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13 Most Beautiful… Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests

By Claudia La Rocco September 16, 2011

So, I’ve been talking a lot about what it means to work as an audience member. But I’m not a total puritan (actually, my idea of working is really quite hedonistic … you get back what you put in…).

And, sometimes, you know, a girl just wants to be shown a good time. Especially a smart good time—one that, should she so desire it, gives her the space to dream and think.

“It’s pure seduction.” That’s how Cathy Edwards described Dean & Britta’s 13 Most Beautiful… Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests as we slid into our seats last night at WHS.

Yes, yes it is—seduction of surfaces, of images, of sound …. there’s a reason musicians and movie stars get a lot of play, and 13 Most Beautiful plays right into these tropes (really, they’re more like the American versions of Greek mythologies; celebrity culture never changes). The results are delicious.

Of course, the source material is, too: Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests, filmed between 1964 and ‘66. For this concept concert Dean Wareham and Britta Philips (formerly of Luna fame and many other cool things, including JEM) have set 13 of them to songs, both original and covers, in between offering wry, low-key narrations. Filled with drugs, sex, madness and death, their selected details encapsulate the lives of Warhol’s subjects—even as those subjects, like all good enigmas, evade capture.

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