Fresh Air on HD2

Weekdays at noon
Terry Gross

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Music Interviews
11:34 am
Mon February 13, 2012

'Conchords': Musical Comedy from Clueless Kiwis

Jemaine Clement (left) and Bret McKenzie: Witty musical parodists play witless musicians in Flight of the Conchords.
HBO

Originally published on Mon February 13, 2012 11:29 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on June 14, 2007. You can listen to the complete interview with Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie here.

Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie, aka the folk-parody band Flight of the Conchords, hail from New Zealand. They were named best alternative-comedy act at the 2005 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival.

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Music Interviews
11:06 am
Mon February 13, 2012

Bret McKenzie: A Manly Muppet And A Muppet Of A Man

Bret McKenzie (left) wrote five of the songs in The Muppets, including the Oscar-nominated "Man or Muppet" and the opening number, "Life's a Happy Song."
Andrew Macpherson Disney

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Movie Interviews
10:05 am
Fri February 10, 2012

'The Interrupters': Keeping Peace On The Streets

Ameena Matthews, a violence interrupter with the Chicago organization CeaseFire, mediates disputes to prevent gang violence from escalating.
Aaron Wickenden Kartemquin Films

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 12:19 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on Aug. 1, 2011. The Interrupters will be broadcast on Frontline on Feb. 14, 2012.

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Book Reviews
12:37 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Scrappy 'Girlchild' Forms A Girl Scout Troop Of One

You'd think that, by now, the news that Americans are spoiling their children would be as attention-getting as the fabled headline, "dog bites man," but, apparently, we never weary of hearing about how bad we're doing as parents. Last year, it was the Tiger Mom; this year, a hot new book called Bringing Up Bebe, tells us that the French have us beat by an indifferent shrug when it comes to the art of raising independent kids.

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Fresh Air Weekend
12:22 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Fresh Air Weekend: Meryl Streep, Yoga

Meryl Streep stars as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in Phyllida Lloyd's The Iron Lady.
The Weinstein Company

Originally published on Sat February 11, 2012 11:58 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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Movie Reviews
12:11 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

'Safe House,' 'Haywire': Watch Them Back To Back

Mixed martial arts fighter Gina Carano stars as Mallory Kane, a highly trained covert operative, in a twisty, tautly wrought thriller.
Claudette Barius Relativity Media

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 12:19 pm

The flashy Denzel Washington thriller Safe House will probably gross in a few hours what Steven Soderbergh's Haywire has made in several weeks, but if you like action you ought to catch both back to back. Soderbergh's film is a reaction to the jangled, high-impact style of Safe House and its ilk.

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Poetry
11:57 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Donald Hall: A Poet's View 'Out The Window'

Poet Donald Hall spends much of his time in his blue armchair, looking at the landscape out his window. The 83-year-old former poet laureate has lived for years on the same New Hampshire farm that his grandparents used to own, and still writes in the room he slept in as a child.

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Music Reviews
11:28 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Chuck Prophet's 'Beautiful' Homage To San Francisco

Chuck Prophet.
Charlie Homo

Chuck Prophet's new album, Temple Beautiful, takes its name from a former synagogue that hosted punk-rock shows in the late '70s and early '80s; it was next door to the temple overseen by cult leader Jim Jones. That may sound like a grim or black-humored reference point around which to erect an album, but with Prophet, grimness, humor, fact and fiction mingle freely. Before anything else, he's a guitar player with a melodically nasal voice whose phrasing favors the whimsical and the querulous.

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Author Interviews
10:42 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Finding 'Life, Death, And Hope' In A Mumbai Slum

cover detail

Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 12:01 pm

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Katherine Boo spent more than three years in Mumbai's Annawadi slum to do research for her new book, Behind the Beautiful Forevers. Residents of the slum — which is located next to the Mumbai airport and in the shadow of several luxury hotels — live in devastating poverty.

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Television
10:31 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Two Rowdy Talk Shows Showcase Vintage Humor

Writers for Sid Caesar include Mel Brooks (front, lower right corner) and Neil Simon (back row, upper left corner.)
courtesy of Michael Hirsh

The two DVDs I want to talk about today are hilarious, but they aren't sitcoms. They're talk shows — well, one's a talk show, and one's a filmed seminar. But they're both fascinating examples of a specific pop-culture moment frozen in time.

And they're something else as well: Both are highly entertaining real-time examples of talk-show Darwinism. Both shows feature a large, unwieldy guest roster, all of the guests competing for attention at the same time — and by the time the programs are over, the winners are apparent.

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