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onward crispin glover

Spotlight on CMF artist: Onward Crispin Glover

(Photo by Mark Peterman)
This week, we are highlighting some of the artists playing the 10th annual Crossroads Music Fest this Saturday, September 6. For more info or tickets, visit cmfkc.com.
Onward Crispin Glover released its first and only album, The Further and the Faster, in 2001 on Anodyne Records—a Kansas City-based label that has released albums from the likes of Shiner, The Architects, Roman Numerals, and Meat Puppets. The band had a punchy, glammy pop vibe infused with boisterous punk, starring a cast of experienced musicians from groups such as Frogpond, TV Fifty, Truck Stop Love, and Rocket Fuel is the Key. And though it released just the one album, Onward Crispin Glover has remained on the minds of many in KC music ever since.
One of those minds was that of Bill Sundahl, who has organized every CMF since its inception in 2005. Sundahl specifically requested for OCG to reunite for this year’s festival. “Every now and then I would run across The Further and the Faster, put it in my CD player, and it always held up,” he comments. “I can't think of many recordings from 2001 I can say that about.”
And it certainly does hold up, even 11 years after the band’s demise. Though OCG’s style was heavily rooted in ‘90s power pop/punk—comparisons to Superchunk and Archers of Loaf have often been drawn—it was far more expansive than that. The members cite Elvis Costello and The Afghan Whigs as influences, which immediately eliminates them from being stuck with a simple power pop branding—something you can tell after a single listen to The Further and the Faster. Costello had a penchant for writing some of the hookiest and most timeless pop songs ever, with a new wave/punk attitude; this is absolutely evident in OCG’s songwriting.
“It began with a very pop-oriented sensibility and progressed toward a noisier, more chaotic sound,” says bassist Kristin Conkright.
Elements of that chaotic but catchy sound has manifested in Knife Crime; three of the band’s four members are also original members of OCG: Byron Huhmann, Conkright, and Brad Huhmann. With Byron’s striking, pronounced vocals at the helm—he is also primary songwriter of both bands—Knife Crime is something of a modern-day, slightly more grown-up version of its members’ previous incarnation.
Onward Crispin Glover formed in 1999, with Byron on vocals and guitar, Brad on guitar, Conkright on bass, and Billy Johnson on drums. Brad chose not to tour with the band and was replaced by Marty Robertson—who, along with Johnson, was in Frogpond. Robertson later handed the reins off to Steve Tulipana. In 2003, the band folded and went on to a number of other successful projects, such as Federation of Horsepower, Anvil Chorus, and Red Kate
Conkright also lists “the KC affinity for really, really fucking loud guitars” as one of the trademarks of OCG’s sound. On Saturday’s reunion show, the group will once again deliver on this promise more than ever before. The lineup will include a triple axe arsenal of the Huhmann brothers and Robertson. Conkright tells us that the biggest, yet most rewarding challenge is “figuring out how to work all three guitar players into one set without smashing eardrums.” Chris Fugitt of Federation of Horsepower will be sitting in on drums, as Johnson will be out of town.
For now, old and new fans will have the chance to experience Onward Crispin Glover at Crossroads Music Fest this weekend. But the members note that they’ve had so much fun revisiting the songs that they might play more after the reunion show. And as well as OCG’s songs hold up more than a decade later, we’ll probably want them to.
--Michelle Bacon
Michelle is editor-in-chief of The Deli KC and plays in bands. Crispin Glover scares her a little.
Onward Crispin Glover will be playing in the Mercy Seat Alley for CMF on Saturday, kicking off the evening at 7:00 pm. Don’t miss it.
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Coming up: the 10th Annual Crossroads Music Fest

Next Saturday, September 6, the 10th annual Crossroads Music Fest will be held in the Crossroads Arts District in Kansas City. The annual event, presented this year by KKFI 90.1 FM, will feature over 30 performers on seven stages. Visit cmfkc.com for a complete schedule and ticketing info.
These musical acts will be featured at Crossroads KC at Grinders, The Brick, Czar, The Tank Room, Mercy Seat Alley, Collection, and Green Lady Lounge. Highlights will include a reunion set from Onward Crispin Glover, who has not performed since 2003; showcases curated by The Record Machine and Money Wolf Music; and a diverse collection of rock, jazz, roots, and indie sounds representative of the Kansas City music scene.
From noon to 5 pm, the Kansas City Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts (KCVLAA) will present the third annual Legal Bootcamp for Musicians at Czar. Topics will include copyright law, licensing agreements, band agreements, and other essential topics for the business-minded musician.

Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the gate. Individual venues will charge a lesser fee. Tickets can be purchased at Vinyl Renaissance (the 39th St or Overland Park location), Crossroads KC or Grinders, The Bottleneck, or at this link. Facebook event page.

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