Fresh Air on WLRN

Monday - Thursday at 12:00pm
Terry Gross

Opening the window on contemporary arts and issues with guests from worlds as diverse as literature and economics.

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Fresh Air Weekend
11:14 am
Sat April 25, 2015

Fresh Air Weekend: Toni Morrison, Ross Macdonald's Crime Fiction, Will Forte

Toni Morrison's novels include Beloved, The Bluest Eye and Song of Solomon. She won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1993.
Timothy Greenfield Sanders

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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Author Interviews
1:58 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

'Pope And Mussolini' Tells The 'Secret History' Of Fascism And The Church

It's commonly thought that the Catholic Church fought heroically against the fascists in Italy. But historian David Kertzer says the church actually lent organizational strength and moral legitimacy to Mussolini's regime. Kertzer recently won a Pulitzer Prize for his book The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe.

Originally broadcast Jan. 25, 2014.

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Movie Reviews
1:58 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

Deception And Suspense By The Sea In The Iranian Mystery 'About Elly'

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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Middle East
3:14 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

Saudi Bombing In Yemen Has Led To New Gains For Al-Qaida

Reporter Gregory Johnsen talks with Fresh Air's Dave Davies about the humanitarian crisis in Yemen and how the chaos is impacting the U.S. fight against al-Qaida. Johnsen describes a country torn apart. "I don't even think it's accurate to speak of Yemen as one country anymore," he says. "I think the country has been definitively and decisively broken in the way that no one will ever be able to put it back together again."

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Music
3:14 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

Dwight Yoakam's 'Second Hand Heart' Is First Class

Dwight Yoakam has been making music that mixes country with rock 'n' roll since the 1970s. Working out of Los Angeles rather than Nashville, he's built a career that has also included a solid acting career, appearing in movies like 1996's Sling Blade and the recent TV series Under the Dome. Yoakam's new album is called Second Hand Heart, and Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker says it's one of Yoakam's most stylistically diverse.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:49 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

How The Met Opera's Chorus Master Gets 150 To Sound Like One

Donald Palumbo became the Met's chorus master in the 2007-2008 season. He sang in choruses all his life, he says, and eventually worked his way up without any formal conservatory training.
Marty Sohl Courtesy of the Met

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 11:05 am

Metropolitan Opera Chorus Master Donald Palumbo knows voices, and how to instruct singers to protect them.

Palumbo says that all singers have to monitor their voices while rehearsing during the day. The goal, he says, is to insure singers are at their "freshest" and "most solid" for the evening performance.

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Television
3:46 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

'Last Man' Will Forte On Beards, Comedy And Bruce Dern's Acting Advice

A man and his beard: Will Forte plays a man seeking companionship in a world wasted by disease in The Last Man on Earth.
Jordin Althaus Fox

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 9:25 am

In Fox's television show The Last Man on Earth, Saturday Night Live alum Will Forte plays a man who survives a deadly virus that has decimated the human population. In the show, Forte's character, Phil, despairs when he thinks he is the last human on earth. He drives around a lonely landscape, creating billboards that announce "Alive in Tucson" on the off-chance that someone will see them.

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Author Interviews
3:25 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

After 20 Years On The Job, NYC Police Officer Tells His Intense Stories

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 6:46 am

In his 20 years as a New York City police officer, Steve Osborne made thousands of arrests. He says that when he was in uniform, it wasn't unusual to handle 20 jobs a night. And in plainclothes, in the anti-crime unit, his teams would make several felony collars a week, mostly robberies, assaults and gun arrests.

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Book Reviews
3:25 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Revisiting A Suburbia-Gone-Sour In Ross Macdonald's Crime Fiction

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 4:54 pm

Ross Macdonald had a smart answer to the tedious question of why he devoted his considerable talents to writing "mere" detective stories: Macdonald said that the detective story was "a kind of welder's mask enabling writers to handle dangerously hot material." Like Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler (the great hard-boiled masters whom he revered), Macdonald set out to excavate the dark depths of American life, but to find his own "dangerously hot material" Macdonald descended into uncharted territory.

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Author Interviews
3:06 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

'I Regret Everything': Toni Morrison Looks Back On Her Personal Life

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 12:15 pm

Now that she's in her mid-80s, celebrated author Toni Morrison feels aches, pains and regret.

She tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, "When I'm not creating or focusing on something I can imagine or invent, I think I go back over my life — I don't recommend this, by the way — and you pick up, 'Oh, what did you do that for? Why didn't you understand this?' Not just with children, as a parent, but with other people, with friends. ... It's not profound regret; it's just a wiping up of tiny little messes that you didn't recognize as mess when they were going on."

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Fresh Air Weekend
11:34 am
Sat April 18, 2015

Fresh Air Weekend: Mark Ronson, The Mountain Goats, Beau Willimon

Mark Ronson is a music producer, DJ and guitarist who's recorded with Adele, Paul McCartney, Ghostface Killah, Lily Allen and Duran Duran, among others.
Astrid Stawiarz 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:

The Story Behind Mark Ronson's Hit Song 'Uptown Funk': The producer says there was a moment when his co-writers thought, "Maybe this song wasn't meant to be." He also describes working with Amy Winehouse and Bruno Mars.

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Movie Reviews
1:17 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

In 'True Story,' A Shamed Journalist Interviews A Fugitive Who Stole His Identity

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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Pop Culture
1:17 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

Comedian Joel McHale Talks Dyslexia, Bad TV And Filming A Thriller

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli sitting in for Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "COMMUNITY")

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Digital Life
3:08 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

On YouTube, A Global Archive Of Daily Life, Both Humble And Transcendent

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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Music Interviews
3:08 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

The Story Behind Mark Ronson's Hit Song 'Uptown Funk'

Mark Ronson is a music producer, DJ and guitarist who's recorded with Adele, Paul McCartney, Ghostface Killah, Lily Allen and Duran Duran, among others.
Astrid Stawiarz Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 4:43 pm

When singer Bruno Mars and producer Mark Ronson first landed on the instrumental track and a few lines of what would become the hit song "Uptown Funk," Ronson says the room was filled with electricity.

"There's nothing more exciting than that period of the song, because the potential is unlimited," Ronson tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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