October 06, 2006

Terry Gross, host of "Fresh Air," produced at Philadelphia's NPR affiliate, WHYY, is generally informative and interesting, and often entertaining, even if at times she is inadequately prepared for her guests (her interview of Barbara Ehrenreich, after the publication of the latter's Bait and Switch, which I had just finished reading a few days before, stands out in my mind as a trashed opportunity to thoroughly analyze and promote an important and timely work).

But here's a general warning: When you learn -- or are warned -- that Gross's program will feature, even in part, anything to do with music, turn the dial, quickly.

Today's program, a rebroadcast of her 1989 and 1999 interviews with "minimalist composer" Steve Reich, provides an egregious example of Gross's appreciation for the truly awful and she embarrasses herself with an absurd display of giggly adoration for yet another slight talent.

If you're able to listen in and catch, early during the show, what sounds like the emanations of tragically warped vinyl, don't scoff, but instead, like Gross, praise and adore. Oh, and gush. Don't forget to gush.


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