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A Duo's Debut Album: A Collaboration From 'The Both'

Apr 17, 2014 (Fresh Air) — Aimee Mann and Ted Leo began performing together in 2012, when Leo was Mann's opening act. Mann began joining Leo onstage during his set. Their debut album is "The Both."

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Ken Tucker
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Nobel Literature laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez greets fans and reporters outside his home on his birthday in Mexico City, on March 6, 2014. (AP)

Nobel Prize-Winning Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dies At 87

Apr 17, 2014

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Nobel Prize-winning Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez, author of One Hundred Years of Solitude, has died in Mexico City. He was 87.

The Associated Press says "Garcia Marquez's magical realist novels and short stories exposed tens of millions of readers to Latin America's passion, superstition, violence and inequality."

"Widely considered the most popular Spanish-language writer since Miguel de Cervantes in the 17th century, Garcia Marquez achieved literary celebrity that spawned comparisons to Mark Twain and Charles Dickens."

"His flamboyant and melancholy works outsold everything published in Spanish except the Bible. The epic 1967 novel "One Hundred Years of Solitude sold more than 50 million copies in more than 25 languages."

The Los Angeles Times says:

"A cause of death was not immediately annnounced, but Garcia Marquez had been in failing health for some time. He was released from the hospital just over a week ago.

"Garcia Marquez's death represents the passing of one of the world's greatest living authors, and the loss of a powerful public intellectual whose opinions on Cuba, military dictatorship and Latin American cultural autonomy made front-page news.

"The news was met with an outpouring of grief and reverence for the writer known to his admirers simply as 'Gabo,' and who was often compared to Hispanic literature's other titan, 'Don Quixote' author Miguel de Cervantes. More than any other author, Garcia Marquez fueled the post-World War II popularizing of Latin America literature known as the 'Boom.'"

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Nobel Literature laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez greets fans and reporters outside his home on his birthday in Mexico City, on March 6, 2014. (AP)

A Story Of Torture And Forgiveness That Spans A Half-Century

Apr 17, 2014 (All Things Considered) — Director Jonathan Teplitsky speaks about his film The Railway Man. It tells the true story of Eric Lomax, a British Army officer who was a prisoner of war during World War II at a Japanese labor camp.

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The Secret Sisters' new album, backed by Jack White and produced by T-Bone Burnett, is called Put Your Needle Down. (Courtesy of Republic Records)

Harmony-Loving Sisters Keep It Retro

by Meredith Ochs
Apr 17, 2014 (All Things Considered)

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Porcelain complected, red-lipsticked, blue-eyed and raven-haired, The Secret Sisters' look seems cultivated to match the duo's sound. Real-life sisters Laura and Lydia Rogers are as flawlessly retro as Mad Men and as lively and bold as Bettie Page, and their voices ring in impeccable harmonies that soar straight into The Everly Brothers' territory.

The two have already attracted the attention of Jack White, who put out one of their singles on his own record label. They've also found a perfect partner in producer T-Bone Burnett, whose distinct sonic stamp frames the songs of their new album, Put Your Needle Down, in a timeless fashion.

The sisters' debut album was heavily influenced by classic country singers. They absorbed their strum-and-twang sensibilities while growing up in a musically inclined family from a region rich in American music history, Muscle Shoals, Ala. Their new album is a leap forward, showing artistic growth and sophistication. You can hear it in the jazz-inflected sound of "Dirty Lie," a demo that Bob Dylan started writing in the 1980s, but never finished. It's the only song in their repertoire that they don't sing harmonies on, but by adding more lyrics and styling it up, they make it their own.

Even in their lyrics, the sisters have mastered the art of looking backward and forward at the same time. Their love songs often explore the power struggle in romantic relationships. Sometimes they keep the upper hand, sometimes they don't. But from their lips, even forlorn acquiescence sounds more like ruminating in a Hawaiian paradise than a bad breakup.

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Copyright(c) 2014, NPR
The Secret Sisters' new album, backed by Jack White and produced by T-Bone Burnett, is called Put Your Needle Down. (Courtesy of Republic Records)

On Russian Call-in Show, Putin Maintains Hard Line Against West

Apr 17, 2014 (All Things Considered)

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Russian President Vladimir Putin says he hopes he won't have to move troops into Ukraine to protect the local Russian-speaking population, but he reserves the right to do so. He made the comments on a televised call-in show.

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