Invisible Children

Five years ago, three aspiring filmmakers trekked into rural Africa in the hopes of crafting a truly original documentary, but what the trio found during their travels inspired far more than an impressive first movie. After returning to the States, Jason Russell, Bobby Bailey, and Laren Poole pieced together the rough cut of a film they dubbed Invisible Children. The doc, a startling and brutal look into the ongoing war in Uganda and the child soldiers it had spawned, made the rounds amongst the filmmakers’ friends and family, later growing to reach viewers around the world. Flooded by requests from people who wanted to help, the threesome started Invisible Children Inc., a nonprofit organization committed to educating the world and rehabilitating the Ugandan community. This Saturday, July 26, Goleta’s Underdog Agency will bring a very special concert to the Mainstage at Jensen Music (2905 De la Vina St.), with all the proceeds benefiting Invisible Children Inc. Santa Barbara music makers Verna Beware, The Next Step, and Carmelo will share stage time, and KJEE will be on hand to raffle off prizes. Tickets are $8, and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. Visit for more about the cause, and read on for more reasons to head out and lend a helping hand.

1) Get Involved: Since starting Invisible Children Inc. (IC) in 2004, Russell, Bailey, and Poole have made it their mission to find the best and most effective ways in which to bring aid to the future generations of Ugandans. Along with accepting donations and continuing to educate people through their grassroots efforts, IC has started selling their film, organizing screenings, creating merchandise, and instituting an internship program in Gulu. And if you’re interested in getting involved, Saturday’s event will be a great jumpstart.

2) Scene and Heard: The show also promises three rockin’ sets by some of Santa Barbara’s most promising young musicians. Made up of former members of the Donner Party, nu-psychedelics Verna Beware combine bluesy vocals, trippy arrangements, and driving bass lines, while The Next Step will offer up their take on neo-folk, complete with winding guitar riffs and touchy feely lyrics. Rounding out the mix is Carmelo, led by frontman Noah Gibbings. New to the S.B. scene, this collective is currently making the rounds with their mix of indie rock and hip-hop-think Jason Mraz meets Death Cab for Cutie.

3) Freebies Galore: In addition to raffling off a bunch of prizes, KJEE will be giving away a brand spankin’ new guitar on Saturday. Likewise, the folks behind IC have donated a bunch of DVDs, posters, and books, which will be given away throughout the event. It’s proof positive that $8 can not only buy you good karma-it can score you some pretty awesome loot, too.


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