Tim de Lisle


    Short Read: bereft, abandoned and broke, Jessica Pratt recorded her second album at home in her bedroom. Hazel Sheffield is captivated by its mysterious songs

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    Almost alone among the senior citizens of song, Randy Newman is writing as well as he ever was. As “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” turns 20, and a new album slots slowly into place, Tim de Lisle tags along with him

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    ~ Posted by Tim de Lisle, August 12th 2015

    A long feature relies on two things. The first is sheer time. Being on a bi-monthly helps: the job comes with free membership of the Slow Food movement. In this issue, the cover story on the film-maker 
Sarah Gavron took six months, the story on modern memorials took a year, the profile of Randy Newman took two years, and the Style feature on JAR the jeweller took four.

    The last one began when Isabel Lloyd, our deputy editor, was chatting to Mel Grant, our picture editor and jewellery buff. “Of all the jewellers in all the world, who’s the one you’d most want to read about?”

    “JAR. He’s the best jeweller alive, he’s influenced everyone, he’s impossible to buy from, and he never gives interviews.” That, of course, was catnip.

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    ~ Posted by Tim de Lisle, June 11th 2015

    Here's our pick of the best new tunes. You can listen to them on the player below, or find the playlist on Spotify by searching for IntLifeMag. All songs are available on iTunes, unless otherwise stated.

    Dusty Springfield: Someone Who Cares
    Typically elegant ballad, recently rediscovered.

    Blur: Lonesome Street
    Liam Gallagher is right: this is Blur (above) at their best.

    Dawes: All Your Favorite Bands
    Touching title track from another lucid album.

    Father John Misty: I Love You Honeybear
    Subtle earworm from a man who should go down well at Glastonbury.

    Tove Lo: Like Em Young
    Tired of waiting for Madonna to return to form? Try a Swedish livewire instead.

    David Sinclair Four: Sick of Being Good
    Veteran critic, IL contributor and writer of sardonic rock songs. 

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    ~ Posted by Tim de Lisle, June 10th 2015

    The cool gaze on our cover belongs to an architect, David Adjaye. A more global figure it would be hard to find. Born in Tanzania to Ghanaian parents, brought up in England, Adjaye has now made it in America. He is working on the African-American museum that will complete the Smithsonian set in Washington, and is tipped to build the Obama presidential library in Chicago (which may have more books in it than some). His style is consciously international. He met his match in our writer, Ariel Ramchandani, an Indian/Israeli New Yorker. She e-mailed last July, saying she was “fascinated by Adjaye, and the global modernity he represents”. After quizzing him in SoHo, New York, and watching him at work in Harlem and London, she has delivered on that promise.

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    ~ Posted by Tim de Lisle, May 13th 2015

    Here's our pick of the best new tunes. You can listen to them on the player below, or find the playlist on Spotify by searching for IntLifeMag. All songs are available on iTunes, unless otherwise stated.

    Tobias Jesso: Without You
    Not the Nilsson hit, but Nilsson-like in its emotional intelligence.

    Stornoway: Get Low (pictured)
    Folk meets 60s pop.

    Paul Simon: Father & Daughter
    An unsung gem, now joining the classics in his “Ultimate Collection”.

    Madonna: Inside Out
    Her new album, “Rebel Heart”, is patchy, but 
this is a cracker.

    Natalie Prass: Why Don’t You Believe in Me
    The kind of ballad you slip into like a hot bath. Produced by this man...

    Matthew E. White: Take Care My Baby
    The acceptable face of meandering.

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    Photo Essay: when the big games come to town, football grounds turn into cathedralsor spaceships. Peter Kindersley captures them, from Munich to Turin and Madrid, and tells Tim de Lisle about his tour

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    ~ Posted by Tim de Lisle, April 10th 2015

    The best sound in cricket is the one that features in the celebrated speech in Tom Stoppard’s “The Real Thing”. It is not just the thwack of any old piece of willow on leather, but the sonorous pop of a well-made bat executing a well-timed stroke; a noise,” as Stoppard wrote, “like a trout taking a fly.” The second-best sound in cricket, for most of the past 50 years, has been a sentence. “And after So-and-So, it will be Richie Benaud.”

    As a cricketer, Benaud was very good. As a captain, he was one of the best. But, as a commentator, he was in a class of his own.

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    ~ Posted by Tim de Lisle, April 8th 2015

    On our cover is one of the all-time great faces. It belongs to a woman so loved that we don’t have to put her name in lights: that bone structure announces itself. The Line of Beauty is about the gamine in history, and Audrey Hepburn is the gamine’s gamine.

    She died in 1993, yet she has lost none of her luminosity. For the past two years, a commercial has been running on television which uses Hepburnapparently resurrectedto sell a bar of chocolate, by sprinkling some of her “classiness and elegance” on it, in the words of one of the team providing the CGI trickery (who also worked on the film “Gravity”). In January, a cosmetics firm published a poll of 2,000 women who had been asked to name the “ultimate beauty icon of all time”. Marilyn Monroe might have been the bookies’ favourite, or Grace Kelly; in fact they finished second and third, behind Hepburn. All three of them made their name in the Fifties, which suggests that that is where, when we look back, we detect the greatest beauty. Or perhaps it’s just that 60 years is the span of living memory.

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    ~ Posted by Tim de Lisle, March 30th 2015

    “Lyra and her daemon…” it begins, echoing Virgil’s “Arms and the man”. It grips you there and then (what on Earth is a daemon?) and doesn’t let go for three books. “Northern Lights”, the first book in Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” trilogy, has now been with us for 20 years. It has become a modern classic, much loved, vastly popular (15m copies sold), adapted into a delightful play and a frustrating film. Lyra has become famous, a heroine so tough and resourceful that the label we stick on spirited girls, “feisty”, feels far too watery for her. And the idea of the daemon, the constant animal companion who reflects a child’s mood or a grown-up’s essence, has got under our skin.

    Pullman, now 68, marked the anniversary by giving an interview to Nicolette Jones at the Oxford Literary Festival. He came into the Sheldonian Theatremajestic but cosy, and packedsporting a silver ponytail and moving a little stiffly. He had just cancelled another appearance because of illness, and halfway through this event he said, “I’m sorry, I’m not feeling very well, I’m going to have to go out. I’ll be back in a minute.” But, either side of this, he spoke just the way he writesrapidly, directly, with a sparkling energy. Here are 20 things he said that demanded to be scribbled down.

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