The Unknown

with live accompaniment by Kent Lambert and Sam Wagster
Friday, October 27, 2017 - 7:00pm

Kent Lambert and Sam Wagster of Chicago bands Roommate and The Father Costume present the local debut of their live score to Tod Browning's macabre circus melodrama The Unknown. Lon Chaney stars as an armless knife thrower in one of his signature embodiments of masochism that filmmaker Guy Maddin calls "an absolutely nightmarish, gooseflesh-inducing spectacle of toxic heartsickness taken to its fatal extreme." Wagster and Lambert's largely improvised score features pedal steel and electric guitar sampled and processed into electronic pulses that fluctuate and modulate with the rhythms of the narrative, punctuated by sound effects and vocoder-processed dialogue.  

(Tod Browning, USA, 1927, 63 min., 35mm)  

Kent Lambert and Sam Wagster are bandmates in Chicago ensembles Roommate and The Father Costume. Sam has also performed with Fruit Bats, The Cairo Gang, Azita, and Moon Bros. In addition to being Roommate's bandleader, songwriter, and lead vocalist since the early 2000s, Kent is known for experimental videos such as Security Anthem (2003), Fantasy Suite (2009), and the recent Reckoning series.