How Can I Tell You?

89.35 FM

„This was John Carter and Bobby Bradford with The Sunday Afternoon Jazz Blues Society. I’m your host Kyungsoo, tonight together with Chanyeol as second host. Chan, how are?” Kyungsoo spoke into his microphone, staring at the man in front of him. Chanyeol was clearly nervous.

“Kyungsoo, hello there. I’m doing great, especially with tonight’s guest. And hello to our lovely listeners too. Maybe some heard me today already since I had the shift this morning. And hello to our livestream as well. If you want to know more about our show this evening or want to know anything else, catch us on www.eightninethreefive.ca or on Twitch where you can watch or listen to our previous podcasts, guest DJs or the current radio program.” Chanyeol calmed down the more he spoke. He spun a pen between his fingers, almost dropping it in the process, while keeping his eyes on Kyungsoo that smiled reassuringly at him.

“That’s right, tonight’s guest and guest DJ is a rising star in the music industry and already has a gigantic fan base that swallows everything he has to offer. And I personally am his biggest fan and I’m pretty much thankful for his use and crediting of Black Jazz and Blues influences, even if he’s more into rap. Welcome to the weekly Air-Check at eight, at eight-nine-point-three-five. The next song is Barney Bigard’s Barney’s Bounce.” Kyungsoo muted his microphone. “You okay there, Chanyeollie?”

“Yes Sir, just the nerves, like always.” He stated offhandedly, while reading the chat of their Twitch stream. “Hello, hello. Ah, I read some familiar names. How are you all tonight? Are you just excited as I am? Oh, and we’re a lot more this evening. I saw that LOEY shared the link on his Twitter. Yes, yes, he’ll be here soon.” Chanyeol spoke into the camera while reading and answering the chat.

 

o-apostrophe-sehun [✓]: guys, r u playin anything else than the y
bedroom music? Ikonw your guest djs plalist for today!

 

Kyungsoo laughed loudly and shook his head in denial. “This was Barney’s Bounce by Barney Bigard. This is 89.35 and hello there, LOEY. Thanks for being with us today.” The chat went quite for a couple of seconds.

“Hello again, Kyungsoo. Thanks for having me.” Chanyeol was taken aback for a second as well but composed himself fairly quickly.

“You’re not only nominated for the Blue Note Award, but also for the Album of the Year on Billboard?” Kyungsoo sounded very, very excited by the prospect of the nomination alone. He had pounced on Chanyeol’s bed when he read the nominations and kneed Chanyeol pretty badly into his crotch in the process. They got drunk in the middle of the day, much to their radio host’s dismay who had to lock the door in the process.

“To be honest, I don’t know what excites me more: the prospect of the BNA or Billboard. I mean Rising Jazz Star? And for the BNA I’m not alone, I mean, can I tell? But first, the next track is Kenny Davern and Ken Peplowski’s rendition of Creole Love Call on 89.35.” Chanyeol started to resemble a puppy the bigger his eyes got. The song started and Chanyeol looked expectant while Kyungsoo was reading the chat and answering some questions. Of course, the chat was a mess. Chanyeol just dropped that he was LOEY and because of the Billboards, he was pretty known even more. A bit too much for Kyungsoo’s taste. But the Mighty Hepcats Vancouver Quartet was nominated as well for some unknown and inexplicable reason, sales had been crazy that year. Hell, no-one ever imagined that, not in a million years and not with that name. That quartet formed a year or two before Chanyeol and Kyungsoo went live for the first time on their radio frequency. It was a trio before that, consisting of Park Chanyeol on the keys, Chiamaka Kimathi on the bass, Ryker Armstrong on the guitar. With the addition of Doh Kyungsoo on the clarinet, they became a quartet and it wasn’t Chanyeol who urged him to join, but Chimaka. It happened when Chimaka wanted to pick up Chanyeol for a gig who hadn’t been home at that point and that’s the one time Kyungsoo had practiced clarinet. Somehow even Chanyeol didn’t knew he played the clarinet. And the bass player bullied him into playing for him, whipping his bass out and they played an impromptu session when Chanyeol came home. Needless to say, Chanyeol also bullied him into coming along for the gig.

Yet they all only used initials on their albums. It was their thing and if they played live, only small clubs no-one knew.  

“This was Kenny Davern and Ken Peplowski with Creolo Love Call. I’m today joined by the producer and musician LOEY. Our listeners on the radio know you for your extensive and great late-night playlist, or as someone commented ‘y Bedroom Music’,” Kyungsoo started his radio program again. Flicking through his notes, while Chanyeol was commenting on some comments in the chat. “Would you like to tell us how you came to Jazz. I mean, not a lot in our age appreciate it as one should.”

“Absolutely by accident, I mean, I started playing Jazz kind of late, compared to some great Alto-Sax players or guitarists that are shy of adulthood and who do great, great things. I playing in the quartet for,” he counted with his fingers, “How old am I again? 34… Oh god, it’s fifteen years next year. Wait, I am 35, it is fifteen years already. I started at the ripe age of eighteen, when I bought a bunch of old CDs and LPs at a second-hand store for samples. I mean, yeah, buying data files is all nice, but there’s nothing as meditative as the scratching of the needle on the records. I think Miles Davis was even my first CD? The clerk recommended me a few. Surprise, he really mainly recommended Blues, Jazz, and everything in between. Everything our radio stands for.”

 

munchinkcheesepie: Chan is also playing in a quartet, is there some-
thing the man can’t do? What are you playing in the band?

 

Kyungsoo read the comment out to Chanyeol to reply to it. “I’m playing the piano, but sometimes we spread out to be a tet and then I alternate between keys and drums, whatever I fancy.”

“Someone else asks who’s also playing in the quartet and what the name is,” Kyungsoo summarised a few other comments. Picking them apart that day was a lot harder since a lot more people where in the chat because of LOEY. Yet the whole chat was still a mess because some people were aghast about how dumb they are since LOEY was just a palindrome of Chanyeol’s name.

“We’re the, hold your horses, The Mighty Hepcats Vancouver Quartet. And this is the first time to members will be fully named and not only with their initials. I’m playing the keys, RA is Ryker Armstrong, our guitarist and Chimaka Kimathi, CK, on the bass. We started as a trio, when I was 20 and we met in uni, the other two are were one or two semesters ahead of me.” Chanyeol’s eyes started twinkling and Kyungsoo had to look away. It was just fair that other people saw how Chanyeol was radiating when he talked about his passions and he felt bad about interrupting him.

 

Mroldman: And who’s the fourth addition?

 

“Ah, Herbert was it? Welcome back, it’s nice to see you again!” Kyungsoo had read out the question before he pieced together the username. It was the nice older man that was there when they were live the week before. He even had written a very long email to the two and Kyungsoo got so teary-eyed that he printed it out and stuck it to the wall in the radio boost.

“Herbert!” Chanyeol was just as happy to hear that name. “You’re talking to him right now. The fourth member is no other than our dear and beloved host Kyungsoo! He’s playing clarinet. But I won’t talk too much. The next song is by Charles Lloyd and is called ‘How Can I Tell You’.” Chanyeol was beaming. He stood up, after he took his headphones off, and walked around the table towards the upright piano. He set up the microphone there and disappeared through the door, while Kyungsoo was talking to the livestream. He spotted some other names he recognised in the comments and each and every one just made his smile wider. Thanks to LOEY, the reception of the show was a lot more than anticipated. His phone was starting to vibrate with sudden notifications, and he threw an eye on it. Of course, a selfie of Sehun with a glass of wine and in the background the livestream. Man, that was somewhat embarrassing, especially since the caption read ‘my men are getting all the prices!!’  What did he do to deserve such friends? And he found requests in his inbox if Chanyeol was still single, or himself. He could only shake his head.

“Kyungsoo!” He looked up, when Chanyeol called his name and he saw the phone aimed at him a second too late. “Oh, this photo looks great!”

“Show me!” He hated it. He was going to quit the show, the quartet, and this relationship he had with Chanyeol and Sehun. He didn’t deserve this disrespect.

“Too late,” Chanyeol smiled brightly at him and Kyungsoo got another notification. LOEY had him tagged in a story. There goes his quiet and mundane life on social media. That’s when Kyungsoo realised the case Chanyeol had in his hand. He lifted it with a look full of expectancy. Kyungsoo knew exactly what Chanyeol’s plan was, he lived together with Chanyeol for damn twelve years already and worked together with him just as long. But he wouldn’t be able to decline him at all.

Chanyeol leaned over Kyungsoo, much to the surprise of some viewers that are new to their livestream, but he just flicks the microphone back on and plugged in the one for the upright. “The next song will be a little surprise,” in the background Kyungsoo was playing scales until he deemed everything good, “Kyungsoo and I play Cole Porter’s Begin the Beguine by Artie Shaw as a duo, featuring me on the keys and our lovable host on the clarinet. We’re also playing a charity concert next week and you’re all invited.” He sat down and pressed the first keys before Kyungsoo jumped in. The three minutes of the song were over faster than they anticipated and so did the listeners that seemed to be mesmerised. A lot wrote that they never listen to Jazz because LOEY’s usually music is more Rap orientated, but someone also pointed out in the comments that LOEY’s SoundCloud was actually more Jazz Rap orientated and that it wasn’t that far off.

“Since it isn’t nine yet, I’d say we play a little more to make the best of our time. Chanyeol, stay seated over there.” Kyungsoo spoke into the microphone, eyeing the clock. He turned around to Chanyeol and winked at him, feeling himself smiling brightly. He missed playing like this, even if they practice quite regularly, but just playing with Chanyeol alone? He reached a hand out for Chanyeol to take, who engulfed the smaller hand in his own, squeezing before retracting his hand. “The next song is Benny Goodman’s Stompin’ at the Savoy. Enjoy. This is 89.35 and I’m your host Kyungsoo joined by my guest DJ and producer LOEY.”

Chanyeol was always surprised by how many songs Kyungsoo was able to memorise, but he didn’t complain. But he would be curious to know how people would react if they knew how talented Kyungsoo really was, when they knew how well he sang. He was a bit smitten and he might gush about it on his twitter later on after the show, or on the livestream, because that what still go for at least an hour.

 

“This was this month’s second out-of-the-ordinary, if I say so myself, Air-Check. LOEY, thank you for joining me this evening. It was an honour to be the first person in the media to have an interview with you from face to face.” Kyungsoo stretched while speaking. He really craved a cigarette as off now.

“Kyungsoo, thank you for having me, even if I announced myself last week out of the blue. And I would really like to thank my fans for all the support over the years, even if I never shown my face until now or my voice. Please anticipate the next Mighty Hepcats record, also finally with all our names on it and not out initials.” Chanyeol let out a boisterous laugh. “The last song for tonight’s show will be 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover by Dr. Lonnie Smith. We’ll see each other again in the morning, thank you and good night.”

Kyungsoo checked if the playlists for the night were all set up and running, as well as some of the automated announcements. He knocked his knuckles on the table and took his headphones off. Stretching again, he got off his swivel chair and tugged his clarinet back into its case, after he cleaned it. Chanyeol was chatting away with the chat of the livestream. Kyungsoo really needed to go to toilet, as well as a cigarette. The craving for it got worse. Chanyeol gave him a knowing smile and winked at him.

 

Kyungsoo was just out of the booth and stood at the balcony, listening to the sounds of the city underneath, when the door was slid open and Chanyeol stepped out, leaning all of his weight over Kyungsoo’s frame. “Thank you.” He lifted himself off him. With his back pressed against the railing of the balcony, he rested his elbows on it and threw his head back. He closed his eyes, inhaling the smells of the air and the city, as well as the cigarette smoke.

“You know, I’m not cheap. My advertisement charges are pretty high for people I know,” Kyungsoo glanced at Chanyeol with a side eyes and Chanyeol’s smile grew even wider.

Chanyeol turned his head towards his co-host, eyes hooded, “I would have a few ideas how to pay you.” Kyungsoo turned his face fully to him, his bushy and expressive eyebrow raised, staring at the taller over the rim of his glasses, “I don’t know if it was Sehun’s comment of calling the music y bedroom music or you’re just plain sacrilegious. I’m pure and prude, I forbid me such statements in my humble abode.”

“I’ve got tickets to a clarinet quintet playing Samuel Taylor-Coleridge and some other stuff?”

“Coleridge-Taylor. Samuel Taylor-Coleridge and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor are two totally different men.”

“My bad, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor,” Chanyeol mused while turning around fully towards Kyungsoo who had almost finished his cigarette.

“Dinner beforehand as well, that’s my terms of service,” his elbow propped up on the railing as well, Kyungsoo rested his chin in his palm and looked at Chanyeol, smiling slightly. “Let’s get back in, we can’t leave the chat waiting and I don’t need Sehun wreaking havoc in the chat with stories about us.”

Chanyeol led him back in, his palm rested against Kyungsoo’s shoulder blade before they settled back into their respective swivel chairs.

 

Kyungsoo looked over to Chanyeol when he slid his headphones back on and turned the break screen off, “Busking afterwards, my terms of service.” Chanyeol whispered softly before Kyungsoo turned their microphones back on and nodded, sending a wink Chanyeol’s way who got way too flustered by the sudden display of affection.

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