Witness the Small Life – Fooling & Folking Around

Carpe Diem!

I truly believe that sunshine and fresh air will heal most anything. Stressed about an upcoming project? Go sit outside for a little! Worried about the end of the school year? Open that window and breathe in! Filled with an inescapable dread about the fate of the world as we know it? Set up your hammock and take a nap! (and also reach out to your support systems and get that help you deserve!) Not only does a beautiful day help the mind, body, and soul recuperate from a tough week, it’s also really heartwarming to see everyone out on the Diag on blankets and in hammocks spending time together after being cooped up for so long this past winter.

Sierra Ferrell’s new album, Trail of Flowers, has been exclusively on repeat in my headphones this past week. She’s been a favorite artist of mine for a while but she has been my absolute everything lately. Over the course of the past few years I’ve been reawakening my love for folk and bluegrass music and this album has only just fueled those flames. There’s many a person out there that denounces everything country (I used to be one of them yikes!) but I feel like wider society’s perception of country music is extremely limiting to just the honky-tonking Big Green Tractors of the world. (And if you like that song, all the more power to you! I’m over the gatekeeping and demeaning nature of pretentious music communities.) But I feel like once you find a song or two or maybe even a musician within the wider realm of country music, your entire perspective can change. There’s so much to the genre and the ones that exist within and alongside it! Every decade of country/folk/bluegrass since the mid 20th century carries their own certain flair and styles so there’s bound to be something out there that clicks with a certain part of your taste. For me, folk music feels like the singer is speaking directly to the thoughts and feelings within me that I can never put into words. There’s a certain melding of the emotions of the lyrics, vocals, and instrumentals that touches a certain part of my soul that can’t be replicated anywhere else and that’s why I love it so much. Trail of Flowers is another testament to this beautiful relationship I feel when listening to folk music so if you haven’t listened to it yet, you better get on that!

Also, if you ever need some great folk music to listen to and don’t know where to start, tune into WCBN’s very own folk specialty show Just Folkin’ Around every Saturday at 9am! There’s a great rotation of hosts every week (including me!) and we love to highlight our collection of folk, country, singer-songwriter, and bluegrass music in the station!

In other words of music and musicians, I promised a shout out to my favorite Jazz Drum major of UW-Madison, a certain Francis Randall! If you’re interested in the inner machinations of the future generation of jazz drumming in Madison, WI, I’d highly recommend giving a follow to uw.jazz.drums.studio on Instagram. Although their posts could be deemed “strange” and highly-unrelated to jazz drumming, they’re still very entertaining (in my opinion!). And as Sebastian so astutely says about jazz in La La Land: “It’s conflict and it’s compromise, and it’s just…it’s new every time. It’s brand new every night. It’s very, very exciting! And it’s dying. It’s dying, Mia. It’s dying on the vine. And the world says, ‘Let it die. It had its time.’ Well, not on my watch.”

To take into our next week:

Ins: Impractical skirts, basking in the sun (always), hot pink nail polish, being especially talkative, allowing yourself to cry at silly things, the smell of sunscreen, unashamedly listening to really great musical soundtracks.

Outs: Birds chirping at 3am, forgetting hair ties at the exact moment you need them, self-isolating, wearing wrinkled clothes, not treating yourself with kindness, forgetting to patch up your favorite pair of shoes.

Remember to take a break from the whirlwind of finals and spend some time outside! It isn’t everyday we get this beautiful sunshine in the craziness of Michigan weather, so let’s seize those days!

Mia Lambert

Mia Lambert (aka miabiapia) is an art student at the University of Michigan. Coming from the wondrous art communities of Minneapolis, Minnesota, she's hoping to share her work focused on identity, dreams, and the beauty of humankind. Her blog, Witness the Small Life, encourages herself and viewers to pay attention to the moments in our days that make our lives rich with stories and connections. In her (little) free time, Mia also deejays on Umich's student radio station WCBN and writes and draws for the Gargoyle on campus. An avid CD collector, crappy chickflick aficionado, and lover of everything kitschy. Instagram: @miabiapia Email: mialamb@umich.edu

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2 Comments on "Witness the Small Life – Fooling & Folking Around"

1 month 6 days ago

I really like the style of your blog! You inspired me to listen to the La La Land soundtrack, too.