Friday, August 26, 2011

REACTIONARY 3 - Tape- 2002?

   My band got lumped onto some crappy hip shows back in 2003 as a favor to a friend. We played some boring ass bar and then played at the Knitting Factory with some fucking shitty bands that bored us to tears. We almost fought the audience. It was stupid. When we got back to playing beautiful DIY warehouses in New England, one of the first bands we played with was REACTIONARY 3 (and DARK LION, but we'll talk about them in the future). It was so nice to be back with a band that did not give a fuck about commercial interests, backstages, or any of that shit. Travis would thank every person in the room for coming out and working their shitty job to be able to give them gas money to get to the next town. I swear, he is the most appreciative person of the DIY lifestyle that I have ever met. He thanks the person taking money at the door, the person who felt like making food for the bands, the people who had the show at their house and the person who brought that one essential cord for the PA to work. Mikey would have his head down, wrecking his bass, playing hard as fuck. Ryan would be doing the same (except wrecking the drums), playing these precise beats, making it look totally easy even though it's really not. They won me over when the rest of their hometown of Gainesville could not do the same. Honest, heartfelt, kinda post-punk, kinda Minutemen-ish, totally triumphant. Fuck yeah, R3!

Link updated 8/11/15

Fun fact: I think I now own the drumset used on this recording....
Edit: No, I don't.

Epilogue 8/11/15: I received the news a few days ago that Travis Fristoe from R3 was not a part of our realm anymore. I didn't know how to take it. Mike T called me to tell me the news as I stood in my friend's yard in Portland. I absentmindedly pulled the petals off of a flower and crushed it in my hand while on the phone. I hung up and dry heaved. I felt numb. I had no idea of the trajectory his life had taken since I was no longer in his immediate orbit.
   I don't want to eulogize him right now but I want to remember what a fucking impact he made on me and the people I know. When Travis talked to you, he made you feel like the special human that you are. A hand on the shoulder. His awkward, full-faced smile. This is still too much for me and I can't write it. Fuck this. The people who knew Travis or were touched by his writing (or music) know what I'm talking about and I don't have to explain it...and that's good, because I can't right now.
   I think my friend E. Conner put it best when she said this in regards to TRUE FEEDBACK STORY (one of Travis' old bands): Almost 15 years ago, (they) showed me a kind of punk where it was ok to be sad and smart and still be angry. To look beyond the cultural creators that dominated the underground and reach back into the entire devastating and beautiful history of art and life. Travis showed me the inside of my room in a new light. No longer alienated from the world but the champion of a new one. Rest in Peace. 

Photos of R3 at Wayward Council in Gainesville by Shannon Smith. She said Travis stopped setting up his gear at this show to come over and introduce himself to her because he knew she lived in town, so they should probably know each other. 


Anonymous said...

This info is still coming in, but I believe Travis passed away this week. Could you please re-up this so that more of his music can get out there? Thank you.

Dustin Fridkin said...

Thank you so much! My record player is busted, and I've been aching to hear this.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting this. I grew up wtih Trav and was his roommate our Freshman year at UF. This has been very hard to process. He was one of the kindest, gentlest souls I ever had the honor to know. I totally looked up to that kid, though he never realized it. -- Mark (misterspikex at gmail dot com)

Anonymous said...

Travis was the only person I have ever met who always made me happy. Every time I saw him I knew I was about to feel happy and important. I wish I could have that superpower.