OZ Arts Nashville presents 13 Most Beautiful…Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests, on January 17. Indie rock musicians Dean & Britta perform adaptations of Bob Dylan, The Velvet Underground and their own original dream pop scores to a selection of Warhol’s Screen Tests (short, silent film portraits the iconic artist shot of visitors to his studio, the Factory) as the films are projected, large-scale, in OZ Arts’ vast warehouse space. Dean & Britta’s soundtracks weave together melodic guitar hooks and wistful lyrics to tell the stories of the individuals in the films: Factory superstars, celebrities, artists and writers.
13 Most Beautiful…Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests is like an archeological dig unearthing New York City’s 1960s art scene. Between 1964 and 1966, Warhol asked about 500 subjects (including Edie Sedgwick, Dennis Hopper, Nico, Lou Reed, Jane Holzer and many others) to pose, lit them with a strong key light, and filmed them with his stationary 16mm Bolex camera on silent, black-and-white, 100-foot rolls of film. The Screen Tests were shown at the Factory, as short subjects in avant-garde screenings, and as a primary visual component of Warhol’s multi-media happenings Andy Warhol Uptight (1966) and the Exploding Plastic Inevitable (1967). Those shows, featuring live performances by the Velvet Underground and Nico, provide a precedent and historic basis for 13 Most Beautiful.
The multimedia concert has garnered vast critical praise, and the project also resulted in the first official release of early Warhol films on DVD, produced in collaboration with Plexifilm and launched in April 2009. Dean & Britta released the double-album soundtrack in 2010.
Dean & Britta are Dean Wareham and Britta Philips, formerly of the ‘90s alt-rock band Luna. Dean & Britta will perform 13 Most Beautiful…Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests at 8 pm on Saturday, January 17. Tickets can be purchased at www.oznashville.com. The performance runs 70 minutes, with no intermission. OZ Arts Nashville is located at 6172 Cockrill Bend Circle in Nashville.