Saturday, May 06, 2006

Creeping anti-Megism

I'm tired of it, I tell you. I have nothing but good wishes for The Raconteurs - Steady As She Goes is a great song, and Jack n' Brendan are both very talented - so I'm glad that the music industry are taking them seriously as a band. But music journalists seem so intent on showing that they're taking them seriously as a band, that they're starting to be down on the White Stripes. Yes, that band which is one of the most magical and interesting bands on the planet, that band which, up until a couple of months ago, those same journos had nothing but praise for. So what's the problem now? Well, they're not being open in their hostility, but the word 'restricted' is being used in pretty much every piece - that the two-instrument, three-colour palette he chose for the Stripes means we're not getting all he can give. By extension, the pieces hint that only being able to work with Meg is holding him back. Just below the surface, you can hear what's really going on: Bless her, she's pretty, but she can't exactly drum, can she? What's he doing playing with her? Man, the White Stripes would be better off with a proper drummer. It's not restricted to journalists either, anti-Megism is rife in indie kid circles. Everyone seems to love the Stripes but dislike Meg. But that's half! Literally they wouldn't be half the band they are without her! How can you possibly like a band where half the sound is abhorrent to you?!

I spend a lot of my life defending Meg, but it's a battle worth fighting so I don't mind carrying on here. Meg, of course, is not the most technically proficient drummer in the world - she couldn't play in Led Zeppelin say, but hey, guess what, she's not in Led Zeppelin! She's in the White Stripes! And she is so great in the White Stripes. She makes a wonderfully huge, dirty sound that matches Jack's scuzzy guitars and bashing of the ivories. If you don't like Meg, you're wrong, and I believe the case to be now closed.

5 comments:

Billy said...

Pah! Meg is well cool. Minimal drumming is best, not everyone gets off on flashy fills the whole time.

And like you say, her drumming suits the Stripes perfectly.

AnnaWaits said...

I like you Billy. You can stay. ;)

Mellie Bean said...

I too am sick and tired of the indie kid Meg bashing. She does exactly what the White Stripes's sound needs and it wouldn't be the same without her so all the anti-Meg people can eff off, imho.

Paul Fuzz said...

Right on, Ms Waits. Meg is one of my favourite all-time drummers, and I'm a rythym section orientated sorta guy. Her RnB Cave-woman stomp is a MASSIVE part of the Stripe's appeal...she's a very soulful stickswoman, solid & super heavy - she's entirely integral to The White Stripes Sound, and - most importantly - has developed a unique groove purely of her own. A different drummer would reduce my interest in the band by literally 50%. Any fool can drum 'well', but it takes a whole other level of genius to churn out THE MOGODON ATOM BEAT song after song. She's got SOUL. Check out her stuff on "My Doorbell" : the drums are the hook, easily as important as Jack's equally basic Louie-Louie piano bashing. Plus: she's hot. Seriously: what's not to like here? Here's the News: if you don't like Meg White, you don't like The White Stripes. It's that simple. You have misunderstood their point entirely.

(Perhaps the 'Indie-kids bashing Meg' problem is a consequence of The White Stripes not being an 'indie' band; they are a garage rock / blues-rock band who chose their momemt well (post-strokes insanity) & attracted an indie audience...indie kids are not used to having to think about the rythym section at all, let alone a rythym section which a) has an 'unusual' sound, b)is 50% of the sound and c) IS A GIRL!!!)

Paul Fuzz said...

And another thang...

Interesting that you should chose Led Zep, Anna, a band to whom - in their live incarnation at least - The White Stripes owe a huge debt. Let us consider the mighty John Henry Bonham, aka Bonzo, aka The Beast. Bonzo was certainly capable of incredibly complex drum insanity, re. natch, 'Moby Dick'. But despite what my drummer friends tell me, Bonzo could rattle off triple triplets all day and for my dollar was never gonna better the mammoth, Himalyan sized, Thor's Hammer drum break which kicks off 'When The Levee Breaks'. And if there is one drummer 'round today who matches the gargantuan thump Bonzo achieved here, it's Meg White, the only percussionist in rock today who knows FUNKY, SIMPLE & EARTH MOVINGLY LOUD is almost always a a smart move.