As Peter Margasak mentioned in yesterday’s 12 O’Clock Track, local experimental label Thrill Jockey Records has been celebrating its 20th anniversary by hosting special shows across the country since September. The label announced the first handful of one-off blowouts back in July; though a Chicago date was missing from that list of events, there was no question about celebrating the imprint’s anniversary in its hometown. “We were always going to do it in December, we were always going to do a party, and it was gonna be a free show, so we didn’t need to announce it early” says founder Bettina Richards.

So the Thrill Jockey bash finally swings through town tonight, and it’s all happening at the Empty Bottle; local heavyweights Tortoise and the Sea and Cake will perform with Man Forever (aka Oneida’s Kid Million), and it is indeed free with an RSVP. While the lineup for the affair reads like a regular concert, Richards stresses that it’s much more of a party. “We just want it to be fun,” she says. “I mean, shows are fun too, but I don’t want anybody sitting at a merch table that works here. I just wanted a free party for the hometown.”