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Freedy Johnston, July 21, 8pm

A gifted songwriter who often crafts tales of characters whose lives have gone wrong yet don’t seem to realize it, Freedy Johnston has developed into one of the most talented songsmiths around.  The Kinsley, Kansas native was born in 1961 and bought his first guitar at the young age of 16.  Shortly after this, he picked up a copy of the classic Elvis Costello album, My Aim is True and from that point on, immersed himself in the music of everything from Neil Young to XTC.  He also developed a taste for country music.  In 1989, he released The Trouble Tree, an offering that received strong critical notices but didn’t score with the record buying public.  In order to finance his second album, Johnston took a bold risk and opted to sell some farmland that had been in his family for generations.  The gamble paid off and 1992’s Can You Fly earned rave reviews as well as being named among the year’s best by the New York Times, Billboard and other heavyweight periodicals.  It also received a heavy amount of airplay on alternative radio.  This is a great opportunity to catch one of the more talented singer/songwriters working today.  McCabe’s Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Blvd., 310.828.4497, www.mccabes.com, $17.50

 90 Minutes in Venice, July 23, 11am-2pm

Come and witness the findings of a unique local experiment.  Former photographer and journalist Maureen Jacobson came up with the notion of allotting fifty cameras to fifty different people and asking them to capture “their” Venice Boardwalk in ninety minutes.  This idea came to Miss Jacobson after having spent time with a number of senior citizens.  Her mom was taking classes at the Venice Israel Levin Center and Maureen had the opportunity to speak with many wise and vibrant folks.  She found herself both intrigued and entertained by the tales and experiences they related to her.  In turn, she thought it would be interesting to see the different ways in which seniors as well as other local folks would capture and portray “their” Venice.  The results of this community art project will be on display for all to peruse this coming weekend.  Israel Levin Senior Center, 210 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, 310.396.0205.

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