The Dig - "People Take Pictures of Each Other" (video) (premiere)

Photo: Sean MacNeil

New York City's the Dig finds contemporary commentary in a Kinks classic, marrying it with images from the inimitable James Kerr Scorpion Dagger.

New York City’s the Dig didn’t just decide to cover the Kinks’ song “People Take Pictures of Each Other”, the group utterly transformed the song into something that sounds inexplicably new. The same might be said for the accompanying video, a three-minute film rife with Boschian figures and situations juxtaposed with playful snapshots from contemporary life. Instead of merely reporting on the supposedly narcissistic nature of social media, the Dig opts to find the humor in the culture’s collective fascination with documenting daily minutiae.

The release of the video coincides with the group’s tour in support of the album Bloodshot Tokyo, an album notable for the inclusion of the single “Tired of Love". Catching their collective breath between video edits and the tour kickoff, the group offered some reflections on covering the Kinks.

“The best songs tend to feel current in any age. They seem to only get stronger and more relevant as time goes by. The Kinks released ‘People Take Pictures of Each Other’ about 50 years ago, but the line ‘people take pictures of each other, just to prove that they really existed’ sounds like it could have been written as a commentary on pop culture in 2017," the statement reads. “The idea that if it isn't on social media, it didn't happen. Ray Davies is the master at writing about this kind of serious subject matter while making it feel playful and lighthearted at the same time. He's singing, ‘don't show me no more please,’ as if the nostalgia is killing him.”

As for the video itself? The Dig suggests that within the track there’s “an Eastern European folk-dance band stirring up a rip-roaring hoot underneath” and that, coupled with humor and craftsmanship is ultimately what drew them to working with visual artist James Kerr Scorpion Dagger. “Everything he makes is really funny," the band continues, “but you sense that he’s diving into some pretty intense subject matter at the same time.”

Couple that with a deep appreciation of The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society and its uncanny ability to predict the state of affairs in the world today and the Dig knew it was a winning combination.

“We were amazed at how current it sounds and felt inspired to create our own version of ‘People Take Pictures of Each Other'. We wanted it to feel like an extension of some of the sounds and vibes we were experimenting with on Bloodshot Tokyo, while staying true to the fun and dancey aspects of the original.”


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