HowSound Reviews “Stay Free: The Story Of The Clash”

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I’m sure you’ve heard people say that this is the golden age of radio, thanks to podcasting. Well, it’s also the golden age of documentaries and storytelling about music. And it’s about freaking time.

For decades, commercial radio has been playing music. But, rarely did stations and networks produce the obvious — stories about the music they play.

Public Radio has been a bit better over the years, to be sure. I remember hearing “The Miles Davis Radio Project” (MDRP) for the first time back in the 1990s. (I purchased it for the radio station I managed; it came through the mail on reel-to-reel tape!) Listening, I thought “Wait, you can do that on the radio?” MDRP was a multi-part, in-depth look at Miles. It was stunning. And so obvious. Radio is the perfect medium for music documentaries. But, MDRP was a rarity.

Now, podcasts have picked up where radio left off. Song Exploder, Lost Notes, Sound Opinions, Broken Record . . . I’ll stop there save for one more — Stay Free: The Story of the Clash.

On this episode of HowSound, I review Stay Free. It’s Spotify’s equivalent of the Miles Davis Radio Project in terms of length and depth. But, whereas MDRP was nearly perfect in every way, I think the producers of Stay Free miss the mark a bit — especially in terms of the tone. Take a listen and hear what I mean.

(HowSound has, largely, been more of an exploration of the practice of audio storytelling, not a critical examination of individual stories or podcasts. So, this feels new to me – a first attempt – and I don’t know that I quite hit the mark. Please let me know how I can improve. I think this is something I may want to do more of especially since there doesn’t seem be a lot of critical analysis of audio storytelling. And, it just seems to make sense to offer analysis of audio storytelling in an audio format.) 

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