The Traumatics

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Punk band from the 2010 novel Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

It was during this third honeymoon of double features and wine spritzers and wearing out the grooves of Blondie albums that Patty began to hear about the musician Richard Katz.
The giant eraser [Katz] had just graduated from Macalester College, was working demolition, and had formed a punk band called the Traumatics which Eliza was convinced were going to be huge.


  • Richard Katz - vocals
  • Molly Tremain - vocals
  • Herrera - bass


  1. Greetings from the Bottom of the Mine Shaft
  2. In Case You Hadn't Noticed.
  3. Reactionary Splendor
  4. Insanely Happy - their last album and their first album without Molly

The Sick Chelseas open for them on their Insanely Happy tour; a foursome of assonant girls barely older than kids.

After The Traumatics break up, Katz forms the alt country band Walnut Surprise; teaming up with a fan who plays pedal steel guitar.

Richard Katz has an affair with his best friend Walter Berglund's wife Patty at a lake house called "Nameless Lake," which then becomes title of Walnut Surprise's first album. Nameless Lake gets a Grammy nomination and sells several hundred thousand copies thanks to it being played on NPR. Much to Katz's confusion and disapproval.

He goes back to building decks, and during a conversation with some kid named Zachary (page 196), the following bands are mentioned: