Saturday, March 26, 2011

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

A few years ago, the Warhol Museum commissioned musicians Dean and Britta to compose music to accompany some of Andy Warhol's "Screen Tests," which were four-minute silent films of the faces of people with whom Warhol associated in the 1960's when he worked out of the Factory studio. Dean and Britta wrote music (and in a few cases played covers) to go along with 13 of these screen tests, and also released an album and dvd as part of the project.

The whole show, including Dean and Britta and their backing band, played the Cleveland Museum of Art's Gartner Auditorium last Wednesday.

Despite not necessarily being a Dean and Britta devotee (and not really being a devotee of their past bands), I had a good feeling about this performance. I couldn't have been more right.

First, I was shocked by how many people the museum's auditorium held, and I also couldn't believe how many people attended this event. I was initially afraid that the $26+ price tag, combined with it being a Wednesday night, would result in low turnout. Instead, the place was nearly packed, and I just read that it holds almost 700 people.

As they played the songs, the movies were projected on a giant screen in the background. Dean and Britta talked about most of the movies in between songs, and gave brief summaries of the lives (and some tragic deaths) of the lesser known subjects that the show featured.

Given the nature of the event, and the fact that the screen tests of both Lou Reed and Nico were chosen to be included in the program, the entire show had an unmistakable Velvet Underground feel. Which most of the (very age diverse) crowd ate up, myself included.

The show was worth every penny, and I left with the feeling that this town still knows a good time when it sees one.

Here are a few clips of the show from other cities:

1 comment:

Ben said...

Looks like a fun event. The second song especially had a VU feel--the start of it sounds a lot like "Heroin," although they definitely get more into their own sound as the song progresses. The music seemed well-matched for the images.