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A Choice Guide

The Taper’s Choice Guidebook

Taper’s Choice is an LA jamband with East Coast roots. Formed in 2021, the band has released 3 choice tapes and a number of live shows. To help keep track of everything Taper’s Choice, we at wookplus have created this guide.

The players:

Alex Bleeker - Bass, Vocals

Dave Harrington - Guitar

Chris Tomson - Drums, Vocals

Zach Tenorio Miller - Keys

The songs:

Above the Timberline

A grand song that sounds like late 70s era Grateful Dead in the best ways. It’s probably the most familiar sounding of TC songs. The song structure has led to some reliable jams namely the Jam Hollywood version from 4’24’22. Around the eight minute mark the keys and guitars begin to take us on a blissful jam while the rhythm section keeps us grounded creating a relaxing moment in a chaotic world.

Every Bubble>Born to Burst

Two songs that have always followed each other even when broken up by a set break. Every Bubble is a short and to the point song rarely reaching over 5 minutes while the instrumental Born to Burst is a jamming instrumental that sets up for some fun short jams that get to the peak and ride. The keyboard parts really shine on this song the main riff

Lilac Palace

The trustiest jam vehicle the band has to date, this song has two spots for exploration: the intro and the middle. They begin with an extended intro jam before getting to the deadhead flowers on an installer morning portion of the song. After Alex’s verse ends the band explores the space in between verses with deft hands being careful not to ruin the vibes of this song. While Timberline and Running might be more fully realized as proper songs, Lilac Palace has the most interesting jamming to date in a Choice show.

The Dave Test (Yes)

A jazz inspired song that Dave likes.

The Dave Test (No)

A jazz inspired song that Dave is wrong about.

Walking Around

Could be considered the emotional song in the TC repertoire. With lyrics about dogs getting old and a girl being with the wrong guy. The song begins with a nod to life before COVID (We would go where it’s always clear, now you’re wearing gumshoes on your mouth”) The song evokes a feeling of helplessness for things changing and how we escape to our minds to find relief. Musically the band hasn’t really jammed out this song yet but they have taken it out for a bit of walk, see the Jam Hollywood show.

Running from the Rain

A solid song that will have you dancing and singing along in no time. This is another TC tune that sounds like a Dead b-side but this time maybe from Workingman’s Dead era.

The Impossible Sound

A quiet beauty of a song. Having only appeared once live, this song is shaping up to already be a rarity 10 shows in.

Lick The Toad

You can hear the Miles Davis influence on this one. When TC chose jam inspirations they didn’t limit themselves to rock jams. Everything from the beat of the drums to the chaotic keys sound like someone who started jamming after listening to Bitches Brew. Somehow it works out to a terrific rock song that has quickly become a fan favorite.

Doner Wrap

Aside from being a great pun on the Phil Lesh Donor Rap, this song has a gem of guitar lick that will have you hungry for more. A workhorse of a song, Wrap can open a show or close a show or if really needed do both like at Choicefest.

The Shows:

3’11’22 - The Last Gold Diggers Show

The second show the band ever played. They get straight to rocking with a “Darkness on the Edge of Town” opener. The band then plays through a solid take of Running From the Rain.

4’22’22 - The Relix studio show.

This show was broadcast live via twitch and features the band interacting with both the house audience and online chat. Unfortunately, the show is no longer available on The Relix Twitch Channel.

4’24’22 - The Jam Hollywood show.

Played in Brooklyn the band’s fifth show, and 1st two set show, is a stellar example of the band’s potential. This show opens with a solid version of Running in the Rain and just takes off from there. Culminating in the best version of Darkness on the Edge of Midtown yet, complete with Stuart Boogie on saxophone. After the set break the band returns with a stellar version of Above the Timberline and the debut of Lilac Palace before bringing up Cameron Winter from Geese to play the Geese single “Low”. This marks the first time that a cover has had vocals in a TC show but none of the band members sing thus keeping fans waiting for a full TC cover with band vocals. They band closes the show with a stellar Doner Wrap that contains pure type 1 jamming bliss.

5’6’22 - The Grateful Dead show.

Hosted in Pasadena’s Old Towne Pub, this show sees Taper’s Choice take over Dead night and play fantastically. This is the show I recommend to people if they are going to listen to an entire show. The band is introduced as the Magnificant Seven in music form and the band lives up to the hype. The band comes out rocking with a high energy Darkness with, their best opening song in my humble opinion. After Darkness Alex jokes “We’re Taper’s Choice and these are Grateful Dead songs… they are if you really think about it.” Showing the band’s humor before they play their most Dead sounding song Above the Timberline followed by the “LA Debut” of Lick the Toad. After opening up set two with the second half of Every Bubble/Born to Burst the band plays their only live version of Impossible Sound known to date, segueing into an inspired take on Lilac Palace. The finish up the show with Running From the Rain and a trusty Doner Wrap closer.

5’13’22 - The furtherest north? show.

This Big Sur show had the band feeling they were in a different place and it shows throughout the show. Opening with Timberline, Zach shines on this rendition really hammering home the notes. The band goes through a standard Running in the Rain before opening a tasty Doner Wrap.

6’9’22 - The Surprise Drop

Whether the band’s show was a surprise to those who attended or not the release of this show was a delight for fans that didn’t know it was coming. A short but energetic set this begins with Darkness on the Edge of Midtown and keeps the energy up throughout the set, plowing through Running from the Rain and taking Doner Wrap for an extended trip out with some blissful type I jamming.

6’10’22 - The Huichica Music Fest.

This short festival set opens with a Dave’s Test that not only passes the test but flows seamlessly into a blissful Lilac Palace, providing almost 25 minutes of all killer no filler jamming and that’s just the start. After some quick stage banter the band gets right back into it with a tasty but small sized Doner Wrap that still manages to hit the spot with Dave’s stellar guitar work. The band ends the set with a Darkness on the Edge of Midtown leaving the audience wanting more.

6’18’22 - The 1st Choice Fest.

Let’s start with the audio issues that were present throughout the show. Shit happens, we deal with that. The band made the best of an unfortunate situation. Despite the audio difficulties, the band really shined.

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