The Internet can be wildly effective at helping bands achieve success via grassroots means, like streaming tunes on MySpace, tracking even the tiniest shows on Pollstar, and actually, making sure they never achieve success via BitTorrent. Breaking bands for real, with your help: 100,000 Fans.
100,000's a Venice-based site that's enlisted a team of music-biz experts to curate a small selection of unsigned artists they think have the goods, then gives fans the opportunity to help them "make it", or at the very least, stop "making fries". The site's tastemakers range from studio engineers to label owners, all of whom've worked with major artists from Diana Krall to Blink 182; once they choose an act, their album's made available to stream/download, alongside a bio and tools to 1) share the tracks (via Twitter/Facebook/email) and 2) help the band out financially via PayPal "donations", with the money you throw in going straight to the artist's fund for expenses like recording/touring/tighter pants. While they'll gladly accept mountains of cash, support can be "as little as $2", and once the business peeps behind the site see a significant user-generated groundswell for an artist, they promise to help further advance their career via partnerships with online marketers and labels -- helping expose so many people to your favorite new band's music, you'll be forced to hate them.
Three artists're added every week, with current acts including emotive New Zealand singer-songwriter Crofton Orr, hot-chick-led melodic poppers A.M. Pacific, and LA indie rockers Les Blanks, who clearly pride themselves on being wildly effective at French infertility.