There’s a new record store in Westport. Or rather, there’s a record store in Westport. Since Streetside closed up shop a couple years ago, Westport has not housed a vinyl outlet or even a music store. Mills Record Company (MRC) looks to fill that void from its location in a former boutique next to Dave’s Stagecoach (314 Westport Rd.). Owner/proprietor Judy Mills in conjunction with music aficionado Chris DeLine (pictured above) are taking a multi-tiered approach to the KC music scene. They’ve launched a music blog to promote local acts, upcoming shows and any related musical happenings. The store itself is small, but cozy as are the prices. Their stock is still growing, but they promise to focus on new and reissued vinyl at a more reasonable price than some other local outlets. On the day I visited I noticed several reissues like Husker Du and the Replacements, along with the new release from Kurt Vile and an extensive metal selection. I sat down with both Mills and DeLine on the eve of their soft opening a couple weeks ago to get the skinny on what’s in store for MRC:
Demencha: How did the store come about?
Chris: It’s Judy’s store. It’s kind of been her passion for awhile. She was sort of in the position where she could go more corporate or go her own route. After plotting, and encouragement, she decided on a record store. This is also supposed to be a boutique but we’re not there yet.
Judy: There’s a couple people that will be displaying “etsy style” affordable artwork as well. That kind of thing.
Demencha: Chris, you’re not originally from the area, how did you end up in KC?
Chris: We drove. [Laughter]…Judy and I are kind of older friends and I was in a situation where I needed work, she needed help. She can trust me, I only steal half as much as normal people steal. [Laughter] For a number of years I was doing the freelance stuff [music writing] and that was sort of winding down for me.
Demencha: Where did you come from?
Chris: Nashville. I kind of moved all around. I was in Minneapolis before that.
Judy: I met him through his blog Culture Bully. And I coaxed him to come be a part of this.
Demencha: You’ve got sort of an enterprise going on here with the store and the blog.
Chris: Yeah, they all kind of point at each other. The blog is just local stuff. Eventually we hope to have in-stores for local artists. If you’ll notice, all the [record shelves] are on wheels so they all move. We wanna celebrate local music with the blog so that people can at least know what’s current…There aren’t too many outlets that are covering local music here. We’re a record store, it doesn’t hurt to have a music blog. Let’s bridge that gap.
Interview originally published May 17, 2013 by Demencha Magazine.