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Hear and Now: This week on the music beat

A recent Phish concert included an ecstasy sting by the local police, while stars like Eddie Vedder have signed on to write music for Ralph Nader’s campaign

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IT’S THE PHUZZ Phish fans, long reputed to enjoy a taste for the high life, found a new breed of narc in their midst at the band’s Sept. 18 concert in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Undercover narcotics officers, dressed in hippie regalia and spouting lingo learned from Phish fan sites and chat rooms, baited pharmaceutical entrepreneurs with entreaties for ”Molly” (Ecstasy) and other substances, and arrested between 90 and 100 fans on a variety of drug charges. ”This was something we’d been setting up for weeks,” says Sgt. Gary Blevins of the Cuyahoga Falls Police Department. The band declined to comment, but some fans are outraged by the sting operation. ”[The police] see a Phish show as a quick way to make a lot of money in fines and court costs,” gripes Scott Harris, who runs a Phish website. ”Why don’t they try to find out what this Phish thing is all about?” Blevins apparently knows all he needs to know: ”If Phish come back next year, we’ll be there.”

STUMP ‘N’ GRIND Do a little dance, make a little love, vote Ralph tonight Eddie Vedder‘s not the only pop star rooting for presidential candidate Ralph Nader. David Was of Was (Not Was) and the Beastie BoysAdam Horovitz have signed on to record songs for Nader’s campaign. The tracks will set sound bites from Nader speeches to music. Former Run-D.M.C. publicist Bill Adler is coordinating the project and is currently talking to other artists about cutting their own Nader remixes. ”The idea is to turn these things over to Nader’s organization, and hopefully they’ll rubber-stamp them and make them available on his website [http://www.votenader.org],” says Adler. Was’s track, ”Public Citizen No. 1,” is already in the can. ”I made it at a dance tempo, about 110 beats per minute,” he says. ”God knows where it’s going to end up. I don’t think Nader has a lot of club promo people working for him.”