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.

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Books
1:02 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

10 Years Later, Mystery Heroine 'Maisie Dobbs' Gains New Life

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 3:02 pm

If you asked mystery fans to name the most important novel of the past decade, most would say The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo — and they'd be right. In fact, Stieg Larsson's complete Millennium series, flanked by hordes of Nordic noirs by the likes of Henning Mankell, Camilla Lackberg and Jo Nesbo, have overrun the ranks of hard-boiled detective fiction, imbuing it with their distinctive strain of brittle dialogue and chill fatalism.

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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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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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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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Movie Reviews
2:51 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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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 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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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.

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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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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All Tech Considered
1:46 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
1:46 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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