Neighborhood News With Drew Victor

Lighthouse, the 5, and My Mother the Pacific.

The Situation It's 11 p.m. on a Tuesday and I'm at my favorite of all bars, Ballard's Hazlewood, with the singer-songwriter Drew Victor, a local who recently moved back to Seattle after six years in Brooklyn.

Intoxication I'm sucking down a Strongbow; Victor's into one of Hazlewood's classic cocktails, the Muddled Ginger. He's been up since 6 a.m. thanks to his day job as a barista at Oddfellows, a relatively chill occupation.

"[Since] I work there during the day, the craziest thing that'll happen is somebody will order vodka," he says. "At 10 in the morning."

How He Got Here Up until last week, Victor's main mode of transport was a road bike, but some jerk stole it right outside of Oddfellows. So tonight he rode his girlfriend's beach cruiser here from his home in Fremont, where, coincidentally, he happens to be my next-door neighbor. Seattle, you're just miniscule.

We engage in upper Fremont talk: how the 5 rumbles by and shakes your apartment; how lower Fremont is completely inferior; how he traitorously, and much to my dismay, doesn't prefer Lighthouse coffee.

"I'm a big coffee snob," he says. "My girlfriend works at Stumptown. Stumptown's increased and intensified the values of Lighthouse! They meet with the farmers, everything's certified organic and fair trade."

Lighthouse coffee is my sixth food group. "I'm sorry," he says.

Shop Talk Victor's new album My Mother, The Pacific, is a collection of silky, delicate folk tunes—think a more low-key Sufjan Stevens—and the first he's put out on vinyl.

"It's me missing the West Coast," he says. "I like seeing the trees and the mountains every morning. And playing live here, you can make money. In New York, that's really hard."

BTW His backing band is Grand Hallway: "They're really old friends, dear friends," he says. Back in New York, he kept pretty good company too, mingling with the likes of Blonde Redhead and Grizzly Bear and once partying at Moby's house, which he shrugs off. "That's just Brooklyn."

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