Matt Harris (Oranger, The Posies), RIP
Matt Harris, who played in Oranger, Overwhelming Colorfast, The Posies and other groups, died this week. No cause of death has been given but the sad news was shared via The Posies' Facebook: "“It is with a very heavy heart we acknowledge that the news circulating today is true. Matt Harris, the bassist for the Posies from 2001 til 2014, has passed away. Matt lent his incredible skills, mischievous humor and abject sweetness to many Posies tours and his brilliant bass lines are captured on our albums"Every Kind of Light (2005) and Blood Candy (2010). Rest well, Matt. You will be missed.”
Harris was a regular in the San Francisco indie rock scene of the '90s, having spent time in pop-punk group Overwhelming Colorfast before forming Oranger with singer/guitarist Mike Drake (who also played in OC), bassist Chad Dyer and drummer Jim Lindsay. Mixing punk with '60s pop, Oranger were one of the more exciting indie rock bands to come out of the late '90s, and all four of their albums are fantastic. (Oranger's second album, The Quiet Vibrationland made our Indie Basement Best of 2000 list.) When Oranger fizzled out in the '00s, Harris joined The Posies, and he's also played on records by Spiral Stairs, Ian Moore, and more.
Pavement's Spiral Stairs, whose label Amazing Grease released the first two Oranger albums, paid tribute to Harris on Twitter today, writing, "Matthew Zeek Harris left us last night. He was the best! He was my friend! Hell, he had many friends! Known Matt since mid 90’s Berkeley daze. We originally connected with music and our love for the Oakland A’s. He first played bass in Overwhelming Colorfast. And then later with Oranger, who I will fight anyone who don’t think made some of the best records of the late nineties, early 2000’s. Had many days and nights going down music wormholes with ‘Hurricane Harris’, as he was known, way before one of many of his SF roommates were starting companies that helped you do that. Matt loaned me the mini disc recorder that I formed my first post Pavement recordings on." Harris had also played on Spiral Stairs' upcoming new album which Oranger's Jim Lindsay also played on.
Rest in peace, Matt. Listen to some of Oranger, and read a few tributes, below.