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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10:56am

Thu August 25, 2011
Music Reviews

The 'Complete Mythology' Of Syl Johnson

Syl Johnson
Biz 3

Earlier this week, veteran soul singer Syl Johnson discovered that one of America's best-selling albums, Watch the Throne by Jay-Z and Kanye West, uses an unauthorized sample of one of his songs, "Different Strokes," credited to the Numero Group, which has put out a career-spanning collection of Johnson's work called The Complete Mythology.

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9:18am

Thu August 25, 2011
Author Interviews

After The Rapture, Who Are 'The Leftovers'?

Earlier this year, a California-based preacher named 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.

But what if the Rapture did actually occur? That's the premise of Tom Perrotta's latest novel, The Leftovers, which examines the aftermath of an unexplained Rapture-like event in which millions of people around the globe inexplicably disappear into thin air.

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8:53am

Thu August 25, 2011
Book Reviews

A Novel's Nuanced Take On Post-9/11 America

Amy Waldman was co-chief of the South Asia bureau of The New York Times. Her fiction has appeared in The Atlantic and the Boston Review.
Pieter M. van Hattem

The Submission is a gorgeously written novel of ideas about America in the wake of September 11th. It tackles subjects like identity politics, undocumented immigrants and the stress fractures of democracy. Maybe the most audacious question that's posed by Amy Waldman's debut novel, however, is the implicit one that lingers long after a reader finishes it: Namely, could it be that a decade after the attacks, America finally has the 9/11 novel — one that does justice, artistically and historically, to the aftershocks of that day?

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9:53am

Wed August 24, 2011
Movies

'Scarface': Over-The-Top, But Ahead Of Its Time

Critic John Powers says Al Pacino, who played Antonio Montana in the 1983 gangster film Scarface, gave a "performance the size of a Caribbean cruise ship."
Universal Studios

Back in school, I was always amused to read about classics that were dismissed when they first came out — you know, how Moby Dick wrecked Herman Melville's literary career or how The Wizard of Oz was considered a disappointment when it was first released. I naturally assumed that, had I been around back then, I wouldn't have missed the boat like that.

But that was before I became a critic and discovered that, over the years, you wind up with a pocketful of unused tickets from all the boats you've missed.

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9:20am

Wed August 24, 2011
Country

John Doe's New Album Is A Contemplative 'Keeper'

Courtesy of the artist

For a guy who started his career yelling over loud guitars in the great Los Angeles punk band X, John Doe has steadily become one of the warmest, most welcome voices in pop music. There's a beseeching quality to his singing that draws you in with curiosity: What's this guy's story? What's he thinking about? On Keeper, he is, generally speaking, in a contemplative mood, and his crooning is frequently lovely.

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10:15am

Tue August 23, 2011
Music Reviews

Two Experimental Rock Bands Stay True To Their Roots

Cheer-Accident.
Kerry Anne Kronke

The anti-pop element in rock 'n' roll began in the late '60s with groups like Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Henry Cow and continued right through the '90s with the likes of Nick Cave and Nine Inch Nails. All were compelled to make rock more noisy and intricate rather than catchy or sensual. The results have been mixed at best — far too many albums that appeal to true believers but feel distant, even alienating, to everyone else.

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8:50am

Tue August 23, 2011
Author Interviews

How The A&P Changed The Way We Shop

In 1938, A&P had more than 13,000 stores from coast to coast, like this one in Somerset, Ohio. Over the next four years, the company's transition to a new supermarket format would cut that store count in half.
Ben Shahn/Library of Congress

Walk into any big box grocery store today and you'll likely push your shopping cart past 30 varieties of condiments, 50 different cereals and a plethora of produce options. All of the items are clearly priced — and anything you might need for dinner, dessert or a snack is likely located in one of the aisles.

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9:29am

Mon August 22, 2011
Author Interviews

Alice Waters: 40 Years Of Sustainable Food

Alice Waters is the author of eight books, including The Art of Simple Food: Notes and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution.
Platon courtesy of the author

Four decades ago, restaurateur and food activist Alice Waters was at the forefront of the now flourishing locally grown, organic food movement. Her Berkeley-based restaurant, Chez Panisse, has become one of the most famous dining spots in America, known for changing its menu daily to reflect what's in season and for sourcing ingredients from local farmers.

But as a child, Waters almost never went to restaurants — and was extremely picky about what she'd actually put in her mouth.

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9:21am

Mon August 22, 2011
Music Reviews

Branford Marsalis And Joey Calderazzo: A 'Melancholy' Duo

Branford Marsalis (left) and Joey Calderazzo.
Stephen Sheffield Marsalis Music

Saxophonist Branford Marsalis and pianist Joey Calderazzo's Songs of Mirth and Melancholy is longer on the latter, taking cues from the brooding romantic music of 19th-century Europe. They play one Brahms song straight, with soprano sax taking the vocal line.

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3:56pm

Fri August 19, 2011
NPR Story

Fresh Air Weekend: Baseball, Bugs And Sly Stone

Clockwise from left to right: Brad Ausmus, Sly Stone, shining flower beetles.
David Zalubowski/AP Photo, Ace Records, Alex Wild Photography

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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3:28pm

Fri August 19, 2011
NPR Story

Rosanne Cash Interprets Her Father's Country 'List'

When Cash was 18, her father (you know him as Johnny) presented her with a gift: a list of 100 essential country songs to help the budding singer-songwriter connect with and better understand the music that came before her. Rosanne Cash decided to turn that gift into her album The List.

9:31am

Fri August 19, 2011
The Fresh Air Interview

Rosanne Cash Interprets Her Father's Country 'List'

Rosanne Cash
Rick Diamond Getty Images

This interview was originally broadcast on Oct. 5, 2009. Rosanne Cash's memoir Composed has just been released in paperback.

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10:00am

Thu August 18, 2011
Movie Reviews

Four Hours In 'Lisbon': A Rich And Dreamy Voyage

Pedro da Silva, an orphaned boy trying to uncover his family history, appears in two different incarnations in Mysteries Of Lisbon (including Afonso Pimentel as his older self). He stages all of the events of the film on his own puppet stage, forcing viewers to question what's real and what isn't.
Music Box Films

Chilean-born director Raoul Ruiz is 70 years old has made more than 100 films, only a few of which have been distributed in the U.S. — but he's beloved at festivals and in film studies programs everywhere. I've seen seven of his movies, and five struck me as less than meets the eye — not just difficult but pointlessly disorienting, the disjunctions like manic tics meant to break up the relationship between image and language.

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10:00am

Thu August 18, 2011
Music Reviews

Sly Stone: The Early Days In The East Bay

Ace Records

Rock historian Ed Ward listened to two releases compiling Sly Stone tracks, Love Is the Song We Sing (Rhino) and Listen to the Voices: Sly Stone in the Studio 1965-70 (Ace).

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9:24am

Thu August 18, 2011
Sports

Covering The Plate: A Baseball Catcher Tells All

Brad Ausmus has spent most of his career in a squatting position. As a major league catcher, he crouched behind home plate for roughly seven months a year, while playing with the San Diego Padres, the Detroit Tigers, the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

How did he practice for games? Even more squats.

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9:00am

Wed August 17, 2011
Music Reviews

Jeff Bridges: An Actor Who Can Actually Sing

Originally published on Wed August 17, 2011 10:05 am

Jeff Bridges.
EMI Music

In the movie Crazy Heart, Bad Blake was an alcoholic former star who'd slid to the bottom of the country-music industry. For his musical performances, Jeff Bridges affected a shrewd mixture of Waylon Jennings, Billy Joe Shaver and a breezy boozer. This approach was good enough to win an Oscar, but upon receiving a collection of songs called Jeff Bridges, I thought, would it be good enough to result in a decent album? The good news is that Jeff Bridges is not Bad Blake, in more ways than one.

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10:31am

Mon August 15, 2011
Book Reviews

Teens, Sex And Tech Tear A 'Beautiful Life' Apart

iStockphoto.com

I've been on a roll this summer reading and reviewing good novels about family crises — Rachel DeWoskin's Big Girl Small, Dana Spiotta's Stone Arabia, Kevin Wilson's The Family Fang.

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9:40am

Mon August 15, 2011
Author Interviews

'Sex On Six Legs:' When Insects Go Wild

A pair of flies mate on a leaf. Male damsel flies use all sorts of tricks to get females to use their sperm — and not the sperm of another male damsel fly — to fertilize their eggs.
Alex Wild

Everything you wanted to know about bug sex (but didn't bother to ask) is explained in a new book by insect expert Marlene Zuk. Sex on Six Legs: Lessons on Life, Love and Language from the Insect World, describes a world of small — but surprisingly sophisticated — insect behavior.

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9:19am

Mon August 15, 2011
Author Interviews

Learning Your Sister Is 'Someone Else's Twin'

Thirty-seven years ago, identical twins Begona and Delia were born at almost the same time as another infant named Beatriz in a hospital in the Canary Islands. Due to a hospital mistake, one of the twins was switched with Beatriz.

"This caused the single child [Beatriz] to grow up with the wrong set of parents and caused an unrelated pair of girls to grow up in a family thinking all their lives that they were fraternal twins," says Nancy Segal, a psychologist at California State University, Fullerton.

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8:30am

Sat August 13, 2011
NPR Story

Fresh Air Weekend: 'The Help,' '1493,' Hugh Herr

Clockwise from left to right: Hugh Herr, Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis, an illustration of Columbus' voyage.
Len Rubenstein/Crown Business, Dale Robinette/Dreamworks Pictures, 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:

Read more

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