This is a story about value. Things that we like, things that we need, things of substance and quality are the things that we 'value'. Things in need of help, things that can't stand on their own and charities are things we 'support'. Unfortunately, when it comes to independent artists, often times as fans we inadvertently end up marking their work as lacking value or quality.
Many musical artists lack the understanding to realize that promotion
and marketing are important aspects; believing that the quality of their
music will draw an audience... the "if you build it, they will come"
mentality as it were. As a result what you have are a lot of grass roots
artists who are very accomplished artists, singer, songwriters and
musicians with high quality recordings that do not see the light of day
and are only known to their grassroots following.
I know a singer, with a new CD who can sing rings and bows around Robin Thicke, for example. However, on facebook I see people bragging about having tickets to Mr Thicke's concert, re-posting his videos, songs and pictures. On the other hand, the aforementioned indie artist, when I see things posted by his fans it almost always has the words "Support..." in the post. The artist doesn't need to be supported; he needs to be valued. His CD, show and general performance are first rate; his following is regional; however, I have yet to see a fan post anything reflecting these facts. These artists don't need to be supported, they need to be
appreciated. Begging for charity on their behalf is not really helping
them or furthering their careers. On the flip-side, I've seen artists with fans post their videos, or soundcloud tracks or pictures from shows with such things as "For the best night of live music in Chicago..." or "This cut is my jam!" or "Tonight, --- is in town! Who's going?" and their shows are well attended and their music is selling, simply because their fans and 'supporters' gave their product value.
When Berry Gordy started Motown or Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin started Def Jam, and their groups were largey unknown, you never heard them say "Come out and support The Miracles" or "come out and support LL Cool J". Instead, you were told that if you missed their show, you were missing a major event. You were told that if you didn't buy their records you were behind the times.
Bottom line: If you really want to 'support' you friends in the business, stop pitching them as a charity.