmDistrict

The hero of Drive is called "Driver" because that's what he does, and in a thriller this self-consciously existential, what he does is who he is.

He's played by Ryan Gosling as a kind of anti-blowhard. He's taciturn, watchful, cool. He works as a mechanic and sometimes a Hollywood driving stuntman. He also drives getaway cars with astonishing proficiency and a computer-like knowledge of L.A. surface streets, holding a matchstick between his teeth as if to keep his mouth from moving, and his feelings under wraps.

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8:00am

Thu September 15, 2011
The Fresh Air Interview

The Fresh Air Interview: Nick Lowe

Nick Lowe
Dan Burn-Forti

Nick Lowe's songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Elvis Costello, Solomon Burke and Diana Ross, to name just a few. But the English singer-songwriter, who wrote the hits "Cruel to Be Kind" and "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding," doesn't only write songs.

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10:11am

Wed September 14, 2011
Television

Arnett's Newborn Sitcom Keeps Him 'Up All Night'

Actor Will Arnett was recently nominated for an Emmy for his guest-starring role on 30 Rock. He has also appeared in several movies, including Blades of Glory, Semi-Pro, Ratatouille and Hot Rod.
Matt Sayles AP

On the new NBC sitcom Up All Night, actor Will Arnett plays a new dad who decides to put his law career on hold and stay at home with his newborn daughter while his wife, played by Christina Applegate, goes back to work.

Adjusting to being a dad on screen wasn't hard for Arnett, he says, mainly because he has two young kids at home. What was harder, he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, was explaining to his 2.5-year-old son what it meant to have a "TV wife" and "TV baby."

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