Fresh Air

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Fresh Air is a Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues hosted by Terry Gross. 

Gross gives interviews as much time as needed, and complements them with comments from well-known critics, commentators and more.

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:

Alabama Shakes' Brittany Howard On Small-Town Life, Big-Time Music: Howard was raised on her father's junkyard in the small town of Athens, Ala. "It was a really interesting way to grow up," she tells Fresh Air.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Given the recent expression of anger about the lack of racial diversity in American cinema, it's nice to be able to tell you about Jay Dockendorf's very fine indie feature Naz & Maalik, in which the title characters are African-American teenage boys who also happen to be devout Muslims who also happen to be gay.

That's three outsider perspectives, which is a lot even for an indie. But the point is not representation for its own sake. The triple layer of alienation from mainstream culture makes for an excitingly fresh slant.

Carol Burnett: The 'Fresh Air' Interview

Jan 29, 2016
Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF JOE HAMILTON SONG, "CAROL'S THEME")

Brittany Howard, the lead singer, songwriter and guitarist with Alabama Shakes, says she still remembers the day she decided to start a band. She was 11 or 12 and attending a concert in her school gym put on by some classmates (including future Alabama Shakes guitarist Heath Fogg).

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

While researching the book Cure, science writer Jo Marchant wanted to understand how distraction could be used to nullify pain, so she participated in a virtual reality experiment.

During the first part of the experiment, Marchant sat, without distraction, with her foot in a box of unbearably hot water. "It felt like a very intense burning pain on my foot when I just experienced it on its own," Marchant tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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:

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

When The X-Files appeared on TV in the 1990s, there really hadn't been anything quite like it on TV for a long time. The Twilight Zone, with its monsters and flying saucers and anything-goes mentality, was an obvious inspiration and precursor. But investigations of unusual or unearthly phenomena, dramatized in a weekly series in ways that could be scary or funny, or both? As TV shows go, that's about as rare a sighting as Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster.

Danny Bowien, the founder of the Mission Chinese Food restaurants, didn't grow up cooking Chinese cuisine. Born in South Korea, then adopted by a family in Oklahoma, Bowien was already an adult living in San Francisco when he decided to learn how to cook Sichuanese fare, known for its bold, pungent, spicy flavors.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Pete Wells has a job that most people can only dream of. As restaurant critic for The New York Times, he gets paid to eat out four or five nights a week — often at quite pricey places — on someone else's dime.

But for Wells, going out for drinks and delectable meals is still work. He tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies that coming up with words to describe flavors is something he "wrestles with all the time."

A 2014 report by the United Nations estimates that tens of millions of people in the world are currently enslaved. Most of them are in the developing world, where they work in mines, quarries or shrimp farms for no money and without hope of escape.

"Slavery is the complete control of one person by another, and violence is used to maintain that control in all forms of slavery," author Kevin Bales explains to Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "The adults in that situation know that if they attempt to leave, they may be killed."

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

In January 2015, at a private conference in Palm Springs, Calif., the political network led by conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch announced plans to spend $889 million in the 2016 elections. The organization consists almost entirely of groups that don't register under the campaign finance laws and therefore don't publicly identify their donors.

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