With Nate Seider stepping down from the position, the Chicago club's programming will now be directed by Marea Stamper, AKA The Black Madonna.
Seider, who DJs under the name Nate Manic, was appointed talent buyer back in 2009. "I'm just trying to be as absolutely well-rounded as I can with the bookings," he said at the time, and it's safe to say his efforts were successful, with the profile of the club—arguably one of the country's best for electronic music—rising even higher since then. Catching up with RA via email, Seider recalled some of his most memorable shows—the Smart Bar debut of Marcel Dettmann in 2010 during Sonar Chicago and the local debut of Nicolas Jaar in 2011, as well as bookings like Audion, DJ ?uestlove, DJ Harvey and Seth Troxler ("and taking him to get a tattoo at some random Mexican place on Western Avenue after burritos at La Pasadita").
"I'm honored by the opportunity to have worked with this organization for the last four years and can't thank [club owner] Joe Shanahan enough for giving me the chance to share my vision with Chicago and the world," Seider says. "This has been an amazing opportunity and I am sincerely grateful to all of the artists, agents and patrons who have made this time so special. I absolutely cannot wait to see what Marea Stamper will do with this club over the coming years—I'm excited to see Smart Bar go into such capable hands and am confident she will take it to new heights!"
Clued-in clubbers will already know Stamper by way of her DJ and production alias The Black Madonna—her tracks and remixes have appeared on labels like Classic, Freerange and Argot, which issued her latest EP Lady Of Sorrows a couple months ago. She's a 2013 Smart Bar resident and has been an assistant to Seider for over a year. Her career in music stretches back some two decades, and includes stints working for GrooveMedia Group and Dust Traxx. She'll be Smart Bar's first-ever female talent buyer.
Stamper had this to say about her new role: "I am honored and thrilled to begin this great adventure with Smart Bar. Over the last decade, I've been lucky enough to graduate from devoted patron to resident to talent buyer. No matter where we go or who joins us along the way, I can tell you that the core experience of Smart Bar, that special feeling of being at an underground party (that just happens to take place in a safe and legal venue!) will remain."
Tonight's gig will be the last for Seider as an employee at Smart Bar. One of the club's select 30th anniversary events, it'll be headlined by an extended set from legendary French DJ Laurent Garnier. Seider will share the decks with Sassmouth to kick off the night. You can then catch him and Stamper, as Nate Manic vs. The Black Madonna, at a night-long Bombs, Not Bombs! session next month on Friday the 13th.
Photo credit: Tasya Menaker