"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?"