About a year ago I missed seeing The Swell Season by a matter of days, simply because I didn't know they were playing in my town. Never again.
Songkick is a free service that tracks your favorite bands and artists, lets you know when they're touring near you, and even sends e-mail recommendations for other concerts you might like.
It can also hook you up with tickets (from resellers as well as the likes of Ticketdisaster...er, Ticketmaster), show you concert-related blog posts, and add your personal comments to the artist's profile page.
After signing up, just head to the Tour Tracker and enter the name of an artist. Songkick adds that artist to your list and suggests similar ones you might want to track. Very nice.
You can also download the Songkicker plug-in, which scans your music library (iTunes, Winamp, or Windows Media Player) and automatically adds your artists to the Tour Tracker. It'll even update the Tracker when you add new music to your library.
I had a little trouble getting this to work with iTunes, but only because I used the installer to create my Songkick account. When I created it on the site and then plugged my username and password into the installer, it worked fine.
One of my all-time favorite artists, Brendan Benson, has a new album coming out this summer, and hopefully he'll be touring to promote it. Now that I'm following him in Songkick, I don't have to worry about missing out.