Venerable Chicago label (by way of New York) Thrill Jockey knows how to put out quality music. In 2007, the label released a box set full of interesting contributions on seven-inch vinyl (Plum) to celebrate its 15th anniversary. This time around, some of those same artists join the label in celebrating its 20th in what could end up on the shortlist of the year’s best club shows as Tortoise, The Sea And Cake, and Man Forever all take the stage Thursday night at Empty Bottle. The last in a series of anniversary shows throughout the country, and fitting of the label it celebrates, Thursday’s “Thrill Jockey 20th Anniversary Party” features what the event poster dubs “Weird sets for the hometown weirdos.” While it’s anyone’s guess just what that means, the concept of drinks on the house (between 8 and 9 p.m.) seems pretty self-explanatory.
The rare appearance from Tortoise welcomes the avant-garde, post-rock quintet back to Chicago following an October tour of Australia while The Sea And Cake take the stage in support of their February Thrill Jockey release Runner (the band’s ninth, it features a heavier slant toward electronic elements over guitar). Man Forever’s May release on the label (Pansophical Cataract) features six drummers on two tracks spanning a whopping thirty-seven minutes.
With free admission (must RSVP to attend), there’s pretty much no excuse not to celebrate. (Thursday@Empty Bottle.)