Fresh Air

Monday through Thursday at Noon on WMRA
Terry Gross

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

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Movie Interviews
1:17 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Chris Rock On Finding The Line Between Funny And 'Too Far'

Chris Rock wrote, directed and stars in Top Five, a film about a standup comedian who is trying to reshape his career.
Ali Paige Goldstein Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 1:52 pm

In the new film Top Five, Chris Rock plays Andre Allen, a standup comedian who has starred in a series of blockbuster comedies as a catchphrase-spewing character called Hammy the Bear.

When Top Five begins, Allen has given up the Hammy movies, given up drinking and is trying to reshape his career with his new dramatic film about a Haitian slave rebellion. Like Allen, Rock says he has had doubts about his own career.

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Art & Design
1:13 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Spanish Artist Francisco Goya On Display In Boston: An Extraordinary Exhibit

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Music
1:13 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Steve Lacy's Monk Quartet, Solo Sax Albums Reissues

Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews two reissues featuring the late soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy — a live recording of a 1963 quartet that only played Thelonious Monk tunes, and later music for solo soprano. Monk was always Lacy's biggest influence.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Fresh Air Weekend
12:56 pm
Sat December 6, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: Ray Davies, Books For Jazz Lovers And Josh Brolin

In Inherent Vice, Joaquin Phoenix (left) plays a burned-out hippie private eye, while Josh Brolin is a Los Angeles Police Department detective --€” Lt. Detective "Bigfoot" Bjornsen --€” who is investigating a murder and kidnapping case.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment

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:

Naive, Yet Revolutionary: Ray Davies On 50 Years Of The Kinks: "I think if I had been an accomplished songwriter, I wouldn't have written 'You Really Got Me,'" Davies tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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Music
4:19 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

A Punk Memoir That Makes The Ordinary Seem Transcendent

Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker says that one of the best books he's ever read about punk rock is a new memoir by Viv Albertine, one of the founding members of the British punk rock band the Slits. The book, titled Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. chronicles Albertine's life with punk legends such as Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols and Mick Jones of the Clash, on through subsequent careers as a film director and mother.

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Remembrances
4:15 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Fresh Air Remembers British Rock Keyboardist Ian McLagan

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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Movie Reviews
1:42 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Prayers And Holy Water Can't Exorcise The Terrifying 'Babadook'

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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Book Reviews
3:04 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Set In Appalachia, This Rewarding Story Collection Is 'Rich And Strange'

Ron Rash is a poet, novelist and short-story writer whose 2009 novel Serena was a New York Times bestseller. Rash's signature subject is life in Appalachia, past and present.
Ulf Andersen Courtesy of Ecco

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 3:29 pm

Expect to be good for nothing for a long time after you read Ron Rash. His writing is powerful, stripped down and very still: It takes you to a land apart, psychologically and geographically, since his fiction is set in Appalachia.

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Movie Interviews
3:04 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

After Decades Acting, Josh Brolin Still Wonders If He's 'Good Enough'

In Inherent Vice, Joaquin Phoenix (left) plays a burned-out hippie private eye, while Josh Brolin is a Los Angeles Police Department detective --€” Lt. Detective "Bigfoot" Bjornsen --€” who is investigating a murder and kidnapping case.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 9:34 am

The new film Inherent Vice satirizes overcomplicated detective-story plots by having an especially overcomplicated plot of its own. It's a Paul Thomas Anderson adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's 2009 novel.

"It's so dense," co-star Josh Brolin tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I mean, Pynchon will be following some linear structure, and then suddenly he'll take a big bong hit and go off on some tangent that still, you realize, eventually comes around and actually is connected in various ways."

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Music
1:28 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Three Books For The Jazz Lover On Your List

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 4:33 pm

Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews three jazz books out this holiday season—a singer's biography, a pianist's autobiography, and a fat coffee table book. Whitehead says they're all worth a look, though he has a couple of quibbles — and also a confession.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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