Ricardo Baca is a 20-year veteran journalist and keynote speaker in modern media and drug policy circles. He served as The Denver Post’s first-ever marijuana editor and founded news vertical The Cannabist, where he covered the advent of adult-use cannabis and related issues across the country and around the world. In 2016, Mr. Baca launched Grasslands: A Journalism-Minded Agency to work directly with business leaders in highly regulated industries, including cannabis, energy, hemp and healthcare.
1. Lilly Wood & the Prick and Robin Schulz - Prayer in C (Robin Schulz Remix)
Some songs just make you want to move—and this is one of those songs. When you first pump up the volume on this banger, you’d never think its source material was written by a French folk-pop duo. But that’s the truth, and German DJ-producer Robin Schulz transformed this ditty into a red-hot dancefloor anthem that is a staple in our Friday night kitchen dance parties.
2. Animal Collective - Man of Oil
The love-hate relationship I’ve had with Animal Collective over the years speaks to the band’s nearly unparalleled originality. And the delicate genius of “Man of Oil” more than makes up for all of my eye rolls. That tender acoustic guitar paired with his acrobatic vocals, set against the backdrop of rag-tag percussion, jungle noises and reverb, sets the stage for something beyond atmospheric. This song is legitimately mystical, and it will always be one of my favorites.
3. Flaming Lips - Free Radicals
Outlandish guitars. Perverted synths. Wayne’s sweaty falsetto. And so much distortion pedal. My favorite Flaming Lips is when they somehow find a way to combine semi-familiar pop constructs with off-kilter compositions that are more avant-garde than formulaic, and this hot jam truly speaks to me because of that unexpected combo platter.
4. LCD Soundsystem - Oh Baby
You have to love James Murphy and his builds. He’s notorious for starting subtly, daintily, and then layering on vocals and synths and percussion and more—until the track is some overcrowded, fantastical dreamscape. This song is a real beauty, and I love playing it at the end of a long night, for the comedown.
5. Taylor Swift – Seven
This song is so many things: meditative, haunting, dynamic and gentle (without being precious). I feel strongly that Folklore is one of the strongest front-to-back records in recent memory, and so it means something when I say this is the best track on the record. It helps, of course, that this whole Swiftie-channeling-her-inner-indie-rock-darling aesthetic is really working for me.