SOURCE: eMusic

March 27, 2008 09:01 ET

McSweeney's Partners With eMusic for Exclusive Audio Books

McSweeney's Field Recordings Brings Tastemaking Literary Journal's Unusual Sensibility to Audio

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - March 27, 2008) - eMusic, the digital entertainment retailer of music and the first digital service to offer audio books in the MP3 format, and McSweeney's, the tastemaking literary journal, have partnered to release an unusual series of audio books based on essays from McSweeney's Quarterly Concern.

McSweeney's Field Recordings, the audio book, is a collection of readings created specifically for, and now available on, eMusic. As with all eMusic audio books, it is available in the universally compatible MP3 format. The first installment features Jonathan Ames, Jessica Anthony, Jack Pendarvis, Claire Light, and Keith Pille recounting perilous sagas of phony detectives, a female bullfighter, poisonous snakes, murder in space, and a freshman COBRA recruit. McSweeney's will publish future installments of Field Recordings with eMusic on a quarterly basis.

"When eMusic approached us, their track record with independent music seemed a perfect fit for our authors," said Eli Horowitz, publisher of McSweeney's. "It's our first audio book, so we're still learning, but so far everything has come together well. We're excited to keep experimenting, and eMusic has been encouraging every step of the way."

"McSweeney's have established themselves as a singular voice in the literary world and we're excited to bring their first audio books offering exclusively to our subscribers," said Rob Wetstone, eMusic Vice President of Label Relations. "eMusic's adult customers are enthusiastic about exploring content outside the mainstream, and we're looking forward to working with McSweeney's to expose their unique voice to more literary fans."

McSweeney's Field Recordings includes:

Jessica Anthony: The Death of Mustango Salvaje (from McSweeney's Issue 14)

Recorded in her husband's newly completed home studio in Portland, Maine, Jessica Anthony presents the story of Mustango Salvaje, the nimblest bullfighter ever born, and a woman to boot. Jonathan Wyman, Jessica's sound engineer husband, provides expertly timed radio-drama style sound effects.

Keith Pille: Journal of a New COBRA Recruit (from McSweeney's Internet Tendency 01/02/02)

The only piece from the McSweeney's website, Keith Pille's journal traces the first days of a recent high school graduate enlisted to serve for the sworn enemies of the GI Joes. Keith recorded his piece on the Washington Avenue Bridge, overlooking the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He adds: "Actually, it's just downstream from where the 35W bridge went down, and I was looking down at some park space that the National Transportation Safety Board commandeered to reconstruct the bridge superstructure."

Claire Light: Pigs in Space (from McSweeney's Issue 14)

Claire Light reports from her Oakland, California home, bringing us the story of two space travelers who have been charged with raising pigs and harvesting fuel from their porcine charges' waste. Equal parts sci-fi thriller and dark comedy, "Pigs in Space" introduces Porkbella, the sinister herd mother, and explores the relationship between two people cohabitating in an orbital pig farm.

Jonathan Ames: Bored to Death (from McSweeney's Issue 24)

Jonathan Ames explains how ennui and a fake Craigslist posting land his narrator neck-deep in a treacherous search for a girl's missing sister. McSweeney's chased the author around the country trying to secure this story, and finally cornered him in his New York apartment, where they forcibly extracted this remarkable piece of detective noir from Jonathan.

Jack Pendarvis: The Big Dud (from McSweeney's Issue 20)

Unfortunately for Jack, who makes it a policy to never cuss during a reading, "The Big Dud" is replete with colorful four-letter words. Jack graciously agreed to bend his rule for McSweeney's, causing him to repeatedly stop his reading at Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi, to allow children to wander through before continuing with his barrage of f-bombs. Those are indeed the dulcet tones of one Joey Lauren Adams providing the voice of Farrah.

eMusic offers more than two thousand audio books from major publishers including Blackstone Audio, Hachette, Naxos Audiobooks, Penguin and Random House. eMusic audio books are encoded in high-quality 64 kbps bit rate -- twice the audio quality available from iTunes and Audible. As with its music service, eMusic offers audiobooks at a great value. Customers can sign up for monthly subscriptions priced at $9.99 for one book or $19.99 for two books -- and get one bonus book as part of an introductory offer.

About eMusic

eMusic ( is a specialty digital entertainment retailer that has been at the forefront of offering MP3 downloads and customer-friendly prices since its inception in 1998. The company is focused on serving customers aged 25 and older by offering independent music and audio books in a universally compatible format at a great value. It is the world's largest retailer of independent music and the world's second-largest digital music service after iTunes, with more than 3.5 million tracks from 27,000 of the world's leading independent labels and thousands of titles from top audio book publishers. To super-serve its more than 400,000 customers, eMusic provides award-winning editorial content, a vibrant online community and unrivaled music discovery tools. eMusic's subscription-based service offers free music downloads or one free audio book at sign-up, giving consumers an inexpensive, low-risk way to explore great new music and books they wouldn't find otherwise. Based in New York with an office in London, eMusic is available in the U.S. and all 27 E.U. nations. Inc. is wholly owned by Dimensional Associates, Inc., the private equity arm of JDS Capital Management, Inc.

About McSweeney's

McSweeney's is an independent publishing company based in San Francisco. Its projects include McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, a literary journal; The Believer, a monthly magazine; Wholphin, a quarterly collection of short films; Voice of Witness, a series of social-justice oral histories; and McSweeney's Books, including works by Nick Hornby, William T. Vollmann, Lydia Davis, Lemony Snicket, Michael Chabon, and Salvador Plascencia. McSweeney's literary and design work has been honored by the O. Henry Awards, the Best American Short Stories, the National Magazine Awards, the National Book Critics Circle, the America Institute of Graphic Arts, the Independent Press Awards, and the Cooper-Hewitt Design Triennial.

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