lifeblood: songs: backgrounds: box of tissues


1991-10-04: disappear fear, the portland oregonian:

started as a folk duo in baltimore in 1987 with sisters sonia and cindy rutstein, disappear fear will perform at 9 p.m. monday in the pine street theater, 221 s.e. ninth ave.

pretty, but pointed songs such as "sink the censorship" and splendid harmonies afforded the two opening spots for john cale, the indigo girls, suzanne vega and others.

but in january of this year the rutsteins added bassist susan charnley and drummer debbie ford, giving them a much more contemporary rock sound.

"box of tissues," for example, reveals real hooks and uncanny harmonies. it certainly rocks, but not too loud and not too fast., more like peter gabriel's "biko" crossed with joni mitchell, if mitchell had done "conversation" with a full band and backing harmonies.

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1992-04-08: disappear fear gets personal, in music as in life, the rocky mountain news:

disappear fear's family affair also stretches to include a brother, rick, who handles the business end of the privately owned label, disappear records.

they've gained a following among their musical peers, too. the b-52's, indigo girls and robyn hitchcock are counted as fans.

the group's name sums up their musical and social philosophy. sonia is openly gay and cindy is straight. the political and personal views bump and meld accordingly. sen. jesse helms gets lanced for his homophobic views on sink the censorship, and postcards from texas on live from the bottom line is a beautiful and frank song about sonia wrestling with faithfulness while confronting sexual temptation on tour. box of tissues deals with breakups, sexual telepathy celebrates beginnings and hey (oddly reminiscent of gary glitter's rock and roll part ii) is simply fun.

"i made a declaration to myself before disappear fear began that i would write from my heart because that's what works for me," said sonia. "yes, sometimes it also makes great gossip . . . a soap opera with my friends. but that's life. i'm lucky i can be with my feelings in my professional and private life too."

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1992-05-27: getting down with the indigos, the washington post:

the folk-rock duo disappear fear no doubt will be viewed by some as baltimore's answer to indigo girls, the harmonies and arrangements sounding so familiar at times. yet sisters sonia and cindy frank have nevertheless come up with a distinctive album of their own, "live at the bottom line" (disappear records).

actually, only eight of the 13 tracks here were recorded at the bottom line in new york, among them a blunt broadside called "sink the censorship," aimed directly at sen. jesse helms; a passionate love song told from a gay woman's perspective, "postcard from texas"; a clever, upbeat coffeehouse ditty, "love insurance"; and the unabashedly sentimental ballad "box of tissues." by turns provocative and entertaining, the duo clearly bears watching.


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