fresh air with terry gross

Happy 30th, Fresh Air!

Today (May 11) is Fresh Air’s 30th anniversary of being a daily, national program. That’s amazing. That also means Terry has been doing this longer than I’ve been alive.

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Like a lot of people my age, my first memories of NPR were in the backseat of my parents’ car. It wasn’t long before I became a fan myself. The road trip from my hometown in Massachusetts to Philadelphia, where I went to college, was about 5 Fresh Air interviews long. I distinctly remember picking out interviews with Sacha Baron Cohen, Lisa Kudrow, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Jack Black and loading them onto my pink iPod mini. 

After I graduated and was miserable working in restaurants and retail, Terry’s interviews kept me sane. She kept me company during a time in my life when I felt lost and directionless. I remember Caitlin Moran, Lena Dunham, and Matt Weiner, to name a few.

I started at Fresh Air in May of 2013. I co-write the Fresh Air webpages on NPR.org with the lovely Bridget Bentz, run the social media, and handle the podcast. 

In the spirit of our anniversary, I thought I’d mention a few of my favorite interviews since I’ve been here, behind-the-scenes. 

  • John Waters: I have listened to this interview so many times, I practically have it memorized. I love how hard he makes Terry snort-laugh with gems like, “In Baltimore, if you’re hitchhiking, you’re a hooker that doesn’t have the Internet.” 

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  • Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber: Some of my favorite interviews are ones where I’ve never heard of the guest before and then they totally blow me away. Pastor Nadia started a church for outsiders (junkies, drag queens, comedians) and has a really original and inclusive philosophy about faith. 
  • Joaquin Phoenix: I have a special place in my heart for this interview, because the day it aired was the day I was introduced in the credits for the first time. This show was completely bonkers. He was unpredictable and bizarre, but we were all having so much fun listening in while the interview was taping. 

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  • Lynsey Addario: While working as a bad-ass photojournalist in a war zone, Addario was kidnapped with two of her journalist colleagues. She talks about that harrowing experience in this interview. It’s riveting. Plus, as a web producer, putting together a slideshow of her work was a real joy. 
  • Michael K. Williams: Williams, known for playing Omar on The Wire, was a dream guest (open, funny, thoughtful) I love when he called Terry “T,” and talks about how the Rhythm Nation music video inspired him to pursue a career in the arts. His kindness radiates through the speakers.

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I’m sure I’m forgetting tons of other favorites, but those are the ones that came to mind. 

We’ve got plenty of exciting things coming down the pike. Thanks for listening, reading, following the show! We can’t wait to see what you pick as your favorite interviews with the hashtag #freshair30. 

Onward, 

Molly Seavy-Nesper, associate producer at Fresh Air 

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Top left photo courtesy Lee Towndrow/Little, Brown and Company

On his first day in the seventh grade, Sherman Alexie opened up his school-assigned math book and found his mother’s maiden name written in it. “I was looking at a 30-year-old math book,” he says — and that was the moment he knew that he needed to leave his home.

Alexie grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in the state of Washington. His mother was one of the few people who could still speak the native language, but she didn’t teach it to him. In his new memoir, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, he describes growing up surrounded by poverty, alcoholism and violence.

Check out his conversation with Fresh Air’s Terry Gross here.

– Petra

Heads up Against Me! fans

Terry Gross from NPR is doing an extensive interview with Laura Jane Grace right now. I’ll update this post with the link to the interview and reblog it tomorrow when they post it to the “Fresh Air” page. http://www.npr.org/programs/fresh-air/

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Actress Carrie Fisher, beloved for her iconic role as Princess Leia, died on Tuesday at the age of 60.

She leaves behind her daughter, Billie Lourd, her brother, Todd Fisher, her mother, Debbie Reynolds — and her French bulldog, Gary.

Gary Fisher is a celebrity in his own right — he traveled widely with Fisher and was a star on Instagram and Twitter.

And when Carrie Fisher visited NPR’s studios in New York City, to talk to Fresh Air host Terry Gross, Gary came along, too.

Gross, however, was in Philadelphia. She didn’t know there was a dog in our studios. She didn’t even know that was allowed.

In the conversation that followed, it’s impossible to miss the buoyant personalities of both Fishers — Carrie and Gary.

LISTEN: Carrie Fisher, Terry Gross — And Gary The Dog

Photos: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images; Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival

anonymous asked:

do you listen to anything (music, podcast) while painting? if yes, what are some faves?

I love musicians with vivid and poetic lyrics, like Joanna Newsom, Lady Lamb, Modest Mouse, Kendrick Lamar, Fiona Apple, Little Dragon, Josh Ritter and Tallest Man on Earth. 

For podcasts it’s the usual liberal lineup: Radiolab, This American Life, Serial, S-Town, NPR News and Fresh Air with Terry Gross. I also like Myths and Legends and Hardcore History

I also go through periods of binge-watching classic film noir while I paint. Since the plots are dialogue-heavy, they’re great to listen to as the mystery unfolds. Laura, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Night and the City, Kiss Me Deadly, Notorious, Double Indemnity, The Third Man– I love them all. 

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James Victor “Vic” Chesnutt (November 12, 1964 – December 25, 2009) was an American singer-songwriter from Athens, Georgia. His first album, Little, was released in 1990, but his breakthrough to commercial success didn’t come until 1996 with the release of Sweet Relief II: Gravity of the Situation, a tribute album of alternative artists covering his songs.

Chesnutt released 17 albums during his career, including two produced by Michael Stipe, and a 1996 release on Capitol Records, About to Choke. His musical style has been described by Bryan Carroll of allmusic.com as a “skewed, refracted version of Americana that is haunting, funny, poignant, and occasionally mystical, usually all at once”.

Injuries from a 1983 car accident left him partially paralyzed; he used a wheelchair and had limited use of his hands.

An adoptee, Chesnutt was raised in Zebulon, Georgia, where he first started writing songs at the age of five. When he was 13, Chesnutt declared that he was an atheist, a position that he maintained for the rest of his life.

At 18, a car accident left him partially paralyzed; in a December 1, 2009 interview with Terry Gross on her NPR show Fresh Air, he said he was “a quadriplegic from [his] neck down”, and although he had feeling and some movement in his body, he could not walk “functionally” and that, although he realized shortly afterward that he could still play guitar, he could only play simple chords.

On December 25, 2009, at the age of 45, Chesnutt died from an overdose of muscle relaxants that had left him in a coma in an Athens hospital. In his final interview, which aired on National Public Radio 24 days before his death, Chesnutt said that he had “attempted suicide three or four times [before]. It didn’t take.”

According to him in the same interview, being “uninsurable” due to his quadriplegia, he was $50,000 in debt for his medical bills, and had been putting off a surgery for a year (“And, I mean, I could die only because I cannot afford to go in there again. I don’t want to die, especially just because of I don’t have enough money to go in the hospital.”).

-Wikipedia

Starting tomorrow – new Clarence episodes throughout June, starting at 4 PM Eastern! Here are the episode titles from Zap2It:

Plus, the show will have a special guest:

The host of NPR’s long-running show Fresh Air, Terry Gross, will make an appearance in the episode “Public Radio”! Join them…for the new adventures of Clarence, Jeff and Sumo, and their friends all June! 

Terry Gross To Marc Maron: ‘Life Is Harder Than Radio’

Maron: You’ve mastered and defined something that is uniquely yours that has been done by many people for centuries probably and you set the standard for what an interview is and how to put one together on radio or anywhere.

Gross: Thank you.

Maron: And you know, you are what I think most people—you are home to most people when it comes to NPR, that your voice is more comforting than probably any voice in their lives, I would probably say.

Gross: That’s really nice of you to say.

Maron: And now I don’t know why I’m tearing up. Jesus Christ.

Gross: Can I just say something about you?

Maron: What?

Gross: I really, I just love your work so much and I’ve learned from listening to you in your podcast because you’re just so present, you’re so in the moment with people and you have such interesting taste. I love hearing you talk about the music that you love and your interest in [Jack] Kerouac and that you know who Herbert Huncke is, you know all this stuff and you don’t do it in a know-it-all way, you just kind of slip it in to get more out of them. I mean that in the best sense, that’s what an interviewer should do. And the other thing is, you’re no bullshit—you’re just no bullshit, you’re no bullshit in your comedy, you’re no bullshit when you’re talking to other people.

Maron: I don’t think you are either, Terry Gross.

Gross: And I just want to say, the reason why I was comfortable enough to tell you and everyone else here the things that I told you tonight is that I trust you and that you’re no bullshit and I couldn’t look you in the eye and not tell you the truth.

Terry Gross: “You mentioned that Aaron Paul didn’t know that you were going to slap him in that scene. Is it considered acceptable for you to do that?”

Jonathan Banks: “It’s totally acceptable for me. I’m not the one that got slapped.”

Peter Gould: “The rules that apply to everybody else, don’t necessarily apply to Mr. Banks.”

Banks: “You know, I get that senior pass. If you can’t take a hit from an old guy, I mean… Aaron can take a punch for goodness sakes.”

– from Fresh Air, Mar. 9, 2015

I have no tolerance for people who are not thinking deeply about things. I have no tolerance for the kind of small talk that people need to fill silence, and I have no tolerance for people not being a part of the world and being in it and trying to change it.
— 

Brown Girl Dreaming author Jacqueline Woodson

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When author Jacqueline Woodson was growing up in Greenville, S.C., in the ‘60s and '70s, she was keenly aware of segregation.

“We knew our place,” Woodson tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross. “We knew our place was with our family. We knew where it was safest to be. There wasn’t a lot of talk about the white world and what was going on in it; it didn’t really have a lot to do with us, except in situations where there was the talk of resistance.”

You can find the rest of Woodson’s interview with Fresh Air here.