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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Music Reviews
12:47 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Ron Miles Finds Wide-Open Spaces On 'Quiver'

For Ron Miles, the better he knows how a tune works, the less he has to play to put it across.
John Spiral

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 3:19 pm

Teaching jazz history got trumpeter Ron Miles deep into the pleasures of early jazz, with its clarity of form and emphasis on melodic improvising that doesn't wander far from the tune.

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Author Interviews
1:25 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

'Signal' And 'Noise': Prediction As Art And Science

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 1:56 pm

No one has a crystal ball, but Nate Silver has perfected the art of prediction. In 2008, he accurately predicted the presidential winner of 49 of the 50 states, and the winners of all 35 Senate races. Before he focused on elections, Silver developed a sophisticated system for analyzing baseball players' potential and became a skilled poker player — which is how he made his living for a while.

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Music Reviews
10:14 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Iris DeMent's Emotionally Complex 'Sing The Delta'

Sing the Delta is Iris DeMent's first album of new songs in 16 years.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 3:21 pm

Iris DeMent possesses one of the great voices in contemporary popular music: powerfully, ringingly clear, capable of both heartbreaking fragility and blow-your-ears-back power. Had she been making country albums in the '70s and '80s and had more commercial ambition, she'd probably now be considered right up there with Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette.

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Health
2:23 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

When Prolonging Death Seems Worse Than Death

Rudyanto Wijaya iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 4:18 pm

Many of us think of death as the worst possible outcome for a terminally ill patient, but Judith Schwarz disagrees.

Schwarz, a patient supporter at the nonprofit Compassion & Choices, says prolonging death can be a far worse fate. For many patients, good palliative or hospice care can alleviate suffering, yet "a small but significant proportion of dying patients suffer intolerably," Schwarz writes.

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Commentary
12:12 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

One Debate, Two Very Different Conversations

President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney finish their debate at the University of Denver on Oct. 3.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 2:13 pm

When you consider how carefully staged and planned the debates are and how long they've been around, it's remarkable how often candidates manage to screw them up. Sometimes they're undone by a simple gaffe or an ill-conceived bit of stagecraft, like Gerald Ford's slip-up about Soviet domination of eastern Europe in 1976, or Al Gore's histrionic sighing in 2000. Sometimes it's just a sign of a candidate having a bad day, like Ronald Reagan's woolly ramblings in the first debate with Walter Mondale in 1984.

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NPR Story
2:22 pm
Mon October 8, 2012

Louis C.K.'s Diagnosis: 'Masterful'

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 10:15 pm

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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NPR Story
1:10 pm
Mon October 8, 2012

Tig Notaro On Going 'Live' About Her Life

Comedian Tig Notaro dealt with a cancer diagnosis the best way she knew how — with humor.
tignation.com

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 12:41 pm

"Good evening, hello. I have cancer. How are you?"

That's how comedian Tig Notaro began her set at Largo in Los Angeles the day she was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. As she uttered those words to the audience, there was nervous laughter, weeping and total silence in response.

Comedian Louis C.K. was there that evening, and tweeted this about her performance: "In 27 years doing this, I've seen a handful of truly great, masterful standup sets. One was Tig Notaro last night at Largo."

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NPR Story
12:39 pm
Mon October 8, 2012

STEPHEN COLBERT

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 11:20 am

The host of The Colbert Report returns to Fresh Air to talk about his new book, America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren't.

NPR Story
12:39 pm
Mon October 8, 2012

PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 1:58 pm

His new film The Master stars Philip Seymour Hoffman as a leader of a cult and Joaquin Phoenix as his follower. Anderson's other films include There Will Be Blood, Magnolia and Boogie Nights.

NPR Story
12:39 pm
Mon October 8, 2012

"Joseph Anton"

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 1:58 pm

Critic-at-large John Powers has some thoughts on the British author and the publication of his new memoir, Joseph Anton, a chronicle of his time in hiding.

The Fresh Air Interview
2:10 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Interview: MacArthur 'Genius' Junot Diaz

His debut novel — The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao — won a Pulitzer Prize. He was recently named as one of the 2012 recipients of a MacArthur Fellowship. (Rebroadcast from December 2007)

The Fresh Air Interview
1:43 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

At College, A 'Pitch Perfect' Musical Comedy

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 5:23 pm

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Actress Anna Kendrick was nominated for an Academy Award for her supporting role in "Up in the Air." Now she stars in the film musical, "Pitch Perfect," in which she plays a college freshman who reluctantly joins the school's illustrious all-female a cappella group. Director Jason Moore is best known for his work on the satirical Broadway musical, "Avenue Q." Film critic David Edelstein has this review of "Pitch Perfect."

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The Fresh Air Interview
1:43 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Memoirist James Wolcott Reflects On The '70s

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 5:23 pm

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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Author Interviews
4:33 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Colbert: 'Re-Becoming' The Nation We Always Were

Courtesy of Grand Central Publishing

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 10:56 am

Stephen Colbert has no idea how other news pundits find time to write books. But he felt certain that his character on his Comedy Central show, The Colbert Report, needed to have another one.

"My character is based on news punditry, the masters of opinion in cable news, and they all have books," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "We don't have time to write a book and feed and wash ourselves, so something has to go out the window. And [for me] it was family, friends and hygiene for the past year."

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Book Reviews
11:55 am
Thu October 4, 2012

Roving Eyes, Wandering Hands In 'How You Lose Her'

Riverhead Books

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 3:58 pm

Ay-yi-yi, what is it with these Dominican men? Their hands — and eyes — never stop roving, even as they're slipping engagement rings on their true loves' fingers.

If that sounds like negative stereotyping, don't complain to me: I'm just passing along the collective cultural verdict of the women and men, most of them themselves Dominican, who hustle through Junot Diaz's latest short story collection, This Is How You Lose Her. A good man is hard to find in these stories, and when you do find him, he's always in bed with someone else.

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