Fresh Air

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This one-hour program features Terry Gross' in-depth interviews with prominent cultural and entertainment figures, as well as distinguished experts on current affairs and news.
Updated: 1 hour 4 min ago

Pere Ubu's 'Carnival Of Souls' Is A Dreamscape That's Never Dreamy

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 2:42pm

Led since the late '70s by co-founder David Thomas, Pere Ubu has created something far more rich, experimental, and emotional than the spooky, horror-movie that Carnival of Souls is named for.

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'Madame Secretary' Pales In Comparison To 'The Good Wife'

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 2:42pm

The CBS dramas about women juggling family lives and high-intensity jobs showcase excellent acting. But while The Good Wife is one of the best shows on TV, Madam Secretary's writing is disappointing.

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The Long, Scary Journey From A 'Terrorist's Son' To A Peace Activist

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 2:39pm

Zak Ebrahim's father was convicted as a conspirator of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. For most of his life, Ebrahim lied to people about who his father was. His new memoir tells his story.

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As A Lyricist And Novelist, The Mountain Goats' Lead Man Writes About Pain

Wed, 09/17/2014 - 12:43pm

John Darnielle's novel, Wolf in White Van, is about a man who survives a trauma. The songwriter tells Fresh Air about his difficult childhood and finding shelter in music and the Incredible Hulk.

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'13 Days' Of High Emotion That Led To The Egypt-Israel Peace

Tue, 09/16/2014 - 1:23pm

Lawrence Wright's new book examines the 1978 peace deal President Carter brokered between Egypt and Israel. During the tense summit, Carter had "never been angrier," Wright says.

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'Fresh Air' Remembers Pulitzer-Prize Winning Editorial Cartoonist Tony Auth

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 12:14pm

Auth worked at the Philadelphia Inquirer for 41 years. He died Sunday at the age of 72. In 1988, Auth talked with Terry Gross about how the Reagan era marked a turning point for political cartoonists.

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Australian Comic Finds Humor In Humiliation For His Sitcom 'Please Like Me'

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 12:14pm

Josh Thomas, 27, stars in the show geared toward 20-somethings on the new cable channel Pivot. He talks about coming out to his dad via text message and dealing with his mom's suicide attempts.

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For Duo Tennis, Pop Is A Natural Language

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 9:06am

Can you re-invent lively pop from the distant past? Fresh Air music critic Milo Miles says the songwriting team Tennis does just that with their new third album, Ritual in Repeat.

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Futuristic 'Bone Clocks' Encompasses A Strange, Rich World Of Soul-Stealers

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 1:57pm

David Mitchell's latest fantasy is an odyssey into the dark side, spanning from 1984 to 2043. It's about a teenager who runs away from her London home and becomes prey to a ghastly gang of mystics.

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As 'Boardwalk Empire' Comes To Close, Creator Reminisces About How It Started

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 1:51pm

The HBO show began its final season Sunday. Terence Winter says he wrote the Prohibition-era drama in part to work with Martin Scorsese. It was "something I couldn't possibly ... pass up," he says.

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Islamic State Was Fueled By 'Epic American Failure In Iraq,' Reporter Says

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 12:37pm

The New York Times Baghdad bureau chief Tim Arango has been reporting from Iraq for five years and has watched the rise of the Islamic State militants. He gives Fresh Air his take on the situation.

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3 Roosevelts Come Alive In PBS Documentary, Ken Burns' Best Yet

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 11:59am

A 14-hour biography of Theodore, Eleanor and Franklin Delano starts Sunday. Actors including Paul Giamatti and Meryl Streep put on Emmy-worthy vocal performances reading from an Emmy-worthy script.

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How The Four Seasons Clashed, Dealt With The Mob And Made Lasting Hits

Tue, 09/09/2014 - 1:33pm

Bob Gaudio wrote most of The Four Seasons' hits, some of which are compiled in a new anthology. He tells Fresh Air about the band's history, including why its songs had some "anger" in them.

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In A Brilliantly Disorienting Film, A Teenager Is 'Starred Up' To An Adult Prison

Mon, 09/08/2014 - 12:45pm

The British drama depicts remarkable characters, including an angry teenager who meets two father figures behind bars. It's a prison film that's shattering beyond physical violence.

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How 'Gatsby' Went From A Moldering Flop To A Great American Novel

Mon, 09/08/2014 - 12:25pm

In So We Read On, Maureen Corrigan looks at the story behind The Great Gatsby, from F. Scott Fitzgerald's life to the era in which it's set. She says it's her favorite novel, but it wasn't always.

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Fresh Air Weekend: Neil Oxman, The New Pornographers, Dana Goldstein

Sat, 09/06/2014 - 10:54am

Neil Oxman, who has managed political ad campaigns, talks about what works and what doesn't; Ken Tucker reviews The New Pornographers' new album; Dana Goldstein talks about her book The Teachers Wars.

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With Age, Joan Rivers Learned To Say Anything: 'It Has Freed Me Totally'

Fri, 09/05/2014 - 2:28pm

The comedian died Thursday at the age of 81. Rivers talked with Fresh Air in 1991, 2010 and 2012 about how her comedy evolved — and why she didn't care what others thought of her.

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In Tenor Saxophonist Mark Turner's New Album, The Music Unfolds Like A Narrative

Thu, 09/04/2014 - 12:56pm

Turner's new quartet album Lathe of Heaven gets its name from Ursula K. LeGuin's novel. A lot of action happens at thoughtful medium tempos, and there's beautiful dissonance in the two-horn harmonies.

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Reporter Reflects On Obama's Stalled Effort to Close Guantanamo

Thu, 09/04/2014 - 12:56pm

New York Times' Charlie Savage visited the prison last month. He tells Fresh Air that it is decaying and exorbitantly expensive, but still holds 149 detainees who can't be sent anywhere else.

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In 'The Chair,' Two Filmmakers Make Movies From The Same Script

Thu, 09/04/2014 - 12:56pm

The new 10-episode reality show on Starz follows Anna Martemucci, a graduate of NYU film school, and Shane Dawson, who's been making YouTube videos for eight years. They compete for $250,000.

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