This Week's Day-by-Day Picks 

WED 11

Opera Piccola means "small work" in Italian, and the multiracial Bay Area troupe of actors, singers, and dancers specializes in just that -- digestible, entertaining, short musical theater pieces, like the ones they're performing this summer at various Oakland Public Library branches. Beginning today (3:30 p.m.) with the Mayan folk tale Chac, The Rain Spirit at the Brookfield branch (9255 Edes Ave., 510-615-5725), Opera Piccola presents a series of traditional and not-so-traditional African, European, and Central American folkloric musical vignettes -- including Stolen Aroma, a North African fable, and even the Grimm Brothers' Hansel and Gretel -- in free performances at six branch libraries. To learn more, visit www.oaklandlibrary.org -- Kelly Vance

THU 12

Some people are calling him the new Bob Dylan. His CD Gone Wanderin' (Dig Music) won a 2003 California Music Award in the "Blues/Roots Album" category and was hailed by Rolling Stone as one of the best CDs of 2002. He's Jackie Greene, a twenty-year-old entertainer from Placerville who has lately spent his time hoboing -- as much as anyone can in the 21st century -- just like Woody Guthrie, Dylan, and any number of folk-singing troubadours before him. Greene sings a mixture of originals and blues/folk standards, accompanying himself on guitar, blues harp, piano, banjo, and dobro (plus a bassist and drummer on tour), and he'd be happy to show off his licks for you tonight at Freight & Salvage. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., show at 8. 1111 Addison St., Berkeley. 510-548-1761 or www.freightandsalvage.org -- Kelly Vance

FRI 13

Whether or not the initials in Live 105's BFD actually stands for what everyone assumes it stands for, it actually is a "boss, fun day." It ain't Coachella or Bonneroo, but it's an all-day celebration of, if not the best, then at least the most hyped alternative rock. From critical crossovers the White Stripes and Interpol (on the main and second stage respectively) to darlings of Middle America like the Foo Fighters (main stage) and the Donnas (second stage), there's something for everyone who likes their music a little left of the corporate dial. Rounding out the center ring are the Deftones, AFI, and Evanescence, and the smaller stage features Transplants, the Used, and more. There's also a third stage, inexplicably hosting the Roots, plus techno heartthrob BT, Dan the Automator, and a bevy of DJs, including KALX's Disko Shawn. The show starts at 1 p.m. at Shoreline Amphitheater, and tickets cost $10-$55. Visit www.live105.com and www.ticketmaster.com for more details. -- Stefanie Kalem

SAT 14

Calling all frustrated architects (is there any other kind?), pipedream urban planners, and semi-heroic sculptors who can't afford marble. It's time once again to create that perfect structure -- with wet sand and a toy shovel -- at Crown Memorial State Beach in Alameda. Today the 37th annual Sand Castle & Sand Sculpture Contest invites everyone, from kids with a plastic pail and a Tonka truck to gray-haired guys with blueprints and building permits, to try their hand at the art of impermanence. Registration begins at 9 a.m., so that only gives an East Bay Eero Saarinen or Praxiteles three hours, until viewing and judging at 12 noon, to create a masterpiece. And tomorrow it will all be washed away. For more info, phone the Alameda Recreation & Park Department at 510-748-4565. -- Kelly Vance

SUN 15

Women's music pioneer/songwriter/feminist/political activist Margie Adam is just trying to get a little peace these days. She's been leading labyrinth walks all over the country, hoping that by means of music, meditation, and "centering" in the ancient manner using the magical pathways of a labyrinth to focus energy, peace and justice will prevail in the world. And now it's Berkeley's turn. Today, in an event sponsored by the East Bay Labyrinth Project, Adam will explain the mystique of the labyrinth and then lead a candlelight walk for peace. Maybe she'll find it. The Community Labyrinth Peace Walk takes place at 2 p.m. at the North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst Ave. For more info: 510-526-7377. -- Kelly Vance

MON 16

Remember "the vision thing"? The Masters of Fine Arts and Masters of Transformative Arts at John F. Kennedy University's Arts Annex in Berkeley know all about vision. And they're anxious to prove it in the Department of Arts and Consciousness' Graduate Exhibition 2003. The work of fourteen student artists -- paintings, prints, sculpture, assemblages -- will be on display at the show, which opens today for a run through July 3. There's a reception Friday, June 20, at 7 p.m., with the graduating ceremony at 8 p.m. It all happens at JFKU's Art Annex, 2965 San Pablo Ave. at Ashby, second floor, Berkeley. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 510-649-0499. -- Kelly Vance

TUE 17

Olympia, Washington trio the Bangs have been compared to a grown-up version of the Donnas -- tough, cool, and hooky, but with at least a helping more of feminist self-awareness. Did we mention "tough"? Singer-guitarist Sarah Dutter sliced her finger on a bread knife at work recently, and superglued it together to play some dates. That worked all right till, at a show at Indiana's Earlham College, the glue got caught on a string and ripped off. The glue, that is, not the finger. Try that one on for size, Donna C! Australia's Origami and local popsters Bitesize open for the Bangs at the Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley). The 21-and-up show starts at 9:30 p.m. and costs $7. Call 510-841-2082 for venue details. -- Stefanie Kalem

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