The White Stripes' Ode to Dumpster Diving Built around a one-chord boogie, The White Stripes' "Rag and Bone" barely qualifies as a song: It mostly revs in neutral as it plays out like a sketch punctuated by blasts of bluesy rock. More importantly, it finally allows drummer Meg White to showcase her personality.
NPR logo The White Stripes' Ode to Dumpster Diving


The White Stripes' Ode to Dumpster Diving

'Rag and Bone' by The White Stripes

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Tuesday's Pick

  • Song: "Rag and Bone"
  • Artist: The White Stripes
  • CD: Icky Thump
  • Genre: Rock

On The White Stripes' "Rag and Bone," drummer Meg White finally gets to showcase her personality. Autumn de Wilde hide caption

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Autumn de Wilde

The White Stripes' Jack White has kept such a short leash on drummer Meg White — even admitting to having taken steps to retard her development as a drummer — that on the few songs on which she's had the opportunity to sing ("It's True That We Love One Another," "Passive Manipulation"), she's been unable to show much of a personality.

That changes on "Rag and Bone," The White Stripes' ode to Dumpster diving. Built almost exclusively around a one-chord boogie (what few deviations there are seem more like flourishes than actual changes), it in some ways barely qualifies as a song. It's structured like a simplified "Hot for Teacher," mostly revving in neutral as it plays out like a sketch punctuated by blasts of bluesy rock.

During the song's spoken-word sections, White finally takes the opportunity to let her hair down. Her counterpart may be in charge as usual, his huckster charm in full bloom. (Note how he seems to never stop to take a breath or let his mark take one.) But her interjections — a single surprised "Ooh!" or a delighted whisper of "This fits me perfect!" as well as various pouts and nods of assent — paint her as an active, equal contributor to The White Stripes' dialogue, rather than someone who's merely along for the ride. It's still an infantile persona, to be sure; Jack White's guidance has all but guaranteed that. But six albums in, she shows her first real spark.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

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Icky Thump
The White Stripes

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