Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Saturday, November 27

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« Day Four: Tomorrow Never Knows - Superchunk, RoomRunner, Split Single @ Cabaret Metro 1/18/14 Review: Perfect Pussy @ Schubas 1/22 »

Review Sun Jan 19 2014

Jake Bugg, Live from Studio X, 1/18

I was waiting outside Kingston Mines on Saturday, awaiting the set of fledgling indie folk darling Jake Bugg. The Live from Studio X show by WXRT was to feature the British musician for a short set and question and answer session, which I was delighted to attend. As I waited in line while watching the snow steadily fall, seemingly covering Halsted Street completely, suddenly Jake Bugg stepped out of a car and nonchalantly walked into the venue. With this action, the show was already different than most I had attended previously; it was already established that this show would be more intimate, carefree and casual than most, a change I certainly welcomed.

jake buggPatrons amassed quickly within the venue as Bugg played a quick song to soundcheck and fine tune the acoustics before the firm 3pm start time. I was immediately enchanted by the tenacity of his voice, which somehow sounded even better in a live setting than on record. It is difficult sometimes to remember that he is only 19 years old, as he sings with a maturity that rings out clearly as he is far wiser than his years.

Jake Bugg began the set with "Slumville Sunrise," off of his recently released album Shangri La, a raucous, rapid ballad that truly showcases the essence of his musical style, if it can even be pinned down. With a voice reminiscent of Bob Dylan and energized, deliberate guitar in the background, listeners truly got a sense of his style and why he is currently such a revered newcomer in the music industry not only for 2013, but beyond.

"There's no point in holding it back," Bugg discussed with Marty Lennartz, WXRT radio host, in regards to his reasoning behind releasing two albums in one year, which is typically an unprecedented process for many artists today. He mentioned that a few songs were written first, which quickly turned into an 18 song album, and it just "made sense" to release it within the same year, an ambitious project. His first album is more raw in its production, while the second album showcases fine-tuned elements and a more varied rock style rather than strictly acoustic folk found on his self-titled debut. He also mentioned that there is no reason to remain stagnant when releasing music, and that it's okay if individuals preferred one of his albums over the other, but that doesn't mean that he shouldn't continuously be evolving his sound into something new.

After his first interview session, Bugg then played a slower, more languid version of "Me and You," which definitely retained the beauty of the original recording. A love story, the song displayed his versatility as an artist. He can juxtapose rockabilly jams and sweeter folk tunes with ease, and displays many variations on the traditional folk style within his recordings. He then addressed the next question posed, if he actually felt like an old soul, to which he remained modest and humble about the wisdom that he inherently possesses. From hearing him interviewed, I could tell that he sincerely cares about the music that he creates and the fans that receive it, and he is looking forward to continuously maturing his musical style as time moves forward.

As the 30-minute slot wound to a close as Bugg needed to depart and get ready for his show at the Riviera that same evening, he ended with listening favorite, "Lightning Bolt." Definitely an old soul, Jake Bugg imparted his wisdom to the crowd at Kingston Mines for a memorable and special Live at Studio X experience.

GB store
GB store

Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

GB store


Featured Series


Transmission on Flickr

Join the Transmission Flickr Pool.

About Transmission

Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Sarah Brooks,
Transmission staff inbox:



Transmission Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15