January 2024 media

  • Immediate Family: A music documentary film. In The Wrecking Crew, director Danny Tedesco Tedesco covered a group underappreciated American session musicians from the 1960s; here, he covers a group from the 70s: Danny Kortchmar, Russ Kunkel, Leland Sklar, and Waddy Wachtel. You can feel the deep respect and gratitude that all of their collaborators have for their work. “In many documentaries,” Tedesco wrote, “you have to wait for interviews to be booked so that the artists and management can decide if they want to participate in a project. Not with this project. Within five days of taking the project on, we had Carole King, James Taylor, Linda Rondstadt, Jackson Browne, Phil Collins, Don Henley, Stevie Nicks and David Crosby booked.”

  • The Associated Press on prison labor food production: Bit of a tonal whiplash here, but this is some essential reporting by Robin McDowell and Margie Mason. In a multi-year investigation, they’ve traced food produced by prisoners under inhumane conditions to various fast food and supermarket brands. They also put the exploitation of vulnerable labor forces in historical context, including the grim detail that some of the food literally comes from former slave plantations like Angola in Louisiana. As the media industry continues to struggle, I’m worried that this kind of detailed investigative reporting will only become rarer.