Bands that put sites between themselves and fans

Merlin’s post about the Five Mistakes Band & Label Sites Make is incredibly spot on and mirrors my own problems finding samples from new bands to listen to, finding tour dates in my town, and trying to find tickets to shows.

The only bands I can think of that do it right are The Long Winters, Dealership, Citizens Here and Abroad, and Sloan.

You can easily and quickly find MP3s to download, show dates including location maps and 21+/all-ages info, and Sloan even offers RSS feeds of their tour dates, so you can set the subscription in your reader and forget about it until they tour again.

That all four band sites were built by folks connected closely to blogging probably has something to do with their extreme utility and good balance between usability and artistic design.