Stephen Thompson

It's been an unusual year for... a lot of things, really, so why should the Oscars be any different?

Every year, NPR Music participates in the SXSW music festival, whether it's curating a stage or simply attending hundreds of shows at the annual event in Austin, Texas. Last year, the festival was canceled due to the pandemic, but it returned this March as an online festival. We programmed a 'stage' of Tiny Desk (home) concerts and presented them on the final day of the festival. Now, we present to you Tiny Desk Meets SXSW: four videos filmed in various locations, all of them full of surprises.

When we asked our trusty Pop Culture Happy Hour listeners to vote for the Best Muppet, we knew they'd come through. Over 18,000 votes were cast; over 150 different Muppets received votes.

Yes. Some brave, beautiful, misguided soul voted for H. Ross Parrot. As Best Muppet. That is a thing that happened.

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

The 2021 Grammys somehow survived a COVID-inspired six-week delay, not to mention angry diatribes from The Weeknd, and put together a seamless, entertaining, music-packed telecast that also proved utterly, bafflingly infuriating. How can all that be true? Read on!

Taylor Swift has kept famously busy in pandemic times: On the heels of 2019's Lover and a 2020 Netflix documentary, she's released two albums in the past seven months alone, all while fighting a public battle for control of her past recordings. Now, she's got another announcement: She's releasing a rerecorded and expanded version of her 2008 album Fearless in April, titled Fearless (Taylor's Version).

YouTube

Most of us spent 2020 in a holding pattern — if we're lucky — but Phoebe Bridgers had a massive yea

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NOEL KING, HOST:

2021 was supposed to be better than 2020, and right now, that's looking questionable. But there are some good things coming our way, like new music.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

They feel like sepia-toned dispatches from the Before-Times, beamed from a magical place where musicians could safely raise their voices indoors and let their assembled droplets waft over an appreciative crowd. But the 50 Tiny Desk concerts we published this year — the ones we recorded in NPR Music's Washington, D.C., offices before the pandemic hit — reflect not only a recent past but also a promise for the relatively near future.

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