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 Monday July 14, 2003 
Line them up, one by one, just to watch them fall.
kitten
0327
kitten

"It's so soulless," she said, twisting the volume dial, "just stacks of synthesizers."

"I don't know," I replied, "it's still expressive. Sure, it's synthesizers and stuff, but listen to the voices. There's meaning there, right? And the music can still provoke emotions - the synths are just another instrument, that's all."

"Soulless," she insisted, her face lit green by a graphic equalizer she was fiddling with.

"Maybe," I conceded. This booth, her little soundbooth, was always so smoky, from the cigarettes she'd light and then forget about, letting them slowly smolder into ash on the tabletop.

She complained a lot about this job, but I think underneath, she enjoyed it. The darkened booth, her private domicile among the throngs of weekend partygoers and club-hoppers, and from within it, she played their moods and dancing with the deft flick of a switch here, a track there, like a director calling the blocking to his actors.

"So maybe it is," I continued. "A soulless sound for a soulless age. Where the digerati connect through servers and switches instead of arms and voices, and empty their heads under neon lights when the music starts. These people," I indicated the writhing mass of dancers on the floor below, "they want their digital-spun silicon dreams, and pushing the less-than-perfect analog reality at them just won't cut it anymore. Too gritty, too cloudy. So pack up that guitar, my dear, and move to the groove of a new era."

She paused a moment in her dial-twisting and record-sifting to give me a look, but her eyes glittered and maybe she almost grinned.

"Yeah," she said. "Who needs guitars, anyway?"


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