When The Pixies, the reunited stars of 1980s alt-rock, decided recently to play a special show in Los Angeles, they wanted to make sure their biggest local followers were invited first. So last Thursday morning, the band sent e-mail messages to 8,031 fans with Southern California ZIP codes, announcing the show and alerting them that “tickets are on sale RIGHT NOW.”

All 1,200 tickets for the show, at the Music Box on Nov. 19, were sold in about an hour, said Richard Jones, the band’s manager.

The rush was a testimony to the loyalty of Pixies fans. But to manage the whole process online — including reaching out to a small subset of its mailing list and selling the tickets itself — the group turned to Topspin Media, one of a handful of technology companies that are transforming the way musicians do business by letting them market directly to their audiences.

Keep reading: New York Times