Fresh Air

Weekdays from 11:00 a.m. to noon and from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
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Television
11:14 am
Thu January 5, 2012

Brownstein And Armisen's Comedic Take On Portland

Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen film their sketch-comedy show Portlandia in the summer, when Armisen is on hiatus from Saturday Night Live. During the rest of the year, they communicate through constant text messages, says Armisen.
Chris Hornbecker IFC

Soon after Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen became friends, they started making sketch-comedy videos.

"We would email a link ... to our friends, but they were mostly for us," says Brownstein. "It was very understated and silly, and we were just sort of reveling in the absurd."

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Music Reviews
10:36 am
Thu January 5, 2012

On 'Back To Love,' Hamilton Makes Every Syllable Count

Anthony Hamilton.
Courtesy of the artist

On Back to Love, Anthony Hamilton makes music from declarations. He tells a woman "I'm missing you crazy" in "Who's Loving You," and it's typical of his strategy. He states his thesis, his opinion, his desire in a voice that speaks as much as it sings for the sake of emphasis. After he's sure he's gotten his lover's attention, he begins doing his rhythm-and-blues work, mixing soul and blues and hip-hop phrasing to heighten the emotion in a song.

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Television
9:59 am
Wed January 4, 2012

Pamela Adlon: From 'Hill' Kid To 'Californication'

Pamela Adlon plays Marcy Runkle on Showtime's Californication. This season, her character is going through what she describes as a "sexual renaissance."
Jordin Althaus Showtime

Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 10:51 am

When Pamela Adlon meets her daughters' middle-school-aged friends, she asks them nicely not to watch Californication, the show she's starred in for the past five seasons.

"I say, 'I'd appreciate if you don't watch my show and you don't Google me,' " she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

But Adlon, who plays the brash, unapologetic, sexually charged Marcy Runkle on the Showtime series, says she knows that's not going to stop anyone.

"I am not embarrassed," she says. "I know they Google me."

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Book Reviews
10:59 am
Tue January 3, 2012

'Diaries' Reveals New York Through The Ages

New York Diaries captures impressions of the city from Henry Hudson to the bloggers watching the events of Sept. 11.
istockphoto.com

Most everyone's spirits are a bit deflated after the holidays. So, as a literary antidote, I recommend a just-published anthology called New York Diaries: 1609 – 2009. Editor Teresa Carpenter has collected four centuries worth of diary excerpts written by people, great and small, who've lived in or just passed through one of the greatest cities in the world.

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Author Interviews
9:40 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Stephen Hawking: Exploring An 'Unfettered Mind'

Palgrave Macmillan

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 11:09 am

Make a list of the world's most popular scientists, and Stephen Hawking's name will be near or at the very top of the list.

Hawking, the author of A Brief History of Time and a professor at the University of Cambridge, is known as much for his contributions to theoretical cosmology and quantum gravity as for his willingness to make science accessible for the general public, says science writer Kitty Ferguson.

"It's not dumbing down [science]; it's really making it accessible, hopefully, to a lot of people," she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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The Best Of Fresh Air 2011
2:41 am
Mon January 2, 2012

Louis C.K. On Life, Loss, Love, And 'Louie'

Louis C.K. has written for The Late Show with David Letterman, The Chris Rock Show and Late Night with Conan O'Brien.
FX

This week on Fresh Air, we're marking the year's end by revisiting some of the most memorable conversations we've had in 2011. This interview was originally broadcast on December 13, 2011.

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The Best Of Fresh Air 2011
2:34 am
Mon January 2, 2012

Seth MacFarlane: A 'Family Guy' Sings Out

Family Guy has received three Primetime Emmy Awards. The series, set in Quahog RI, stars the Griffin family and their pet dog Brian.

FOX

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 11:46 am

This week on Fresh Air, we're marking the year's end by revisiting some of the most memorable conversations we've had in 2011. This interview was originally broadcast on October 17, 2011.

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The Best Of Fresh Air 2011
2:58 am
Sat December 31, 2011

Fresh Air Weekend: The Critics' Best Of 2011 Lists

Larry David returned for an eighth season of Curb Your Enthusiasm this year. David Bianculli called his show "one of the funniest and [most] daringly different shows ever made for TV."
HBO

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 9:14 am

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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The Best Of Fresh Air 2011
10:24 am
Fri December 30, 2011

South Park Creators Talk 'Book Of Mormon'

The Book of Mormon features music and lyrics by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone and plays at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre in New York City.
John Marcus Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 10:25 am

This week on Fresh Air, we're marking the year's end by revisiting some of the most memorable conversations we've had in 2011. This interview was originally broadcast on May 19, 2011.

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The Best Of Fresh Air 2011
2:25 am
Fri December 30, 2011

Stephen Colbert: A 'Company' Man On Broadway

Stephen Colbert and Martha Plimpton perform a song from Company on stage during the 65th annual Tony Awards.
Andrew H. Walker Getty Images

This week on Fresh Air, we're marking the year's end by revisiting some of the most memorable conversations we've had in 2011. This interview was originally broadcast on June 14, 2011.

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The Best Of Fresh Air 2011
7:02 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Buddying Up To 'Follies' Star Danny Burstein

Danny Burstein, as Buddy Plummer, performs "Buddy's Blues," the high-energy song-and-dance number at the end of Follies, with Jenifer Foote (left) and Kiira Schmidt.
Joan Marcus

Originally published on Thu December 29, 2011 10:49 am

This week on Fresh Air, we're marking the year's end by revisiting some of the most memorable conversations we've had in 2011. This interview was originally broadcast on November 28, 2011.

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The Best Of Fresh Air 2011
6:50 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Maurice Sendak: On Life, Death And Children's Lit

courtesy of the author

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:10 am

This week on Fresh Air, we're marking the year's end by revisiting some of the most memorable conversations we've had in 2011. This interview was originally broadcast on September 20, 2011.

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The Best Of Fresh Air 2011
7:20 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Gillian Welch & David Rawlings: The Fresh Air Interview

The Harrow and the Harvest is the first new album from Gillian Welch and David Rawlings since 2003.
Mark Seliger Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 6:37 pm

This week on Fresh Air, we're marking the year's end by revisiting some of the most memorable conversations we've had in 2011. This interview was originally broadcast on July 18, 2011.

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The Best Of Fresh Air 2011
7:51 am
Tue December 27, 2011

Aaron Paul: Playing Bad On 'Breaking Bad'

Aaron Paul plays a meth-making drug dealer on the AMC drama Breaking Bad. He also played a recurring character on the HBO series Big Love.
Ursula Coyote AMC

Originally published on Tue December 27, 2011 9:18 am

This week on Fresh Air, we're marking the year's end by revisiting some of the most memorable conversations we've had in 2011. This interview was originally broadcast on September 19, 2011.

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The Best Of Fresh Air 2011
7:49 am
Tue December 27, 2011

Margo Martindale: A 'Justified' Backwoods Matriarch

Margo Martindale is Mags Bennett, a charmingly villainous moonshiner in the FX series Justified. For her performance, Martindale drew on her roots in East Texas and Kentucky. "It's all part of my makeup. It's something I really understand," she says.
Prashant Gupta FX

Originally published on Tue December 27, 2011 9:39 am

This week on Fresh Air, we're marking the year's end by revisiting some of the most memorable conversations we've had in 2011. This interview was originally broadcast on September 12, 2011.

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The Best Of Fresh Air 2011
10:15 am
Mon December 26, 2011

Jimmy Fallon's 'Thank You Notes' For Everything

Jimmy Fallon says he spends almost 12 hours each day at the Late Night offices, which makes the rest of his life difficult. "If I want to play video games now, I have to schedule it," he tells Terry Gross.
Virginia Sherwood NBC

Originally published on Mon December 26, 2011 10:18 am

This week on Fresh Air, we're marking the year's end by revisiting some of the most memorable conversations we've had in 2011. This interview was originally broadcast on May 23, 2011.

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The Best Of Fresh Air 2011
8:11 am
Mon December 26, 2011

Waits: Paying Homage To Outcasts On 'Bad As Me'

Tom Waits.

Jesse Dylan

This week on Fresh Air, we're marking the year's end by revisiting some of the most memorable conversations we've had in 2011. This interview was originally broadcast on October 31, 2011.


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Fresh Air Weekend
11:34 am
Sat December 24, 2011

Fresh Air Weekend: Trent Reznor, Elmo

Elmo and Clash, on the Sesame Street set in 2006.
Richard Termine Sesame Workshop

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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The Fresh Air Interview
9:54 am
Fri December 23, 2011

Singer Darrell Scott Reflects On His Father's Death

Darrell Scott released his father Wayne's first album in 2006. Wayne also wrote two of the songs on Darrell's forthcoming album, Long Road Home.
Scott Simontacchi Thirty Tigers

Originally published on Fri December 23, 2011 10:23 am

Country singer-songwriter Darrell Scott grew up playing with his father, Wayne, and helped his father release a debut album at age 71. They continued to collaborate in recent years.

Last month, Darrell was in Texas in between gigs when he learned that his father had died in a car accident.

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Holiday Music
12:42 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

Some Christmas Tunes From Rebecca Kilgore And Pals

Originally published on Fri December 23, 2011 10:24 am

This interview was originally broadcast on December 19, 2005.

In time for the holidays, Fresh Air presents an in-studio concert. Singer Rebecca Kilgore, trombonist Dan Barrett and pianist Rossano Sportiello played at the NOLA studios in Manhattan.

Kilgore is one of the leading interpreters of American songs. She became known for her work with pianist and composer Dave Frishberg.

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Holiday Music
9:31 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Hugh Martin's 'Hidden Treasures' Explored

The late Hugh Martin wrote the Christmas standard, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."
The Musical Theater Project

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 10:42 am

The late songwriter Hugh Martin wrote "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" for Judy Garland's 1944 movie Meet Me in St. Louis, along with dozens of other songs for MGM and Broadway musicals.

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Movie Reviews
5:00 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Flicks, Picked (Redux): Edelstein's 2011 Top 10 Films

In Beginners — based on director Mike Mills' life--Oliver (Ewan McGregor) finds out his father is gay, and has denied himself throughout his married life. After coming out, Oliver's dad becomes physically and spiritually transformed.
Focus Features

Fresh Air's film critic David Edelstein says 2011 was the kind of year without a list-topping film.

"There's no best film this year," says Edelstein. "This is in alphabetical order because I liked all these movies, I loved some of them, but I just couldn't pick a best. It wasn't that kind of year."

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Music Reviews
11:09 am
Wed December 21, 2011

El Rego: A Singer From Benin With Soul And Funk

El Rego, the godfather of Benin funk, and his band The Commandos.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed December 21, 2011 11:16 am

It may seem counter-intuitive, but the history of world music proves that unfamiliar instruments and rhythms cross borders much more readily than vocal styles. There's no question that, starting in the late '60s, soul and then funk became very popular in sub-Saharan Africa. Decades of reissues show that a lot of players found their way into electric guitar, and that enriching the big beat of the West was a cinch for African percussionists.

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Book Reviews
1:03 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

The Story Of The Chitlin' Circuit's Great Performers

Cover detail

During the years before the Civil Rights movement got underway, segregated American cities helped give birth to a touring circuit that provided employment for hundreds of black musicians and eventually brought about the birth of rock 'n' roll. Today, rock historian Ed Ward looks at two books, Preston Lauterbach's The Chitlin' Circuit and the Road to Rock 'n' Roll and Fever, Susan Whitall's biography of Little Willie John, one of the Chitlin' Circuit's last stars.

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Best Music Of 2011
9:09 am
Tue December 20, 2011

Ken Tucker's Top 10: The Year In Music

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