I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN
After squeaking into the MLS playoffs, the Sounders now look primed for a championship run after notching two huge wins at CenturyLink Field this past week. After dispatching the L.A. Galaxy—the squad's frequent playoff foil—with a 3-2 on Wednesday, the Sounders took the early lead in the two-leg semifinal round with a 2-1 victory over top seeded FC Dallas on Sunday night. The key strike came late, as Clint Dempsey booted a flawless free kick from just outside the box in the 86th minute (see below). The Sounders now travel to Dallas for a match next Sunday (televised on Fox Sports 1 at 4:30), and can advance to the Western Conference Championship (sans extra time and potentially a shootout) with a win, tie, or by scoring two or more goals and losing by one (oh soccer playoff math, you tricky little rapscallion).
I can't wait until Grimes rules the world. It's gonna be great. Before playing an exhilarating sold out concert at the Showbox last Wednesday, the electronic pop dynamo started the week by releasing the new music video for "Flesh Without Blood / Life in the Vivid Dream," the first clip from her much-anticipated new record Art Angels (which arrives digitally this Friday, November 6). The video captures Grimes's wonderfully bizarre, colorful, joyous, and macabre vibe, and "Flesh Without Blood" is pure three chord pop perfection (Las Vegas has set over/under of times this writer has listened to the track in the past seven days at 29.5).
The writing world took a huge hit on Friday when ESPN shut down its sports and pop culture website Grantland. Over its four year history, the brainchild of Bill Simmons became a beacon for some of the best writing on the web, covering everything from the Penn State football scandal to TMZ Bus Tours. (My personal favorite Grantland piece is Brian Phillips's ode to the mundane nature of Peyton Manning's ruthless efficiency.) It's not as if the writers that produced the pieces are going to disappear from the face of the earth, but it's disheartening that something so brilliant couldn't survive. The focus on corporate bottom lines and the increasing clickbate/listacle/Buzzfeedification of Internet writing means that since Grantland "failed" there may never be another site like it. That's soul-crushingly depressing. Those interested in understanding what made the website special should start by tackling the 47 Grantland stories that Longreads recommended over the years.
A NIGHTMARISH BEDTIME TALE
While Halloween has passed, brace yourself for something truly frightening. Last week author Jonathan Franzen stopped by The Late Show to read Stephen Colbert a terrifying story of a big bad wolf that devoured local independent bookstores. Hmmm... what corporate entity could this story possibly be about? Hmmm...