Fresh Air on WUTC

Weekdays, Noon - 1pm
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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11:16am

Tue September 11, 2012
Music Reviews

Bob Dylan's Baffling And Sometimes Beautiful 'Tempest'

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 2:48 pm

Bob Dylan's Tempest features 10 new songs with many feisty, baffling, sometimes beautiful moments.
Courtesy of the artist

Bob Dylan made the rare mistake of talking about his creative process shortly before the release of Tempest. He told Rolling Stone that he'd originally wanted to write a collection of what he called "religious songs," saying, "That takes a lot more concentration to pull that off — 10 times with the same thread than it does with a record like I ended up with." Which means that either his powers of concentration failed him, or he became distracted by other themes, topics and moods.

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1:41pm

Mon September 10, 2012
Television

Andrew Rannells: Gay And Serious In 'New Normal'

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 11:23 am

Andrew Rannells plays Bryan Buckley, a successful TV show producer and writer, in the new comedy The New Normal.
Frederick M Brown/Getty Images

After Andrew Rannells pitched himself for a starring role in NBC's The New Normal, the show's creator didn't call for a month.

"I was like, 'Oh my God, I've completely overstepped — I've over-Oprah-ed this,' " Rannells tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I've ruined my chances of working with this man because I was too bold."

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1:22pm

Mon September 10, 2012
Music Reviews

The Forgotten Story Of Memphis' American Studios

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 1:41 pm

"Son of a Preacher Man" was Dusty Springfield's debut on Atlantic. The entire album that spawned it, Dusty in Memphis, was recorded at American Studios.
Stan Meagher Getty Images

Memphis has been a music town since anyone can remember, and it's had places to record that music since there have been records. Some of its studios — Sun, Stax and Hi — are well-known, but American Studios produced its share of hits, and yet it remains obscure. But that's all likely to change with Memphis Boys: The Story of American Studios, both a book and a CD out now.

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12:03pm

Sat September 8, 2012
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Feathers, Cellphones As Trackers

Thor Hanson's own cast of Archaeopteryx lithographica presents what he calls the "ancient wing written in stone."
Thor Hanson Basic Books

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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1:55pm

Fri September 7, 2012
Music Interviews

Fresh Air Remembers Grammy Winner Hal David

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 5:23 pm

Burt Bacharach with Hal David (right).
Lawrence Lucier Getty Images

1:21pm

Fri September 7, 2012
Movie Reviews

'Bachelorette' Sounds Dark Comedic Depths

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 1:55 pm

Party Animals: Lizzy Caplan (from left), Isla Fisher and Kirsten Dunst play the brazen bridesmaids who make trouble for bride-to-be Becky (Rebel Wilson) in Bachelorette.
Radius-TWC

Long before Bridesmaids convinced studio executives that a raunchy, female-centric comedy could find a huge audience, Leslye Headland was busy adapting her play Bachelorette into a movie. So this isn't a copycat rom-com, but the themes do overlap. Each film turns on a female rivalry: In Bridesmaids, it's between the maid of honor, Kristen Wiig, and the bride's rich friend, played by Rose Byrne. In Bachelorette, the rivalry is more complicated, more ... ugly. It's between the three, 30-ish, unmarried central characters and the bride.

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2:49pm

Thu September 6, 2012
Interviews

Advocate Fights 'Ambient Despair' In Assisted Living

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 12:31 pm

Most residents in assisted living facilities are in their 80s and 90s and arrive after a traumatic event, according to Martin Bayne, who writes about long-term care reform.
iStockphoto.com

Martin Bayne entered an assisted living facility at 53 after he was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson's disease. The disease affected his nerves so severely, it was impossible for him to take a shower and get dressed by himself.

"When I was in my 40s, I was physically fit and very active," Bayne tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "And to have to give all that up and stay in a wheelchair now and be helped by so many people to do the simplest of things — it takes a little getting used to."

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2:31pm

Thu September 6, 2012
Technology

Why Your Cell Phone Could Be Called A 'Tracker'

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 12:29 pm

Many people use cellphones for purposes other than making calls. "If we call them trackers, then we're doing a much better job of informing ourselves what these devices are actually doing, and what we're really using them for," says ProPublica investigative reporter Peter Maass.
iStockphoto.com

Your cellphone is a tracking device collecting a lot more information about you than you may think, says ProPublica investigative reporter Peter Maass.

"They are collecting where we are — not just at one particular moment in the day, but at virtually every moment of the day," Maass tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "They are also taking note of what we are buying, how we're purchasing it, how often we're purchasing it."

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12:14pm

Thu September 6, 2012
Music Reviews

Harmony, Teenagers And 'The Complete Story Of Doo-Wop'

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 12:31 pm

Vocal groups like The Ink Spots went on for decades, often without a single member of the original group appearing with them.
Fred Ramage Getty Images

3:33pm

Wed September 5, 2012
Economy

Journalist Evaluates Obama, Romney Economic Plans

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 5:39 pm

David Leonhardt, the Washington bureau chief of The New York Times, won a Pulitzer Prize last year for his columns about the economy.
Earl Wilson The New York Times

On Monday, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan told a campaign rally audience in North Carolina that "the president can say a lot of things, but he can't tell you you are better off." Later that day in Detroit, Vice President Joe Biden responded "America is better off today than they left us."

New York Times Washington bureau chief David Leonhardt argues that both Ryan and Biden are right: It's partly semantics.

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3:33pm

Wed September 5, 2012
Book Reviews

Was Zadie Smith's Novel 'NW' Worth The Wait?

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 3:37 pm

British author Zadie Smith in 2005.
Sergio Dionisio AP

Zadie Smith wrote her last novel On Beauty seven years ago — a long time in the anxious world of publishing. Her new novel NW was released in the U.S. on Monday. Critic Maureen Corrigan asks: Was it worth the wait?

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

2:15pm

Tue September 4, 2012
Author Interviews

Mickey Edwards On Democracy's 'Cancer'

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 2:48 pm

Mickey Edwards served as a Republican congressman for Oklahoma's 5th Congressional District from 1977 to 1993.
Gia Regan Yale University Press

In his 16 years in Congress, Republican Mickey Edwards came to a strong conclusion: Political parties are the "cancer at the heart of our democracy," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

In his new book, The Parties Versus the People, the former Republican congressman from Oklahoma details how party leaders have too much control over who runs for office, what bills make it to the floor and how lawmakers vote.

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1:39pm

Tue September 4, 2012
Author Interviews

Conservation Biologist Explains Why 'Feathers' Matter

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 2:11 pm

Thor Hanson's own cast of Archaeopteryx lithographica presents what he calls the "ancient wing written in stone."
Thor Hanson Basic Books

It was the absence of feathers that got conservation biologist Thor Hanson thinking about the significance of them. Hanson was in Kenya studying the feeding habits of vultures, and he noticed the advantages that vultures had relative to other birds because of their bare, featherless heads.

"Having lost their feathers allows [vultures] to remain much cleaner and more free from bacteria and parasites and disease," Hanson tells Fresh Air contributor Dave Davies.

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12:38pm

Tue September 4, 2012
Music Reviews

When Ian Hunter Is 'President'

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 3:54 pm

Ian Hunter once is at once crafty and mindful of craft, striving mightily to make his music seem tossed off.
Ross Halfin

Recently, I was listening to a new tribute album covering the songs of Fleetwood Mac, and thought once again how dreadful most tribute albums are: They don't add much to the legacy of the artists being saluted, while inadvertently freezing vital old music in an amber of sentimentality. Then I turned to When I'm President, an album of new songs by Ian Hunter.

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12:03pm

Mon September 3, 2012
Music Reviews

Miguel Zenon And Laurent Coq Play 'Hopscotch'

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 2:57 pm

Miguel Zenon.
Courtesy of the artist

The new quartet album by alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón and pianist Laurent Coq is called Rayuela, which means "hopscotch." It's named for Julio Cortázar's novel, the fragmented tale of a wandering bohemian and his social circles in Parisian exile, as well as back home in Buenos Aires.

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