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Terry Gross

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Each week, nearly 4.5 million people listen to the show's intimate conversations broadcast on more than 450 National Public Radio (NPR) stations across the country, as well as in Europe on the World Radio Network.

Though Fresh Air has been categorized as a "talk show," it hardly fits the mold. Its 1994 Peabody Award citation credits Fresh Air with "probing questions, revelatory interviews and unusual insights." And a variety of top publications count Gross among the country's leading interviewers. The show gives interviews as much time as needed, and complements them with comments from well-known critics and commentators.

Fresh Air is produced at WHYY-FM in Philadelphia and broadcast nationally by NPR.

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Music
12:46 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

If Jim Lauderdale Is A Song, More People Should Hear It

Jim Lauderdale's new album is called I'm A Song, a title that suggests his deep
immersion in songwriting. His compositions have been covered by singers ranging from George Strait to Solomon Burke, from the Dixie Chicks to Elvis Costello. Since his debut album in 1991, he's recorded more than 25 albums for a variety of record companies, and I'm A Song contains a generous 20 songs. Rock critic Ken Tucker says Lauderdale's career is at once admirable and somewhat puzzling.

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The Salt
12:46 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Biologist Says Promoting Diversity Is Key To 'Keeping The Bees'

The decline of honeybees has been attributed to a variety of causes, from nasty parasites to the stress of being transported from state to state to feed on various crops in need of pollination.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 1:32 pm

Every year, more than half of the honeybee hives in the United States are taken to California to pollinate the state's almond crop.

Biologist Laurence Packer says this illustrates both our dependence on honeybees to pollinate many plants people rely on for food and the devastating decline in the domestic honeybee population in recent years.

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Television
12:46 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

'The Strain' And 'Extant' Play On Fears Of Forces Out Of Our Control

The threat is both viral and vampire in The Strain, a show about the sudden outbreak of a disease that kills most of its victims — then begins to mutate them into another species entirely.
Michael Gibson FX

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 2:02 pm

They say every generation gets the science fiction it deserves, built around its biggest and most primal fears. Well, maybe they don't say that — but they should. In the '50s, all those movies about mutant giant monsters going berserk were a way for us to channel our fears about the atomic bomb. In the same way, in that same decade, all those body-snatcher movies were about being unable to tell friend from foe, or trust even your closest loved ones — the perfect paranoid parable for the Communist witch-hunting era.

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Movie Reviews
3:17 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

'Violette' Evokes Exasperating Self-Pity, A Trait The French Like

In the new French film Violette, Emmanuelle Devos plays a fictionalized character based on Violette Leduc, the trailblazing French novelist.
Courtesy of Adopt Films

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 5:03 pm

Americans put a lot of stock in being likable. Pollsters take surveys of the president's likability. Test screenings check whether we like the characters in movies. And when a literary novelist like Claire Messud mocks the notion that fictional characters should be someone we'd like to be friends with, writers of popular fiction attack her for snootiness.

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All Tech Considered
3:00 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

The Hazards Of Probing The Internet's Dark Side

Journalist Brian Krebs spends time in the dark areas of the Internet, where hackers steal data off credit cards and sell the information in online underground stores. Krebs has learned computer code and how to get onto black market websites and cybercrime networks.
iStockphoto

Late last year, hackers breached Target's data security and stole information from millions of credit cards. Brian Krebs, who writes about cybercrime and computer security for his blog, Krebs on Security, broke the story. A few days later, he broke the story of a credit card breach at Neiman Marcus.

Krebs spends time in the dark areas of the Internet, where hackers steal data off credit cards and sell the information in online underground stores.

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Remembrances
11:20 am
Mon July 7, 2014

'Fresh Air' Remembers Actor Meshach Taylor

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. The actor Meshach Taylor died on June 28 at the age of 67. We're going to remember him by listening back to our 1990 interview. Taylor was best known for his role on the TV sitcom "Designing Women" playing Anthony Bouvier, an ex-convict who's a deliveryman for a company of women interior designers in Atlanta. He eventually became their partner in the company.

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Music
11:20 am
Mon July 7, 2014

The Westerlies Come On Home With Horvitz

The Westerlies is a quartet of young New York brass players who know each other from school days in Seattle. Their debut album is a set of pieces by Seattle-based composer and improviser Wayne Horvitz. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says Horvitz and the Westerlies are a perfect fit.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Remembrances
11:20 am
Mon July 7, 2014

'Fresh Air' Remembers Screenwriter Paul Mazursky

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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Fresh Air Weekend
9:44 am
Sat July 5, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: Joel McHale, 'Friendship,' And 'The Great Fish Swap'

Comedian Joel McHale spoke at the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner in May. He says everyone wanted to see his jokes ahead of time, but he likes keeping them a secret.
Olivier Douliery-Pool Getty Images

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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Music Interviews
1:35 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

In Big Bill Broonzy's Blues, Brothers Find A Way To Sing Together

Dave (left) and Phil Alvin.
Beth Herzhaft Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri July 4, 2014 2:05 pm

Dave and Phil Alvin have made their first full album together in nearly 30 years, a tribute to one of their early influences. "His persona was so big to me," Phil Alvin tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

Originally broadcast June 11, 2014.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Movie Reviews
12:14 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

In Charming Film 'Begin Again,' Music Can Save A Life

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Director John Carney had a surprise hit with his low-budget musical "Once." And he returns to the musical arena - this time in New York and not Dublin - with his new movie "Begin Again." Keira Knightley plays a heartbroken singer-songwriter who teams up with a down and out drunken producer played by Mark Ruffalo. Film critic David Edelstein has this review.

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Movie Interviews
12:14 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

'Life Itself': An Unflinching Documentary Of Roger Ebert's Life And Death

Roger and Chaz Ebert attended a benefit awards dinner in Chicago in October 2011. Just over a year later, Ebert agreed to be filmed for a documentary. And then his cancer returned.
Daniel Boczarski Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 2:05 pm

Roger Ebert was often considered the most famous film critic of his generation. Now filmmaker Steve James has produced a documentary about his life and death, called Life Itself.

In 2002, Ebert was diagnosed with cancer. Four years later, he had surgery to remove part of his lower jaw. It left him unable to eat, drink or speak. For the rest of his life, he was fed through a tube.

But his popularity seemed to only increase as he blogged and tweeted about films. Ebert loved movies and went out of his way to champion filmmakers he believed in — including James.

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Politics
12:50 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

As Supreme Court Term Ends, Journalist Examines Its Decisions

The Supreme Court term ended Monday. The New York Times correspondent and lawyer Adam Liptak talks with Fresh Air's Terry Gross about what the decisions reveal about the nine justices.

Book Reviews
12:49 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

'Friendship': A Startlingly Nice Novel By A Tough-Girl Blogger

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Our book critic, Maureen Corrigan, has a review of the new novel "Friendship" by Emily Gould who made her name in the blogosphere. A recent profile in the New York Times Sunday style section described Gould as a forerunner to Lena Dunham and other confessional female bloggers, writers and filmmakers or whom over-sharing has become an art form.

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Music
12:49 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Strand Of Oaks: Songs Heal All Wounds

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 8:49 am

If you're going to be downbeat, glum, or morose, it's best to do it the way Timothy Showalter does it. Which is, with an energy and purpose that doesn't contradict the melancholy, but rather frames it as various stories — studies in seriousness. He records under the name Strand of Oaks, he writes and performs nearly all of the music on this new album himself. It's titled Heal as in "healing a wound," something Strand of Oaks frequently seems in need of.

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All Tech Considered
1:36 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Do Feelings Compute? If Not, The Turing Test Doesn't Mean Much

Vertigo3d iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 2:20 pm

To judge from some of the headlines, it was a very big deal. At an event held at the Royal Society in London, for the first time ever, a computer passed the Turing Test, which is widely taken as the benchmark for saying a machine is engaging in intelligent thought. But like the other much-hyped triumphs of artificial intelligence, this one wasn't quite what it appeared. Computers can do things that seem quintessentially human, but they usually take a different path to get there.

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The Salt
1:36 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

'The Great Fish Swap': How America Is Downgrading Its Seafood Supply

Paul Greenberg says the decline of local fish markets, and the resulting sequestration of seafood to a corner of our supermarkets, has contributed to "the facelessness and comodification of seafood."
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 10:09 am

What's the most popular seafood in the U.S.? Shrimp. The average American eats more shrimp per capita than tuna and salmon combined. Most of that shrimp comes from Asia, and most of the salmon we eat is also imported. In fact, 91 percent of the seafood Americans eat comes from abroad, but one-third of the seafood Americans catch gets sold to other countries.

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Pop Culture
12:45 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Comedian Joel McHale Talks Dyslexia, Bad TV And Filming A Thriller

Comedian Joel McHale spoke at the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner in May. He says everyone wanted to see his jokes ahead of time, but he likes keeping them a secret.
Olivier Douliery-Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 8:19 am

Update: Since this story was published, Sony Pictures Television — which produces Communityannounced that Yahoo will be picking the show up for a sixth season. This story has been updated to reflect that development.

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Fresh Air Weekend
10:27 am
Sat June 28, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: Mary Gauthier, Miranda Lambert, The Women Behind 'Obvious Child'

Director Gillian Robespierre (left) co-wrote Obvious Child as a short film in 2009 with an empowered lead female in mind. Jenny Slate, who starred as Donna in the feature film, says she was excited about the role.
Courtesy of A24 Films

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:

Mary Gauthier De-Romanticizes Romantic Love: Trouble & Love is about a relationship that went bad. "I think that this is one where Mary finally gets the lesson," Gauthier tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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Remembrances
9:58 am
Fri June 27, 2014

'Fresh Air' Remembers Actor Eli Wallach

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 11:25 am

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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Author Interviews
9:58 am
Fri June 27, 2014

After The Rapture, Who Are 'The Leftovers'?

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 11:25 am

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm TV critic, David Bianculli, sitting in for Terry Gross. Our next guest, Tom Perrotta, is a novelist whose latest book, "The Leftovers," is being turned into an HBO series of the same name which premieres Sunday. Perrotta adapted it along with Damon Lindelof, one of the stars of ABC's "Lost." The story of HBO's "The Leftovers" is the same as in Perrotta's novel.

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Movie Reviews
9:58 am
Fri June 27, 2014

In The Mood For Apocalypse? Skip 'Transformers,' See 'Snowpiercer'

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 11:25 am

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Opening today, in many theaters, is the fourth in Michael Bay's "Transformer" series, "Transformers 4: Age Of Extinction." It's inspired by the Hasbro toys that turn mostly cars and trucks into robots. Another very different kind of apocalyptic, action movie that rolls out today is "Snowpiercer" by South Korean director Bong Joon-ho, who made the acclaimed giant monster film, "The Host." Film critic David Edelstein has these reviews.

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Movie Interviews
12:49 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

The Women Behind 'Obvious Child' Talk Farts, Abortion And Stage Fright

Director Gillian Robespierre (left) co-wrote Obvious Child as a short film in 2009 with an empowered female lead in mind. Jenny Slate, who stars as Donna in the feature film, says she was excited about the role.
Courtesy of A24 Films

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 2:16 pm

When director Gillian Robespierre co-wrote the new romantic comedy Obvious Child, she says she wanted to bring attention to an empowered, funny woman who has a realistic, safe abortion.

"We ... wanted to combine a lot of things that we felt our culture was suppressing," Robespierre tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

In the movie, Jenny Slate stars as Donna, a 27-year-old stand-up comic who still doesn't think of herself as an adult. After a drunken one-night stand, she finds out she's pregnant and decides to have an abortion.

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Book Reviews
12:09 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

'Most Dangerous Book': A Rich Treasury Charting James Joyce's 'Ulysses'

There are many heroes in the tale of how James Joyce's masterpiece, Ulysses, which was banned for over 10 years throughout the English-speaking world, finally won its long battle to be legally published, sold and read. Kevin Birmingham tells that extraordinary story in his new book about Ulysses, called The Most Dangerous Book.

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Music
12:09 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Lana Del Rey's 'Ultraviolence' Has A Firm Grasp On Pop History

Lana Del Rey is a figure of some controversy for her suggestive lyrics, and critical debate as to the extent of her vocal talent versus her talent for publicity. She recently caused a stir when she gave an interview in which she said, quote, "I wish I was dead already," and drew criticism from, among others, Kurt Cobain's daughter Frances Bean.

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Interviews
1:22 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Dexter Filkins On ISIS And The 'Bitter Consequences' Of The Iraq War

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 2:42 pm

The journalist who covered the war in Iraq, and its aftermath, details the militant Sunni Islamist group, the power it has in Iraq and Syria and how its war is destabilizing neighboring countries.

The Fresh Air Interview
12:02 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Mary Gauthier De-Romanticizes Romantic Love

"Music and books, I think, were the two things I trusted the most as a child," Mary Gauthier says.
Jack Spencer Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 12:28 pm

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History
1:14 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

50 Years Ago, Students Fought For Black Rights During 'Freedom Summer'

Fannie Lou Hamer was an activist who spoke out for black rights during Freedom Summer.
Courtesy of Ken Thompson/General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 2:50 pm

This summer marks the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer, a movement to open the polls to blacks in Mississippi and end white supremacy in the state.

Freedom Summer was organized by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, or SNCC, which recruited 700 college students — mostly white students from the North — to travel to Mississippi and help African-Americans register to vote. The organizers, the students and the black people trying to register were all risking their lives, a measure of how pervasive racism was at the time.

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Interviews
1:14 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

'Fresh Air' Remembers Writer And Middle East Scholar Fouad Ajami

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 12:49 pm

In 1988, Ajami spoke with Terry Gross about an essay he'd written about how political catastrophe came to Beruit, Lebanon, and how the city where he grew up became a land of cruelty and hatred.

Fresh Air Weekend
10:00 am
Sat June 21, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: John Oliver, Parquet Courts And Joshua Ferris

John Oliver's new political satire Last Week Tonight airs on HBO. Oliver says the network gives him an almost "confusing amount of freedom."
Eric Liebowitz Courtesy of HBO

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:

John Oliver Is No One's Friend On His New HBO Show: The comedian who was a correspondent on The Daily Show for 7 1/2 years now pokes fun on Last Week Tonight. Oliver talks about tasing his leg, temping for a thief and remaining an outsider.

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