This Week's Day-by-Day Picks 

Confused about genetically modified organisms, but unsure what to do about it? Put down that book, turn off that blasted public radio, and take in the info the American way -- passively -- at the GMOs and Food Film Series, running Wednesdays through September 29 at Humanist Hall, 390 27th St. in Oakland. The series kicks off tonight with The Future of Food, an in-depth examination of the unlabeled GMO products that have been surreptitiously making their way on to grocery store shelves over the past decade. The film is the brainchild of director, writer, and coproducer Deborah Koons Garcia, who also created the award-winning educational series All About Babies and the feature film Poco Loco. (She also happens to be the widow of the late Jerry Garcia.) All film showings are at 7 p.m., and admission is free (but donations are accepted)., 510-451-5818, or e-mail -- Stefanie Kalem

If you're a twenty- or thirtysomething still looking for the rainbow connection -- or if you ever had a mad crush on Count von Count or Janice from Dr. Teeth's band -- then you need to get your whimsical ass down to the Ivy Room tonight for the Dead Hensons. The Bay Area sextet's repertoire is composed exclusively of songs from early Jim Henson projects, mainly Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, and The Muppet Movie, with styles ranging from funk to jazz to rock. Movin' right along, the evening's lineup also features the theatrical, found-instrument carny-folks of Corpus Callosum (up first at 9:30 p.m.), country-addled punk rock from Blammos, and headliners Greed Incorporated, inundating closing time with Zappafied heaviness. The Ivy is at 858 San Pablo Ave., Albany, and is always 21 and up. $5. 510-524-9220. -- Stefanie Kalem

It's J. Edgar Hoover's worst nightmare come true: Hordes of crazed teaheads meandering through the streets of Berkeley, intent on gathering together in search of "health" and "relaxation." The late, tilted FBI chief would flip his frock to learn about High Tea with the Herbal Pharmacy, sponsored by Berkeley's Elephant Pharmacy. The "herbal pharmacy's version of happy hour" invites participants to drop by (1607 Shattuck Ave. at Cedar), learn about the benefits and medicinal properties of different brews, and then kick the tea cozy around, every Friday in September from 3 to 4 p.m. Each new week brings a new theme, with tea tasting at the herbal counter of the pharmacy and advice from herbalists Nathalie Babazadeh and Kim Finley. Info: 510-549-9200 or -- Kelly Vance

The old Broadway musical and movie Flower Drum Song, with its cutesy-poo depiction of the inscrutable denizens of San Francisco's Chinatown, became a source of shame and embarrassment for many Asian Americans in the years following its first success in the late '50s and early '60s -- and playwright David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly) was determined to do something about it. The result is Hwang's complete rewrite of Oscar Hammerstein's original book, keeping the songs and many of the basic plot elements of the story of a young woman arriving in SF from China in the '50s, but jettisoning offensive dialogue and a hackneyed worldview. The idea being: Things have changed. The 2002 version opens tonight at Woodminster Summer Musicals, in a production directed by Joel Schlader with musical direction by Brandon Ames, and runs through September 12 at Woodminster Amphitheater in Joaquin Miller Park, 3300 Joaquin Miller Rd. in Oakland. 8 p.m., $19-$31 from 510-531-9597 or -- Kelly Vance

Will "classic rock" always be classic? When will "Smells Like Teen Spirit" replace "Stairway to Heaven" as the rawk nation's favorite sentimental journey? Ponder these great quandaries and more while quaffing hot dogs and keg beer at 107.7 FM's Bone Bash V. This year's concert at the Chronicle Pavilion in Concord features performances by Deep Purple, Joe Satriani, Blue Oyster Cult, Thin Lizzy, and Dokken (or reasonable facsimiles thereof). Doors open at 3 p.m., and until the rock starts rolling at 4:30, you can play interactive games and participate in a live broadcast with the Bone's on-air hosts. Tickets are $20-$55 plus service charges up the wazoo, we're sure, and are available at or by calling 510-625-TIXS or 925-685-TIXS. For more info, visit -- Stefanie Kalem

Labor Day is supposed to be the official end of summer. But here in the Bay Area, the summer weather has just started kicking, and though an extra day off is nice, the holiday does sometimes seem a little anachronistic. Cool off your confusion this year with a dose of retail therapy at the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists' Gala Flea Market. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, you can find bargains galore in the hall and courtyard of the fellowship, located at the corner of Cedar and Bonita streets. The event is a fund-raiser for the community center and meeting place. Call 510-540-8721 for further details. -- Stefanie Kalem

There are animal fanciers, and there are painters. Melissa K. Smith is both. As she relates it, Smith met "the Great Wolf Mother" a year ago while on a shamanic journey, and the she-wolf inspired her to adopt her current spiritual and artistic vision. Not long after that, Smith says, "the wolf spirit actually manifested in my life in the form of a real 'flesh and fur' yearling wolf'" -- a timber wolf named Comanche, who purportedly helped the artist bridge the gap between her dream worlds and her paintings. See Smith's lupine visions for yourself in her new show Wolfscape, now through September 10, at John F. Kennedy University's Arts and Consciousness Gallery, on the second floor of the Berkeley Business Center, 2956 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley. Info: 510-649-0499 or -- Kelly Vance


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