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Much to the surprise of some of its artists, DeSoto Records is going semi-inactive as of this month—note the “semi.”
“I have no intention of closing up shop,” says DeSoto co-founder Kim Coletta, denying persistent rumors among the local music community that her operation has folded. “It’s just not true. I do have to curtail the amount of activity, but I’m still going to keep the label running.”
Coletta plans to ease up on the label to pursue a graduate degree in library science, even though DeSoto is currently enjoying moderate success. Besides releasing recent singles by Faraquet, Roads to Space Travel, and Les Savy Fav, the label has seen its Burning Airlines album, Mission: Control!, sell more than 10,000 copies; Coletta also sold out her initial pressing of 2,500 copies of Juno’s this is the way it goes and goes and goes.
Coletta’s DeSoto partner, Bill Barbot, also has a new gig: He cut back his work with the label and bowed out of Burning Airlines’ spring tour to co-found the Web start-up ThreeSpot with former Capitol City Dusters bassist Bill Colgrove. The new firm has already accepted a job to overhaul the Dischord Records Web site and mail-order department for do-it-yourself e-commerce.
“There’s never a good time for these big life decisions, but a label like DeSoto just doesn’t have an on-and-off switch,” says Coletta, who says she’s still committed to promoting the recent releases. “I think the rumors started because I’m no longer planning on doing full-length releases for Faraquet or Les Savy Fav and won’t be taking on anything new for a while.”
Meanwhile, Coletta has been helping former DeSoto recording artists the Dismemberment Plan negotiate for the rights to its Emergency & I LP since the band became all but persona non grata at Interscope records after that label’s acquisition by Universal Music Group. (But, she notes, “I never assume anything with a major label until the deal is done.”) DeSoto, though, won’t be the place for that album either, Coletta says: “It wouldn’t be fair to them.”—Colin Bane