Fresh Air

Monday - Friday at 9pm on HD3
Terry Gross

Fresh Air opens the window on contemporary arts and issues with guests from worlds as diverse as literature and economics. Airs Monday through Friday at 9 p.m. on Red River Radio HD3 With NPR News Headlines at 9:01

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11:09am

Wed December 21, 2011
Music Reviews

El Rego: A Singer From Benin With Soul And Funk

Originally published on Wed December 21, 2011 11:16 am

El Rego, the godfather of Benin funk, and his band The Commandos.
Courtesy of the artist

It may seem counter-intuitive, but the history of world music proves that unfamiliar instruments and rhythms cross borders much more readily than vocal styles. There's no question that, starting in the late '60s, soul and then funk became very popular in sub-Saharan Africa. Decades of reissues show that a lot of players found their way into electric guitar, and that enriching the big beat of the West was a cinch for African percussionists.

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10:40am

Wed December 21, 2011
Anti-Government Protests Roil Egypt

A Foreign Correspondent Reflects On The Arab Spring

Originally published on Wed December 21, 2011 11:55 am

Photographer Moises Saman captured this shot of two activists in Hama, Syria. Saman and journalist Anthony Shadid entered the city for several days last July. The rest of Saman's images can be found here.
Moises Saman The New York Times

Veteran war correspondent Anthony Shadid spent much of the past decade in Baghdad covering the Iraq war, first for The Washington Post and then for The New York Times. Last December, Shadid left Baghdad for his home in Beirut, Lebanon, where he's been based for more than a decade.

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1:03pm

Tue December 20, 2011
Book Reviews

The Story Of The Chitlin' Circuit's Great Performers

Cover detail

During the years before the Civil Rights movement got underway, segregated American cities helped give birth to a touring circuit that provided employment for hundreds of black musicians and eventually brought about the birth of rock 'n' roll. Today, rock historian Ed Ward looks at two books, Preston Lauterbach's The Chitlin' Circuit and the Road to Rock 'n' Roll and Fever, Susan Whitall's biography of Little Willie John, one of the Chitlin' Circuit's last stars.

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9:09am

Tue December 20, 2011
Best Music Of 2011

Ken Tucker's Top 10: The Year In Music

W W Norton & Co Inc

9:07am

Tue December 20, 2011
Television

Bianculli Picks The Best (And Worst) TV Of 2011

Over the past few seasons, Breaking Bad's Walter White (Bryan Cranston) has changed from meek hero to forceful villain. TV critic David Bianculli says he isn't just breaking bad anymore — he's entirely broken.
Gregory Peters AMC

Fresh Air's TV critic David Bianculli liked so many shows this year that he says he couldn't pick just 10 favorites. Instead, he split his favorites into several lists, including best documentaries and best scripted comedies/dramas.

Bianculli also highlights some of the worst shows to hit TV screens this year — including not one but two shows featuring Snooki.

Despite his Snooki misgivings, Bianculli says it was a banner year for TV.

"There is more good television on a weekly basis than there has ever been," Bianculli says. "I am absolutely certain of it."

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