Bridgeport elementary school teacher moonlights as musician Cannonball Jane with help from Adrock of Beastie Boys.
“Cannonball Jane is the coolest one woman band I’ve heard in a long time. This is what Carole King would sound like if she had a sampler and was really into Francoise Hardy. I love her recordings and can’t wait for more!” – Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill & Le Tigre
“Cannonball Jane purveys an inventive mishmash of hip hop beats and day-glo ’60s pop that suggests a female Beck weaned on The Ronettes and The Raincoats.” – Time Out London
“Frothy, infectious sampledelica…dreamy doo-wop oohs and aahs with old-school breaks and beats…it could all be a musical car crash, but charm and sassy beats win the day. And to complete this mini-masterpiece’s feel good credentials: by day Jane is a music teacher, Miss Hagopian, and she recorded it in her bedroom.” – The Times (UK)
By day she’s mild-mannered Bridgeport, CT based elementary school music teacher Sharon Hagopian, but by night she’s smart and sassy electro-pop underground darling Cannonball Jane, maker of a mind-bendingly brilliant mix of hip-hop samples and sixties girl group pop. Her first musical go was the album Street Vernacular, released last year in the UK (and to be released in North America September 25th) to rave reviews in Time Out London, NME, Uncut, The Independent and many more besides and now comes her latest EP, Knees Up!, that features remixes of the hit “Take It To Fantastic” by Adrock of Beastie Boys and UK producer DJ Downfall.
Sounding more like the work of a group (sleeps-in-his-leather-jacket guitarist, banned-from-the-academy maverick multi-instrumentalist, recently-diagnosed-schizophrenic drummer, typewriter-sampling-avant-garde keyboardist, etc.) the reality is rather different. It’s just hard to believe that there’s not more than one of her!
Recorded entirely at home, Hagopian’s studio set up of beatboxes, samplers, tambourines, guitars, turntables, piano, synths, various noise gadgets and effects shines through, creating an innovative retro-modern mix, elegant and sweetly beguiling but still rough enough to handle something bigger than a moped! From the Spector-soul of “Take it to Fantastic” (MP3) onwards, Knees Up! combines such diverse influences as Run-DMC, The Aislers Set, Solex, The Shangri-La’s, The Go-Go’s, Luscious Jackson and Devo, while remaining fresh, exciting and original at all times.
On top of this is Sharon’s singing – her truly lovely and pleasing voice polishes off each mini pop masterpiece on Knees Up!. Hagopian has previously taken the Cannonball Jane sound out on the road with support slots for The Go! Team, Gravy Train!!!!, E.S.G. and super-fans Le Tigre and has plans for more shows upon the release of Knees Up! this fall.
“…a concise summary of her aesthetic: cartoonish hip hop breakbeats, elegant piano chords, twinkling chimes, girl group melodies and a swirl of miscellaneous musical elements that fill out every available space in her songs without weighing down their buoyant grooves. Hagopian comes across as the world’s most ideal music educator — someone endlessly enthusiastic about a wide range of music who’s open both to old fashioned instruments and cut-and-paste sample-based compositions “ – Matthew Perpetua, The Associated Press
Knees Up! Tracklisting:
Release Date: October 9, 2007
01. Take It To Fantastic (MP3)
02. Slumber Party
03. Breaker Breaker
04. Take It To Fantastic (Smallstars Remix by Adrock)
05. The Secret Handshake
06. Bossa Tug
07. Take It To Fantastic (DJ Downfall Smash Hit Radio Remix)