Tuesday

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A Syrian rebel fires toward a position held by regime forces during clashes in the northern city of Aleppo on Sept. 14. Marco Longari/AFP/GettyImages hide caption

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Marco Longari/AFP/GettyImages

Middle East

Journalist Examines Chaotic Fighting In Syria

The Guardian's Ghaith Abdul-Ahad calls the Syrian battle fluid and complicated. "There is chaos, there is no military planning, there is no organization," he tells Fresh Air. He reported for the PBS Frontline documentary The Battle for Syria, which airs Tuesday.

Journalist Examines Chaotic Fighting In Syria

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Brad Mehldau's latest covers project, Where Do You Start, came out Tuesday. Michael Wilson /Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Michael Wilson /Courtesy of the artist

Music Articles

Brad Mehldau: (Unlikely) Songs By Other People

The jazz trio returns to covering classic rock, folk and pop tunes on its latest album, Where Do You Start. Fresh Air critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the band's take on Elvis Costello, Nick Drake, Sonny Rollins and more.

Brad Mehldau: (Unlikely) Songs By Other People

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Monday

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Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th president of the United States on Jan. 20, 2009, in Washington. Tim Sloan/Getty Images hide caption

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Tim Sloan/Getty Images
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Saturday

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W. Kamau Bell's new FX weekly series Totally Biased mixes standup, sketches and interviews. Matthias Clamer hide caption

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Matthias Clamer

Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: W. Kamau Bell, Michael Lewis

W. Kamau Bell, who hosts the new FX show Totally Biased, talks about how he got labeled as a "political comedian." Writer Michael Lewis was given unusual access to the president to write an article for Vanity Fair.

Fresh Air Weekend: W. Kamau Bell, Michael Lewis

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Friday

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Michael Shannon plays federal agent Nelson Van Alden on the HBO series Boardwalk Empire. "I think inside of Van Alden is a child — that arrested child — that never really got to develop its own identity," he says. Macall B. Polay/HBO hide caption

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Macall B. Polay/HBO

Chico's story mimics the stories of many Cuban musicians who left Havana and arrived in New York City in the 1940s — a time when musicians like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie were starting to emerge. Luna Films hide caption

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Luna Films

Movies

'Chico & Rita': An Animated Film With A Cuban Beat

Director Fernando Trueba talks about his Oscar-nominated animated film Chico and Rita, which follows a pair of lovers who leave Havana's music scene in the 1940s to head to New York City. It's now out on DVD.

'Chico & Rita': An Animated Film With A Cuban Beat

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Joaquin Phoenix stars as Navy veteran Freddie Quell in The Master. Phil Bray/The Weinstein Company hide caption

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Phil Bray/The Weinstein Company

Movies

'The Master': Filling A Void By Finding A Family

Many comparisons have been made between Paul Thomas Anderson's film The Master and the history of Scientology. But, as David Edelstein explains, the challenge of balancing the search for surrogate family with American individualism dominates the film. (Recommended)

'The Master': Filling A Void By Finding A Family

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Thursday

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W. Kamau Bell's new FX weekly series Totally Biased mixes standup, sketches and interviews. Matthias Clamer hide caption

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Matthias Clamer

Television

'Totally Biased' Comic On Race, Politics And Audience

Comic W. Kamau Bell's new show, produced by Chris Rock, mixes standup, sketches and interviews. Bell tells Fresh Air about the origins of his political humor and why it's important for him to have a multiracial audience.

'Totally Biased' Comic On Race, Politics And Audience

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Mamie Gummer stars as the title character in Emily Owens, M.D., the best new show on broadcast television this fall. Jack Rowand/The CW hide caption

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Jack Rowand/The CW
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Wednesday

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Contributing editor Michael Lewis played basketball with President Obama while working on a piece for Vanity Fair. Pete Souza/The White House hide caption

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Pete Souza/The White House

Barack Obama

In Meetings, On The Court To Discover 'Obama's Way'

Writer Michael Lewis was given unusual access to the president for six months for an article for Vanity Fair. Lewis tells Fresh Air that he found a "weird disjuncture between his powers and his powerlessness."

In Meetings, On The Court To Discover 'Obama's Way'

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Tuesday

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Bob Dylan's Tempest features 10 new songs with many feisty, baffling, sometimes beautiful moments. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Courtesy of the artist

Music Articles

Bob Dylan's Baffling And Sometimes Beautiful 'Tempest'

Critic Ken Tucker says that some songs on Tempest sound less like concentrated efforts than outpourings of rambling thoughts; others are as precisely crafted as any Bob Dylan has written.

Bob Dylan's Baffling And Sometimes Beautiful 'Tempest'

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Monday

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Television

Andrew Rannells: Gay And Serious In 'New Normal'

The actor stars in the comedy TV series The New Normal, about a gay couple who want a child so badly that they hire a surrogate. Rannells tells Fresh Air that he didn't want to "dumb down" the serious role with "stereotypical over-the-top gay flash and sass."

Andrew Rannells: Gay And Serious In 'New Normal'

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"Son of a Preacher Man" was Dusty Springfield's debut on Atlantic. The entire album that spawned it, Dusty in Memphis, was recorded at American Studios. Stan Meagher/Getty Images hide caption

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Stan Meagher/Getty Images
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Saturday

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Thor Hanson's own cast of Archaeopteryx lithographica presents what he calls the "ancient wing written in stone." Thor Hanson/Basic Books hide caption

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Thor Hanson/Basic Books

Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Feathers, Cellphones As Trackers

A new book analyzes feathers in birds. A reporter says cellphones collect more than we realize. An advocate who entered an assisted living facility at 53 talks about recording residents' final days and how death is handled "very poorly" in facilities.

Fresh Air Weekend: Feathers, Cellphones As Trackers

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Friday

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Burt Bacharach with Hal David (right). Lawrence Lucier/Getty Images hide caption

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Lawrence Lucier/Getty Images

Music Interviews

Fresh Air Remembers Lyricist Hal David

Hal David, the Oscar- and Grammy-winning lyricist, died Saturday in Los Angeles. He was 91. David is best known for his many collaborations with composer Burt Bacharach between the late '50s and the mid-'70s.

Fresh Air Remembers Lyricist Hal David

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Party Animals: Lizzy Caplan (from left), Isla Fisher and Kirsten Dunst play the brazen bridesmaids who make trouble for bride-to-be Becky (Rebel Wilson) in Bachelorette. Radius-TWC hide caption

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Radius-TWC

Movies

'Bachelorette' Sounds Dark Comedic Depths

Leslye Headland makes her directorial debut with this adaptation of her own play about three bridesmaids whose bad habits and emotional issues threaten to undermine their friend's impending wedding. It's tonally uneven but engrossing, says critic David Edelstein.

'Bachelorette' Sounds Dark Comedic Depths

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