Mary Carreon is a drug and culture journalist in California.
She earned her start at OC Weekly, where she jumped on the cannabis beat as a staff writer a year before the Golden State passed Prop.64 (the state’s very flawed weed law). Since then, her beat has expanded to also encompass psychedelics and the markets that move our culture’s most popular substances.
Before writing about cannabis, Mary used to write about music.
She loves music the way foodies melt for good food, the way birds nest in trees, or the way coastal Californians crave the ocean: it’s innate. Getting high and jamming out has been one of her favorite things to do since she discovered the power of cannabis 14 years ago. Her favorite strain to jam out to right now is Muskmelon.
Mary missed traveling during the pandemic to such an extent that she started exclusively listening to music from other regions of the world.
Here are her top song suggestions for traveling from the comfort of your home. If you like Mary’s vibe, you can find her across social media @maryyystardust, or you can read her work at marycarreon.com.
Smoke weed, jam out, enjoy, and safe travels!
Drum Song - Earth, Wind and Fire
What’s missing from Earth Wind and Fire, you ask? Water. But perhaps those who listen to their music are the missing element. Why? Because when you listen to music and begin to dance, you become fluid — just like agua. We are the water to Earth, Wind and Fire, which, according to logic, basically means we are in the band.
That aside, “Drum Song” definitely shows how well Earth, Wind and Fire can summon the innate fluidity within humans to groove. It’s psychedelic and earthy, bringing in elements of the African Savanna and the jungle and the islands.
It’s a swirl of indigenous percussion, one that undoubtedly deserves to be honored. And played on LOUD.
Colibria - Nicola Cruz
Similar vibes to Islandman, Nicola Cruz is from Ecuador and makes the texturized beats of the Andes and the taste of columnar cacti tea accessible via dance music. The sexy vocals in this song name every part of the body and the primary colors en español, making it nearly impossible not to experience synesthesia.
Seeing with ears and tasting with eyes has never been so easy.
Amarnos Ahora - Islandman
If you don’t know Islandman, you should. These jungle beats by way of Istanbul will pull you away from whatever you’re doing to dance.
Mark this prediction: Islandman is going to become one of the most popular producers within the next 5 years.
They’re small now, so get your groove on while the island beats are still drizzled in ayahuasca and not pina colada mix.
Blue Nile - Alice Coltrane
Do you even know how to get high if you don’t listen to Alice Coltrane?
She plucks the strings of heaven and initiates the vibrations of the ancestral realm.
If you’re not well acquainted with Ms. Coltrane, this diamond encrusted masterpiece will carry you on a plush cloud into a Venusian kingdom of Lilies that’s built around a river of youth. Those who sip from it are protected from the pains of age. And you are now granted the gift of drinking from the river of life.
Chan Chan - Buena Vista Social Club
You can’t go wrong with Buena Vista Social Club.
Whether you listen to “Chan Chan” or “Candela” or “De Camino a La Vereda” there’s no going wrong with this Cuban music. The tone of the entire album is layered with visuals of grouted talavera tiled fountains and cars from the ‘50s.
The barriers of language become soft and the infrastructure for understanding rests on the faculties of emotional translation.
cIf you feel the urge to sway parts of your body in figure-eights, just go with it.