Italian producer Herva gets interstellar attention from Planet Mu, announces album

It’s true, or at least that seems to be the situation from my distant American perch: either Italy is decidedly lacking in quality electronic musicians (and blue skies are actually a democratic reflection of most people’s favorite color), or it’s just unusually tough trying to make a rhythmic name for yourself in that country, relative to other parts of Europe. The Florence-based Herva a.k.a. Herve Atsè Corti has confirmed the latter in prior interviews, where he’s recalled the familiar trials of sending demos to labels, only to be ignored in favor of spontaneous beach excursions, but now, it seems that life happenings have offered a boost to the man’s optimism. Exposure = achieved. Planet Mu = Rafiki during the presentation of Simba.

After a couple of well-received releases on Euro labels Bosconi and Deslin, Herva has just announced Kila, his debut album for Planet Mu. And it’s a fitting sponsor for his music, too, as the new album is essentially a continued confluence of electronic sub-genres, occasionally tinged by the soul and hip-hop influences that exist close to Corti’s heart. Artist comparisons are difficult because things might easily change on the next track, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Actress due to a shared sense of unorthodoxy. There’s more energy with Herva’s stuff, though.

Kila is out November 27. Pre-order here and get a taste with a non-album track below.

Kila tracklisting:

01. All Good On Your Side
02. Trying To Fix Invisible Textures
03. Seat Behind Mirrors
04. Kila
05. Video Volume
06. Mistakes Dealer (Solid State)
07. Disk Atk
08. Fading Above Smoke
09. Dust Cover
10. Fog

• Herva:
• Planet Mu:

The Cure to tour North America, thereby curing North America from its erstwhile malady of a distinct lack of North American Cure tours

The fucking CURE, man… Robert Smith and his illimitable goth pop institution definitely comprise one of the only acts I know (and care about) that can just… “throw it out there” that they’re kinda, sorta, more or less planning on touring North America in 2016 — WITHOUT revealing any actual DETAILS of the tour — and still make their way to the top of the damn News Queue.

But wait a sec, surely Pitchfork has more details on the band’s first full-on, non-festival-oriented jaunt through the US and Canada in nigh-on eight years?? Oh. Nope. Only a few super-noteworthy stops at the big stadium places in Chicago, L.A., and New York over the summer. No complete list.

Or maybe our friends at Consequence of Sound have a bead on the itinerary and some pertinent information about whether the tour will include stops at next year’s Bonnaroo or anything like that? Yeah, not so much. Just another embedded video of Robert Smith’s damn face.

Oh well. Who the hell am I to complain? The point is: The Cure is touring North America in 2016 with The Twilight Sad in SOME legit capacity, and that’s all we know. And that’s all we need to know. And, fuck, you know what? Here’s Robert Smith’s face.

The Cure 2016 As-of-now/Fuck-you-this-is-all-you-get Tour Dates:

05.22.16 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Bowl *
06.10.16 - Chicago, IL - UIC Pavilion *
06.18.16 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden *

* = The Twilight Sad

• The Cure:

Courtney Barnett to release Jack White-produced single, announces special edition of latest album

Combining the killer one-two combination of witty, wry observations and toe-tapping rhythms, Courtney Barnett has pretty much owned the hearts and minds of music fans on both sides of the hemisphere in 2015. Short of being nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, it’s hard to imagine anyone having a better year ever. But let’s try…

Somehow, this golden run is continuing with the news that Courtney Barnett will cap off The Year of The Courtney Barnett (I’m in the process of petitioning the Chinese Horoscope Authorities to have this officially recognized) with not only a killer re-release of her incredibly popular debut album Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit (which will now be accompanied with a bonus disc of a live session she recorded with her band at Electric Ladyland and a John Cale cover), but also a single for Third Man Records’s “Blue Series.” The single was recorded by Jack White and will feature an A-side of “Boxing Day Blues (Revisited)” and a B-side cover of Rowland Howard’s goth ballad “Shivers” (made famous by another totally grouse Aussie Nick Cave during the Boys Next Door era).

Oh, and just to confirm that Barnett is officially “so hot right now,” Musicfeeds has just announced that she’s scored a swag of nominations at the ARIAs (Australia’s answer to the Grammys), including Album of the Year, Best Female Artist, Best Independent Release, Best Rock Album, Breakthrough Artist, Best Australian Live Act, and Best Video. Oh, and she also won the ARIA for Best Cover Art, which she drew herself.

The special edition of Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit will be released on November 6 while the “Boxing Day Blues (Revisited)” single is out October 16. You’ll also be able to catch Barnett on tour, with some dates with Blur.

Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit: Special Edition:

01. Elevator Operator
02. Pedestrian At Best
03. An Illustration Of Loneliness (Sleepless In New York)
04. Small Poppies
05. Depreston
06. Aqua Profunda!
07. Dead Fox
08. Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go To The Party
09. Debbie Downer
10. Kim’s Caravan
11. Boxing Day Blues

01. Lance Jr (Live at The Electric Lady Studios)
02. Canned Tomatoes (Live at The Electric Lady Studios)
03. Scotty Says (Live at The Electric Lady Studios)
04. History Eraser (Live at The Electric Lady Studios)
05. Avant Gardener (Live at The Electric Lady Studios)
06. David (Live at The Electric Lady Studios)
07. Close Watch (Written by John Cale)

Courtney Barnett - “Blue Series”
A. Boxing Day Blues (Revisited)
B. Shivers


10.20.15 - Hollywood Bowl - Los Angeles, CA *
10.21.15 - The Fillmore - San Francisco, CA
10.23.15 - Madison Square Garden - New York, NY *
10.29.15 - Umeda Club Quattro - Osaka, Japan
10.30.15 - Ebisu Liquid Room - Tokyo, Japan
11.05.15 - Bodega - Wellington, New Zealand
11.06.15 - St. James - Auckland, New Zealand
11.07.15 - Foundry - Christchurch, New Zealand
11.20.15 -Technikum Kultfabrik - Munich, Germany
11.21.15 - Postbahnhof am Ostbahnhof - Berlin, Germany
11.23.15 - Bürgerhaus Stollwerck - Cologne, Germany
11.25.15 - The Forum - London, UK
11.26.15 - The Forum - London, UK
11.27.15 - Wulfrun Hall - Wolverhampton, UK
11.29.15 - ATP Festival - Prestatyn, UK
11.30.15 - The Ritz - Manchester, UK
12.01.15 - O2 Academy - Liverpool, UK
12.02.15 - O2 ABC - Glasgow, UK
12.04.15 - O2 Academy - Bristol, UK
12.05.15 - Gaite Lyrique - Paris, France
12.28.15 - 12.31.15 - Falls Festival - Australia
01.07.16 - Astor Theatre - Mount Lawley Wa, Australia
01.08.16 - Southbound Festival - Busselton Wa, Australia
01.16.16 - Enmore Theatre - Newtown, Australia
01.22.16 - Palais Theatre - Melbourne, Australia

* w/ Blur


• Courtney Barnett:
• Mom + Pop:
• Third Man Records:

Midwich Productions announces two new 12” releases by Mick Travis, Viands

The Chicago-based label Midwich Productions soldered on its cyborg faceplate and sparked into life earlier this year with the release of inaugural 12-inch slabs from Moon Pool and Dead Band (featuring Nate Young of Wolf Eyes) and label founder/formative “mutant techno” journeyman MAGAS (Jim Magas of Bulb Records, Lake of Dracula, Couch, etc.). On October 30, Magas will unleash the next two Midwich burners into the wild, thereby suspending a few more morsels of abstracted post-industrial experimentation into wax and waveforms that await our wholly zoned investigations.

Face Disappears After Interrogation is the first vinyl release from Mick Travis, a wandering noise deconstructionist based in the UK who was previously responsible for cassette transgressions issued by his own Medusa label and Aaron Dilloway’s Hanson Records. An occasional member of Dilloway’s rotating extreme ensemble The Nevari Butchers, Travis loosely orbits the Michigan <-> Ohio underground circuits that spawned the dense network of projects branching out of the Bulb/Wolf Eyes/Hanson family tree — though Travis’s approach to rhythmic analog terror skulks off into its own corner a few degrees removed from the no-wave and noise-rock-inspired roots of this lineage. Our first taste of Face Disappears is “Multiple Roles,” a quivering mass of beat grids and synth squeals that kicks out of the gate with a weighty pulse and gradually accrues layers of static and percussion. The track manages to streak forward while standing still, as Travis gently tempers his system with flashes of textural manipulation that peek around the edges.

Viands’ Temporal Relics captures an extended improvised session and/or synthesizer exorcism executed by two Detroit underground vets, Joel Peterson and David Shettler (also of Moon Pool and Dead Band). The duo treats its wide mix as an empty cavern waiting to be flooded with droplets of ominous keyboard melody and near-randomized drum machine patterns. The performance recalls the organic electronic communiques once pumped out of Cluster’s rural laboratory — all synth sequences soaked in delay, all beats squished into dripping shards of rhythm that patter on both in and out of step with the other machines in the arsenal. Temporal Relics evokes the dark impulses and claustrophobic harmonies of late-era electric Miles Davis or the winding, vocal-formant-like leads of Jon Hassell’s excursions into the fourth world. Peterson and Shettler transmute these touchstones into an unpredictable session that swells in real time with strata of interlaced analog inputs.

• Midwich Productions:

Rick Ross announces Black Market, previews single with Chris Brown

The Teflon Don has never really stemmed his output, but it’s fair to say that last year’s albums, Mastermind and Hood Billionaire, were kinda lacking in gold-standard Rozay material. He’s always worth sticking ‘round for, though — Black Dollar was the most vital transmission from MMG’s head honcho in a minute, even copping a piece from Jackson in TMT’s Favorite Mixtapes of September feature.

So, yeah, onto Black Market. It’s gonna be a fully fledged, capital-a Album, arriving in December. The rest is marketing gush, of course, but if Market taps into the same vein as Dollar, it should be well worth the price of admission. The Chris Brown-featuring “Sorry” is the single, and boy does it sound it: the smooth, soaring pop hook and a despondent-sounding Ross are primed and ready for yet more chart success. Check it out down below.

• Rick Ross:
• Maybach Music Group:

The Go! Team announce first US shows in 5 years

It’s been a while since The Go! Team played on American shores. Five years, in fact, all the way back in 2010, the heart of Barack Obama’s first term as president. A lot has changed since then: the group released two albums (including this year’s The Scene Between); Drake became more and more powerful; the Olympics happened, both summer and winter editions; Barack Obama served the rest of his first term and almost three years of his second; I moved a few times.

With all these happenings, it’s about time for The Go! Team to check up on us. In January, the group will play a smattering of shows in these United States. Once those seven shows are over, you may have to wait until Barack Obama’s third or, hey, even fourth term to see this band again. That should be enough, but to sweeten the deal, the band’s live lineup will include original members Ian Parton, Ninja, and Sam Dook, along with new blood Cheryl Pinero, Maki, and Simone Odarnile.

The Go! Team dates:

01.16.16 - Chicago, IL - Venue TBA
01.18.16 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall
01.19.16 - Los Angeles, CA - Roxy
01.21.16 - New York, NY - Brooklyn Bowl
01.22.16 - Boston, MA - Sinclair
01.23.16 - Philadelphia, PA - Underground Arts
01.24.16 - Washington, D.C. - Black Cat

[Photo: Jo Bowker]

• The Go! Team:

Massive Attack announce European tour ahead of new music, ignore memos about trip-hop’s mortality

Meme-conforming hipsters who were into Massive Attack before it was cool can expel an egotistic half-sigh/half-scoff knowing that the Bristol outfit’s inimitable album Mezzanine will probably never be replicated, despite founder Robert ‘3D’ Del Naja’s best attempts alongside an almost literal queue of guest vocalists. Some fans would apparently prefer to just forget everything post-Mezzanine, making sure to record episodes of House M.D. in order to skip past contemporary (and therefore condemnable) usages of the band’s music, but these pessimistic people are, I think, sadly forgetting Massive Attack’s early work. Blue Lines and Protection are both relatively straightforward efforts and not-at-all immune to implicit tributes in 2015. Quick, someone coax Tricky back into the fray with promises of all-powerful stones!

Coincidentally, Tricky has apparently been recording with (but not with) 3D lately, and supplementing murmurs of an entirely new Massive Attack album in the works (or even on the verge of release), a European tour has been announced for the beginning of 2016. Young Fathers will be joining them for the entire trip, and supposedly the basis for the tour in the first place is to perform new music. So, go ahead and settle those thoughts of Daddy G coming to your home and vocally vibrating you to sleep.

Musically, some of us will dream of a throwback. Dates are below.

01.19.16 - Dublin, Ireland - Olympia Theatre *
01.22.16 - Glasgow, UK - O2 Academy *
01.25.16 - Leicester, UK - De Montfort Hall *
01.27.16 - Leeds, UK - O2 Academy *
01.28.16 - Manchester, UK - The Apollo *
01.30.16 - Birmingham, UK - O2 Academy *
01.31.16 - Portsmouth, UK - The Guildhall *
02.01.16 - Brighton, UK - The Dome *
02.03.16 - London, UK - Brixton O2 Academy *
02.04.16 - London, UK - Brixton O2 Academy *
02.07.16 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Tap 1 *
02.09.16 - Esch Alzette, Luxembourg - Rockhal *
02.10.16 - Brussels, Belgium - Palais 12 *
02.12.16 - Milan, Italy - Fabrique *
02.14.16 - Padova, Italy - Geox Theatre *
02.16.16 - Cologne, Germany - Palladium *
02.17.16 - Berlin, Germany - Tempodrom *
02.20.16 - Vienna, Austria - Gasometer *
02.21.16 - Munich, Germany - Tonhalle *
02.24.16 - Eindhoven, Netherlands - Klokgebouw *
02.25.16 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - Heineken Music Hall *
02.26.16 - Paris, France - Zenith *

* Young Fathers

• Massive Attack:

Tortoise return with a new album and tour set for 2016

If you were wondering what your life has been missing for the past seven years, like there’s some untraceable gap in your life’s meaning that you can’t quite enunciate, niggling away at you each night as you lay in bed staring at the ceiling, you’re not alone. But salvation is upon us, for that missing thing, it turns out, was a new Tortoise album.

And lo, down from the windy plains of Chicago, Tortoise are set to descend into all of our lives again with The Catastrophist, an 11-track missive of the instrumental group’s finest wigged-out sonic shapeshifting that will be released January 22 via Thrill Jockey.

According to the label, The Catastrophist has all the varied hallmarks of what makes Tortoise so essential to our lives: “moody, synth-swept jams,” “a downright strange cover of David Essex’s 1973 radio smash, ‘Rock On’,” a “bittersweet, honest-to-goodness soul ballad,” “deeply intuitive interplay,” and “intersecting synth lines.” U.S. Maple’s Todd Rittmann and Yo La Tengo’s Georgia Hubley also guest on the album.

You can confirm your joy by pre-ordering the album here and score some exclusive colored vinyl or t-shirt.

The lead single is the wiggly synth opus “Gesceap.”

Tortoise will also be preaching their unique brand of salvation via a pretty comprehensive tour in early 2016. Huzzah!

The Catastrophist

01. The Catastrophist
02. Ox Duke
03. Rock On
04. Gopher Island
05. Shake Hands With Danger
06. The Clearing Fills
07. Gesceap
08. Hot Coffee
09. Yonder Blue
10. Tesseract
11. At Odds With Logic

Tour Dates:

01.23.16 - Chicago, IL, Thalia Hall [In The Round performance]
01.24.16 – Milwaukee, WI, Mad Planet
02.07.16 - Copenhagen, DK, Vega Jr.
02.08.16 - Hamburg, DE - Fabrik
02.09.16 - Berlin, DE - Berghain
02.10.16 - Antwerpen, BE - Trix
02.11.16 - Utrecht, NL - Tivoli
02.12.16 - St. Gallen, CH - Palace
02.13.16 - Geneva, CH - Antigel Festival
02.14.16 - Zürich, CH - Stall 6
02.15.16 - Reutlingen, DE - Franz.K
02.16.16 - Vienna, AT - Arena
02.17.16 - Budapest, HU - A 38
02.18.16 - Zagreb, HR - Mochvara
02.19.16 - Bologna, IT - Locomotiv Club
02.20.16 - Rome, IT - Monk Club
02.21.16 - Milan, IT - Magnolia Club
03.09.16 - Minneapolis, MNv The Cedar Cultural Center
03.11.16 - Ann Arbor, MI - The Blind Pig
03.12.16 - Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace
03.13.16 - Montreal, QC - Fairmount
03.14.16 - Northampton, MA - Iron Horse
03.15.16 - Cambridge, MA - The Sinclair
03.16.16 - New York, NY - (Le) Poisson Rouge
03.17.16 - Brooklyn, NYv Littlefield
03.18.16 - Philadelphia, PA - Underground Arts
03.19.16 - Washington, DC - Black Cat
03.20.16 – Charlottesville, VA - The Southern
03.22.16 - Louisville, KY - Headliners Music Hall
03.23.16 - Newport, KY - Southgate House Revival
03.24.16 - Indianapolis, IN - Radio Radio

• Tortoise:
• Thrill Jockey:

Joanna Newsom announces North American dates and theatrical release of “Divers” video, preemptively wins World Series!

A little while back, we myriad citizens of the world all huddled around our computers and/or televisions and/or clock radios and/or gossip-hub-firing-barrels-in-the-park to learn collectively that the legendary Joanna Newsom was birthing a new album unto this pale blue earth called Divers on Drag City this coming October 23.

Now, after a few enticing “hors devours” consisting of audio clips and/or official videos for a couple of the tunes from the album to help stoke our insatiable hunger for more and more new Newsom, she’s gone all outside-the-box and is wheeling out a fatty, deep-fried, asparagus-woven, bacon-wrapped DOOZIE of a final pre-album appetizer: the OFFICIAL, Paul Thomas Anderson-directed music video for the album’s title track “Divers”… released in the form of a theatrical-only MEGA-EVENT on select dates from October 16 - 22!

Yeah, that’s right: we’re all supposed to go to the movies to see a music video. But… duh, not just any video, right? Right. In addition to being directed by Anderson, the thing was “shot in New York City at the studio of Kim Keever, whose artwork is used throughout the packaging of Divers, allowing Joanna to actually step inside one of Keever’s surrealistic and stormy landscapes.” See down below for a list of theaters where you can go feast your hungry eyes and gorge your fat ass ears.

Oh, and in case that’s not delicious enough news for you, Joanna Newsom’s “first North American tour in five years” is also a thing that’s happening this December! She’ll have a touring band with her and, along with chamber-folk duo Alela Diane & Ryan Francesconi, will hit up a handful of select theaters along the East Coast and Midwest (a.k.a. the only two regions of the United States where there’s actually a perennial chamber-folk market). Yum.

Joanna Newsom tour dates:

10.31.15 - Manchester, UK - Albert Hall
11.01.15 - Brighton, UK - Dome
11.04.15 - Barcelona, ES - Barts
11.05.15 - Berlin, DE - Admiralspalast
11.06.15 – Cologne, DE - Kulturkirche
11.07.15 - Utrecht, NL - Tivoli
11.08.15 - Paris, FR - Salle Gaveau
11.09.15 - London, UK - Eventim Apollo
12.06.15 - Boston, MA - Orpheum Theatre*
12.07.15 - Brooklyn, NY - Kings Theatre*
12.09.15 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer*
12.10.15 - Washington, DC - Lincoln Theatre*
12.12.15 - Munhall, PA - Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall*
12.13.15 - Buffalo, NY - Asbury Hall @ Babeville*
12.14.15 - Toronto, ON - Queen Elizabeth Theatre*
12.15.15 - Royal Oak, MI - Royal Oak Music Theatre*
12.16.15 - Chicago, IL - Chicago Theatre*
12.17.15 - St. Paul, MN - The Fitzgerald Theater*
12.18.15 - Madison, WI - Orpheum Theatre*

* Alela Diane & Ryan Francesconi

Joanna Newsom “Divers” Theatrical Screenings October 16-October 22 (check theaters’ sites for details):

New York, NY - IFC Center
Yonkers, NY- Alamo Drafthouse Yonkers
Huntington, NY - Cinema Arts Centre
Los Angeles, CA - The Cinefamily
Los Angeles, CA - Ahrya Fine Arts
Pasadena, CA - Laemmie Playouse 7
San Jose, CA - Camera Cinemas
San Francisco, CA - Castro Theatre
San Luis Obispo, CA - Palm Theatre
Grass Valley, CA - Sutton Cinema
Grass Valley, CA - Sierra Cinemas
Grass Valley, CA - Del Oro Theatre
Nevada City, CA - Magic Theatrea
Tucson, AZ - Loft Cinema
Denver, CO - Alamo Drafthouse Littleton
Boulder, CO - International Film Series, UC Boulder
Miami, FL - O-Cinema
Boston, MA - Coolidge Corner
Seattle, WA - SIFF - Egyptian Theater
Bellingham, WA - Pickford Film Center
Portland, OR - Cinema 21
Eugene, OR - Bijou Cinemas
Pittsburgh, PA - Regency Square Theater
Ashburn, VA - Alamo Drafthouse One Loudon
Winchester, VA - Alamo Drafthouse Winchester
Austin, TX - Alamo Drafthouse Ritz
Austin, TX - Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline
Austin, TX - Alamo Drafthouse Village
Austin, TX - Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane
Austin, TX - Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar
Dallas, TX - Texas Theatre
Dallas, TX - Alamo Drafthouse Richardson
Houston, TX - Alamo Drafthouse Mason Park
Houston, TX - Alamo Drafthouse Vintage Park
Laredo, TX - Alamo Drafthouse Laredo
Lubbock, TX - Alamo Drafthouse Lubbock
New Braunfels, TX - Alamo Drafthouse Marketplace
San Antonio, TX - Alamo Drafthouse Westlakes
San Antonio, TX - Alamo Drafthouse Park North
San Antonio, TX - Alamo Drafthouse Stone Oak
Kansas City, MO - Alamo Drafthouse Mainstreet
Ann Arbor, MI - Michigan Theater
Kalamazoo, MI - Alamo Drafthouse Kalamazoo
Columbia, SC - Nickelodeon Theatre
Nashville, TN - Belcourt Theatre
Salt Lake City, UT - Salt Lake Film Society
Tulsa, OK - Circle Cinema
Scottsbluff, NE - Midwest Theater
Raleigh, NC - Colony Theater
Winston-Salem, NC - a/perture Cinema
Columbus, OH - Gateway Film Center
Chicago, IL - Music Box Theatre
Champaign, IL - Art Theatre Co-Op
Paducah, KY - Maiden Alley Cinema
Arhus, Denmark - Øst For Paradis
London, UK - Rio Cinema
Munich, Germany - Monopol

Joanna Newsom “Divers” Theatrical Screenings October 27th:

London, UK - Clapham Picturehouse
London, UK - East Dulwich Picturehouse and Cafe
London, UK -Greenwich Picturehouse
London, UK - Hackney Picturehouse
London, UK - Picturehouse Central
London, UK - Ritzy Brixton
London, UK - Stratford East Picturehouse
Bath, UK - The Little Theatre Cinema
Bradford, UK - Picturehouse at National Media Museum
Brighton, UK - Duke’s at Komedia
Edinburgh, UK - Cameo
Exeter, UK - Exeter Picturehouse
Henley, UK - Regal Picturehouse
Norwich, UK - Cinema City
Liverpool, UK - Picturehouse at FACT
Oxford, UK - Phoenix Picturehouse
Southampton, UK - Harbour Lights Picturehouse
Stratford-upon-Avon, UK - Stratford-Upon-Avon Picturehouse
York, UK - City Screen

• Joanna Newsom:
• Drag City:

Google unveils Chomecast Audio, initiating the first step towards a dystopian future in which our music has become self-aware

Back in January, Google took to its own Blogger to announce this weird, awkward-sounding thing called “Google Cast for Audio,” a technology which was supposed to “embed the same technology behind Chromecast into speakers, sound bars, and A/V receivers” that were supposedly going to be manufactured and sold “this spring from lead brands Sony, LG, and HEOS by Denon with more brands coming later in 2015 with the support of chip makers Broadcom, Marvell, MediaTek and system integrator Libre Wireless.”

But… ya know something? Cool as it sounded at the time, I’m pretty sure the coolest thing that actually came out of that announcement was our witty and artfully-written news piece covering it. Cuz… I’m not SURE-sure, but I’m “pretty sure” that that idea never really came together. Awkward?

Okay, but now that I reminded you of all of that: never mind any of that! Because Google is doing the audio-streaming thing FOR REALZIES this time. And by “FOR REALZIES,” I mean: without that stupid smart-speaker idea.

The new thing is called Chromecast Audio, and it’s for sale right now for $35 USD.

So what’s the deal this time? Welp, it basically works like the Chromecast TV stick does (which was also recently revamped, by the way): by “using the speakers you already have to play the music from the device you choose.” In other words, once you get the this little thing in your possession, you just plug the 3.5mm jack into whatever speakers you already have lying around, sync it to your smartphone or dumb tablet or whatever with a downloadable app, and BOOM. You’re ready to start streaming all of the awesome music TMT keeps recommending to you on a regular basis. That’s it. No special speakers, no special remotes, none of that “Bluetooth” garbage that you see your parents awkwardly fiddling around with, no nothing. Specifically, Google says that it works out of the box “with iPhone®, iPad®, and Android devices, plus Chromebook, Mac®, and Windows® laptops” and streams your favorite music-streaming apps “straight from the cloud” so as not to drain your battery life and so that “your music sounds the way it was meant to be heard.” Which, I guess in 2015 means streaming as MP3s from the cloud over WiFi to some tiny speakers off in the corner of your more-intelligent-than-you-are apartment. Oh, brave new world!

• Chromecast Audio: