From tha Chuuuch to da Palace 

It has come to my attention that there are people in this community that believe I not only have a snarky disregard for but may actually hate hipsters. And goths. Also fans of drum 'n' bass, trance and house. Let's see ... it's also been insinuated I hate yuppies. Oh, and you.

But the truth is, I don't actually hate any of these groups. I'm just incessantly frustrated and publicly fuming because they seemingly seek to glorify a singles lifestyle, while I increasingly long for deep album cuts.

By singles, however, I don't mean a pocket full of $1s -- so for once I'm not referring to barflys, swingers or strip clubs. (Check the column next week for all that as we're going to feature a special guest or two helping us explore the durty side of the Dirty South -- looking for October tricks and treats up in Magic City, Strokers, etc.) No, this week, I actually mean a pop single in the loosest of terms.

I'm sitting in a bar on the South Side of Pittsburgh as I think these thoughts. After all, it's been said that drinking for the author is like stretching for the athlete. And since I'm in Pittsburgh on a breakneck assignment, I figure I might as well do some endurance training. The former steel town is now a haven for hops, home to Iron City beer and features compelling brewpubs such as Munich bier hall-styled Penn Brewery and Church Brew Works, located, yes, in a former church. So I can't think of a better place for boozing and musing than East Carson Street, where there are 50 bars within 22 blocks. Take note: I'm talking pubs, not clubs, because pubs -- not concerned with having someone spin the haute nu_NRG trax -- are the Neil Youngs of the drinking world.

It's probably the fact that I travel alone so often for work that has me in this mood -- that, having seen the new Cameron Crowe movie, Elizabethtown, and the release of the new video iPod. Put the three together with several beers as a base, let it simmer for a few hours and I've got something to stew on.

Cameron Crowe and I have a couple things in common: We both love mining an imperfect formula and we both enjoy musical road trips of discovery. In other words, we're both sappy, and not always on the mark. But we also share a sense of perseverance. We'll listen through an entire album to find that one jam, the ones our friends haven't found on an MP3 blog yet. We don't need iTunes' party shuffle; we make our own playlists. Many of our favorite songs are high and lonely, troubled and triumphant; long and longing, like our nights.

So to all the people who think I'm being spiteful, I prefer to think of it as aggressively insightful. I'm not trying to just tear everyone a new one, I just figure there must be more under the surface. I don't want to know just what singles set you off, I want to know what albums cut you deeply. I'm just trying to offer up one hell of a mix tape.

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