In concert: Dean & Britta’s “13 Most Beautiful ... Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests” at the National Gallery of Art


Dean & Britta perform in front of a screen test of Ann Buchanan at the National Gallery of Art. (Josh Sisk/FTWP)

“13 Most Beautiful . . . Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests” combined a baker’s dozen of the roughly four-minute, black-and-white moving portraits with a live soundtrack provided by dream-pop group Dean Britta. Commissioned for the project in 2008 by the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, the duo sifted through the possibilities before deciding on 13 subjects and composing a song to fit each one. Their choices focused on Factory regulars rather than celebrities, the eager, vulnerable and artistic youth who saw Warhol as a father figure.

Singer-guitarist Dean Wareham and bassist-keyboardist Britta Phillips ceded the spotlight to the hypnotic films while adding crucial atmospherics. During “Ann Buchanan Theme,” the group played a gentle instrumental — lightly strummed electric guitar, soft keyboard chirps — as Buchanan stared out from the screen. When tears started to stream down her face, Wareham delivered one of his elegant solos, the kind he perfected as leader of indie-rock groups Galaxie 500 and Luna.



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