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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11:41am

Mon August 29, 2011
Music Reviews

Wilhelm Furtwaengler: A Complex German Conductor

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 5:59 am

German conductor and composer Wilhelm Furtwaengler.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Note: Wilhelm Furtwangler's last name is typically spelled with an umlaut over the 'a' character. The npr website does not support characters with umlauts over characters. A variation of Furtwangler's name without the umlaut is spelled Furtwaengler.

Wilhelm Furtwaengler's name may be hard for Americans to pronounce, but the reason this great conductor isn't so well-remembered here is that he chose to remain in Germany during WWII, though he was never a member of the Nazi Party, and was exonerated by a postwar tribunal.

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9:33am

Mon August 29, 2011
Fresh Food

Brad Bird, Patton Oswalt On Cooking Up 'Ratatouille'

Patton Oswalt is the voice behind Remy the rat, hero of Ratatouille, who likes his cheese avec des oeufs.
Disney/Pixar

This interview was originally broadcast on June 28, 2007.

In 2007, director Brad Bird and actor Patton Oswalt joined Fresh Air's Terry Gross to talk about their film Ratatouille, Pixar's animated comedy about a foodie rat who becomes a chef in a top Paris kitchen.

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8:24am

Mon August 29, 2011
Fresh Food

Grant Achatz: The Chef Who Couldn't Taste

Alinea's version of pheasant, served with shallot, cider gel and burning oak leaves.
Lara Kastner Alinea

This interview was originally broadcast on March 3, 2011.

A typical 23-course meal at Chicago's Alinea restaurant might include olive oil lollypops, sweet potatoes skewered by smoking cinnamon sticks, strips of bacon hanging from a stainless steel bow, and pheasant tempura-fried with apple cider, impaled on a flaming oak leaf.

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7:48am

Sat August 27, 2011
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: WWI, Tom Perrotta, Rock Music

Clockwise from left to right: cover art for The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta, Battles, cover art for To End All Wars by Adam Hochschild.
St. Martin's Press, courtesy of the artist, Houghton Mifflin

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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9:47am

Fri August 26, 2011
Remembrances

Jerry Leiber: Remembering One Of Rock's Great Songwriters

Jerry Leiber (right) looks over Elvis Presley's shoulder at the sheet music for "Jailhouse Rock" in Los Angeles in 1957. His songwriting partner Mike Stoller stands to the left.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Jerry Leiber, who wrote some of pop music's most memorable lyrics with his partner Mike Stoller, died Monday. He was 78.

Leiber wrote the lyrics to many of the greatest hits in rock history, including "Hound Dog," "Jailhouse Rock," "Yakety Yak," "Stand By Me" and "Kansas City," which was recorded by almost 100 singers, including The Beatles, Sammy Davis Jr., James Brown and The Everly Brothers.

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8:07am

Fri August 26, 2011
Movie Interviews

Two Slackers, A Roadtrip And An Alien

Comic book nerd Graeme Willy (Simon Pegg) encounters an alien (voiced by Seth Rogen) after traveling to America for Comic-Con.
Double Negative/Universal Pictures

This interview was originally broadcast on March 17, 2011. Paul is now available on DVD.

Two English slackers road-trip across the U.S. with a vertically challenged alien in the new sci-fi comedy Paul — a project from director Greg Mottola , the indie-film hotshot behind Superbad and Adventureland.

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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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