Fresh Air

News & Information: Mon-Fri • 3pm-4pm | 6pm-7pm
Terry Gross

A weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues featuring in-depth yet intimate conversations with top news makers. Interviews are complemented with contributions from well-known critics and commentators.

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Movie Reviews
10:52 am
Fri February 13, 2015

If You Strip The Bondage, '50 Shades' Is A Conventional Love Story

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Remembrances
10:52 am
Fri February 13, 2015

David Carr Called Himself 'Part Pirate, Part Thug' But Also 'A Decent Person'

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JPR Classics
11:17 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Schneider Quartet's Haydn Recordings Reissued

Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 10:35 am

Among the best loved recordings from the 1950s were 15 LPs of Haydn string quartets played by the Schneider Quartet. They originally appeared on the Haydn Society label, but were never reissued on CD until now. Fresh Air classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz has a review.

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Remembrances
10:35 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Fresh Air Remembers '60 Minutes' Correspondent Bob Simon

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Movie Interviews
10:35 am
Thu February 12, 2015

'Ida' Director Made Film To 'Recover The Poland' Of His Childhood

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Author Interviews
11:44 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Twice Kidnapped, Photographer Returns To War Zone: 'It's What I Do'

Lynsey Addario is a photojournalist who has worked in war zones for well over a decade.
Kursat Bayhan Courtesy of Penguin Press

Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 6:07 am

In March 2011, photojournalist Lynsey Addario was kidnapped in Libya while covering the fighting between dictator Moammar Gadhafi's troops and rebel forces. She was with Anthony Shadid, Tyler Hicks and Stephen Farrell in the town of Ajdabiya, all on assignment for The New York Times.

Looking back, Addario says she had a premonition that something bad would happen.

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Book Reviews
11:45 am
Tue February 10, 2015

Funny If It Weren't So True: A Farce About 'The Importance Of Beauty'

Amanda Filipacchi is also the author of the novels Nude Men, Vapor and Love Creeps.
Marion Ettlinger Courtesy of W. W. Norton & Company

Originally published on Tue February 10, 2015 1:54 pm

"Does this obituary make me look fat?"

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Politics
11:23 am
Tue February 10, 2015

David Axelrod Recounts His Years As Obama's Adviser And 'Believer'

President Obama talks with senior adviser David Axelrod at the airport in New Orleans following a meeting on the response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
Pete Souza The White House

David Axelrod recalls the first time he met Barack Obama in 1992 when they had lunch: "I was really impressed by him," he says.

The veteran political consultant was struck that Obama, who had been the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review and was highly sought after by big law firms, instead decided to put together a voter registration drive and practice civil rights law at a little firm in Chicago.

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Television
11:07 am
Tue February 10, 2015

New Comedy 'Schitt's Creek' From Canada Is A Reboot Of 'Green Acres'

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Movie Interviews
11:28 am
Mon February 9, 2015

From 'Batman' To 'Birdman,' Michael Keaton Knows Suits And Superheroes

In Birdman, Michael Keaton plays both the actor Riggan Thomson, who is having an identity crisis, and his alter ego, Birdman, who badgers him because he gave up a lucrative Hollywood career for a play in an old Broadway theater.
Courtesy of Fox Searchlight

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 5:59 am

In the existential comedy Birdman, Michael Keaton plays Riggan Thomson, a washed-up, insecure actor looking for a second shot at fame and success. He's entirely focused on himself. Keaton says this sort of narcissism — "that constant neediness and insecurity and whininess and me, me, me" — didn't come easily to him.

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Fresh Air Weekend
8:28 am
Sat February 7, 2015

Fresh Air Weekend: Bradley Cooper, Review Of 'Better Call Saul,' David Linden

Jonathan Banks (left) plays Mike Ehrmantraut, a former cop and a hit man, on the new AMC series Better Call Saul. He often carries out illegal instructions from Saul Goodman (right, played by Bob Odenkirk).
Ben Leuner Courtesy of AMC

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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Movie Reviews
10:18 am
Fri February 6, 2015

Second 'SpongeBob' Movie Is A Nonsensical, Loud, Choppy Triumph

Originally published on Fri February 6, 2015 10:43 am

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Television
10:18 am
Fri February 6, 2015

Bob Odenkirk Brings Some Laughs To 'Breaking Bad'

Originally published on Fri February 6, 2015 10:43 am

Lawyer Saul Goodman knows how to bend the law, or break it, depending on his clients' needs. Odenkirk talks about playing the comedic character, and the origins of Saul's comb-over.

Originally broadcast Aug. 6, 2013.

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Remembrances
12:23 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

Fresh Air Remembers Charlie Sifford, Who Broke Barriers In Golf

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Author Interviews
12:23 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

Novelist's 'Disgruntled' Heroine Is Drawn From Her Own Childhood

In 2007, Asali Solomon was named one of the National Book Foundation's "5 Under 35." Her previous book, Get Down, is a collection of short stories. She teaches English literature and creative writing at Haverford College.
Ron Nichols Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Growing up in West Philadelphia, novelist Asali Solomon felt like an outsider. "The lifestyle I was leading was different from what other people were leading," Solomon tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "Like, my parents taught us to revere Africa — people at school made fun of Africa."

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Music
10:46 am
Wed February 4, 2015

Lennie Tristano: Cool Reputation, Hot Jazz

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 10:52 am

Lennie Tristano had a cool, egghead reputation — Time called him the "Schoenberg of Jazz" — but he could play pretty hot. Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a newly released 1951 live recording by the pianist's sextet at Chicago's Blue Note club.

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Television
10:46 am
Wed February 4, 2015

'Better Call Saul,' The Prequel To 'Breaking Bad,' Stands On Its Own

On Better Call Saul, Bob Odenkirk plays Jimmy McGill, a fast-talking, struggling public defender who decides to remake himself as Saul Goodman, a lawyer specializing in representing unabashed criminals.
Ben Leuner Courtesy of AMC

Originally published on Fri February 6, 2015 1:35 pm

I'm guessing that the first thing fans of Vince Gilligan's Breaking Bad want to know is whether its AMC prequel series, Better Call Saul, premiering Sunday and Monday, is anywhere near as good as the original — which was TV at its very best. And I'm also guessing that people who haven't yet worked their way through Breaking Bad -- and, really, by now, why haven't you? — are wondering whether they can enjoy this new series without having absorbed the old one.

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Medical Treatments
10:46 am
Wed February 4, 2015

New Meds Block Heroin Craving, But Reporter Finds Treatment Centers Don't Use Them

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 10:52 am

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Music
10:51 am
Tue February 3, 2015

Bob Dylan Looks To The Ageless American Songbook

Bob Dylan's unusual new album Shadows in the Night consists of ten cover versions of standards from the American Popular Songbook including "Autumn Leaves" and "Some Enchanted Evening." Dylan is accompanied by a five-piece band on songs that usually use orchestral accompaniment, and the singer has said the recordings were done live in "one or two takes." Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker says Dylan both infuses the songs with his personality, while also allowing them to be heard anew.

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Shots - Health News
10:51 am
Tue February 3, 2015

Fingertips To Hair Follicles: Why 'Touch' Triggers Pleasure And Pain

David Linden is a professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and is a former chief editor of the Journal of Neurophysiology. He also wrote The Compass of Pleasure.
Jacob Linden Courtesy of Viking

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 1:39 pm

The rate at which someone strokes your hair can cause feelings of pleasure or annoyance — too slow is repulsive, too fast is annoying, and just right soothes.

There's a scientific explanation for this: People have special nerve endings (wrapped around the base of hair follicles) that detect the deflection of the hairs.

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