We usually reserve this monthly franchise for musical artists that have made their mark in the city of Chicago and beyond. However, when a local record company celebrates its 20th birthday--especially during such a tumultuous time in the music industry--it calls for some much deserved attention.
To be fair, Thrill Jockey Records didn't originate in Chicago. When founder Bettina Richards left Atlantic Records in 1992 to form Thrill Jockey the company was initially based in New York. In 1995 she moved the label to Chicago and, since its been operating out of the Windy City ever since, we're proud to call it our own.
Thrill Jockey might not be pumping out releases from radio stars like U2 or Ke$ha but ask any music fan from Chicago and they'll likely tell you that the label is responsible for some of the best locally produced records from the past two decades.
The fact that many of Thrill Jockey's most important artists have stayed with them over the years rather than jumping ship for a bigger and more mainstream label is as much a testament to its success as is its longevity. Chicago indie rock influentials like Tortoise and The Sea And Cake have been with Thrill Jockey Records from the start and have gone on to have successful careers touring the country and putting out one ciritically acclaimed album after the next.
Both of the aforementioned arists will be hitting the stage this Thursday at Thrill Jockey's 20th birthday party. Typically, we're used to giving gifts to the birthday celebrant not recieving them, but Thrill Jockey has decided to give back to its loyal fans and put on this fantastic night of music for FREE. RSVP on the Empty Bottle's website and get to the venue (1035 N. Western Ave. in Ukranian Village) on Thursday, December 20 for the show. The concert starts at 8 p.m. and is limited to music fans 21 and over.
Thanks for the music, Thrill Jockey! Here's to 20 more!