On Jonathan Richman’s Song “Roadrunner.”

Alex Abramovich and Joshua Clover at the Paris Review:

I didn’t choose “Roadrunner” because its recording timeline and its image of a person literally circulating through the night allowed me to discuss these things. I chose it because it’s magic. I have felt its magic for a long time but never had a good story about it. And because I couldn’t figure out a path to a book about “Tell Me Something Good,” a song at least as magical. That book goes “Something something—wait! Did you know that Chaka Khan got the name ‘Chaka’ when she joined the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense in Chicago?” And I am not sure I know how to tell that story in a way that does justice to Chaka, and Rufus, and the BPPSD, and Chairman Fred. So there I was with “Roadrunner.” And once I set out along Route 128, there was no way for me not to situate it within what is for me the true metanarrative of the U.S. present: the catastrophic trajectory of capitalism.

more here.