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13 Most Beautiful: Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests

13 Most Beautiful: Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests
Dean & Britta
©2010 Double Feature Records

Renowned pop artist Andy Warhol swapped canvas for celluloid and made 13 short black-and-white silent films between 1964 and 1966, all of which followed a single subject (person), usually within the confines of his Factory studio. Luna veterans Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips were commissioned by the Warhol Museum to provide a soundtrack for the film, and the resulting two-disc set, 13 Most Beautiful: Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests collects all of those pieces, along with a handful of remixes. Tapping one third of the late-'80s pop outfit Galaxie 500 was a no-brainer, as Wareham’s made a career out of building dreamy, minimalist, Velvet Underground-style jams for over 20 years, and instrumental cuts like “Silver Factory Theme” and “Herringbone Tweed” feel like audio postcards of the late-'60s Factory scene. Phillips’ sexy, plain-jane voice dutifully echoes Nico on a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Keep It with Mine,” Wareham’s “It Don't Rain in Beverly Hills” (for the Edie Sedgwick screen test) rolls down the road on a foundation of spacy beats and blips, and a rousing take on the Velvets’ “I'm Not a Young Man Anymore” feels both sad and triumphant. 13 Most Beautiful ends fittingly with the languid “Sweet Jane” and the Paul America-inspired “Teenage Lightning (And Lonely Highways)”. ~ James Christopher Monger, Rovi



13 Most Beautiful: Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests

13 Most Beautiful: Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests
©2010 AWM

Between 1964 and 1966, Andy Warhol shot nearly 500 Screen Tests, beautiful and revealing portraits of hundreds of different individuals, from the famous to the anonymous, all visitors to his studio, the Factory.

Subjects were captured in stark relief by a strong keylight, and filmed by Warhol with his stationary 16mm Bolex camera on silent, black and white, 100-foot rolls of film. The resulting two-and-a-half-minute film reels were then screened in slow motion, resulting in a fascinating collection of four-minute masterpieces that startle and entrace, mesmerizing in the purest sense of the world.

The 13 Screen Tests included are Paul America, Susan Bottomly, Ann Buchanan, Freddy Herko, Jane Holzer (Toohbrush), Dennis Hopper, Billy Name, Nico, Richard Rheem, Lou Reed (Coke), Edie Sedgwick, Ingrid Superstar and Mary Woronov.

Songwriters Bean Wareham and Britta Phillips, formerly of the band Luna and currently recording as label Dean and Britta, created new soundtracks for the 13 films, incorporating original compositions as well as cover songs. The musical sensibilites of Dean and Britta, as well as their keen interest in cinema and their experience with scoring films, including Noah Baumbach's acllaimed feature The Squid and the Whale, make them a perfect match for this project.



Youth Publications Podcast

Youth Publications Podcast Series 

Now in its eighth year, the Warhol's Youth Publications program teaches publishing skills to high school students ages 14 and up in the Pittsburgh area. Inspired by Andy Warhol's own interest in publishing, filming and recording, the Warhol Museum is creating podcasts related to the arts, driven by the Youth Publications team's own interests.