Where to party arty during the RNC

With the RNC scaled back Monday in deference to Hurricane Gustav press coverage, er, victims, the focus surprisingly shifted to the ancillary music and arts events around town, notably the big Harriet Island fist-pumping, Republican-thumping concert. But there’s plenty more yet to come.

Today on the Capitol lawn, an event called Ripple Effect is bringing performers and speakers together with what planners hope will be 7,000 to 10,000 youth for progressive activist training on such issues as global warming, social justice, etc. Polar explorer/global-warming activist Will Steger is mentioned in the same sentence as performers Michael Franti, Indigo, Wookiefoot and Matisyahu, leaving it open to speculation that Steger might grab the mic for a little rapping.

Today through Thursday, the Electric Fetus music store is dubbing itself the Electorate Fetus and hosting some high-profile in-store performances during its so-called Political Happy Hour events from 2:30 to 6. (The League of Women Voters will also be on hand to register voters.) Performances include Jenny Dalton today at 2:30 pm, Billy Bragg at a time to be announced (see Electricfetus.com for an update), and Romantica on Thursday at 6 pm). P.S. The scholars at EF included a top-10 all-time political album list with the press release, featuring Woody Guthrie on top followed by Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Marvin Gaye (What’s Goin’ On), The Clash, Public Enemy (Nation of Millions), Gil Scott-Heron, Steve Earle, and then a couple of entertaining surprises: The Charlie Daniels’ Band (Redneck Fiddlin’ Man), and Lee Greenwood (American Patriot).

Tonight at 7 pm, Daily Show  conceptualist and comedian Lizz Winstead begins her three-day reign of satire and political commentary at the new, improved Parkway Theatre in Minneapolis, with rockers Billy Bragg and hometown hero Jim Walsh joining her today and tomorrow.

And if you’re sick and tired of the whole thing before it’s even really begun, the inimitable Bedlam Theatre is hosting a “community decompression dinner and happy hour” through Thursday–a potluck buffet from 4 to 7 pm followed by political satire until 10 pm by the Nonsense Company, Prince Myshins, WYXY News, David Rovics, and other local performers, followed by music until 1 am. ($5 to $15 suggested donation.) This presumes, of course, that most of Bedlam’s core fans and performers won’t be caught up in the protests—a big if…