“The music unabashedly translated the ominous drone of early Velvet Underground songs like I’m Waiting for the Man and Venus in Furs into a more modern electronic mode reminiscent of Giorgio Moroder’s chic torture-chamber disco.” —New York Times
Singer/guitarist/composer Dean Wareham (formerly of Galaxie 500 and Luna) was commissioned by the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh to compose music to accompany some of Andy Warhol’s rarely seen silent-film portraits, which the artist called Screen Tests. These extraordinary documents of the 1960s New York art scene constitute a voluminous portrait gallery of well-known celebrities, Factory superstars, and anonymous teenagers. Wareham’s wistful tenor and languorous songs and Britta Phillips’ dreamy harmonies make the perfect live soundtrack for Warhol’s technically simple yet transfixing films. Wareham and Phillips (Dean & Britta), along with Anthony LaMarca (percussion, bass, guitar) and Matt Sumrow (guitar, keyboards), perform
13 Most Beautiful . . . Songs for Andy Warhol’s “Screen Tests”
in the Walker Art Center’s William and Nadine McGuire Theater at 8 pm on Saturday, February 28. The event is a part of the Walker Film/Video department’s Expanding the Frame series, a seven-week showcase of established and emerging directors who are breaking the boundaries of film and video.
Wareham and Phillips are former members of Luna, which Wareham started in 1992. Luna recorded seven studio albums and played their final shows in 2005. Luna’s Best of was recently released by Rhino and Beggar’s Banquet. Before joining Luna, Phillips played in several bands (Belltower, Ultrababyfat, Ben Lee), starred in the movie Satisfaction (with Julia Roberts, Justine Bateman, Liam Neeson, and Steve Cropper), and was the singing voice of the 1980s cartoon character, Jem.
In 2003 Dean & Britta released L’Avventura, an album of covers and duets produced by Tony Visconti (Bowie, T. Rex), followed by an EP of remixes by Sonic Boom, entitled Sonic Souvenirs. They recorded Words You Used to Say in 2006, and their latest album, Back Numbers, with Visconti in 2007. They composed music for the 2004 film The Squid & the Whale by Noah Baumbach. Released in conjunction with The Andy Warhol Museum, the DVD 13 Most Beautiful . . . Songs for Andy Warhol’s “Screen Tests” will be released by Plexifilm on March 24.
Beyond the Gallery Preshow Tour, 7 pm
Purchase a ticket to the 13 Most Beautiful . . . Songs for Andy Warhol’s “Screen Tests” performance and register for a free preshow tour of the exhibition Live Forever: Elizabeth Peyton (opening February 14), which focuses on the artistic practice of celebrity portraiture. Limited to 25 people; early registration encouraged.
13 Most Beautiful Young Artists
Thursday, February 26, 6:30 pm, Free
Walker Art Center’s William and Nadine McGuire Theater
Inspired by Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests and Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips’ 13 Most Beautiful . . ., the Walker Art Center Teen Arts Council (WACTAC) created 13 original films and commissioned young musicians to compose accompanying soundtracks. Join us for the resulting collaboration—a raucous night of live performance and film.
Tickets to Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips 13 Most Beautiful . . . Songs for Andy Warhol’s “Screen Tests” are $22 ($18) Walker members) and are available at walkerart.org/tickets or by calling 612.375.7600.