The city's new all-ages policy draws jeers -- but no beers.

"I would say 25 percent of what we're about is the label aspect," Beegle says. "But we've worked with so many bands that aren't even officially affiliated with Hapi Skratch. Our primary goal is that, through our services, we're trying to find a way for artists to make a career out of this. We can help them come at it from different angles, whether it's finding gigs or whatever."

Hapi Skratch celebrates its longevity, an anomaly in a business characterized by flux, with two showcases of Hapi artists this week. Cup-A-Jo, a Denver blues combo led by Joe Oeser, will kick things off on Thursday, April 19, at Tin Lizzy, followed by a set from Laramie-based Skratch staple Blinddog Smokin'. That performance will feature a guest cameo from Oklahoma belter Miss Blues, an all-but-undiscovered seventy-year-old diva whom the Blinddog boys met while on tour in the Midwest. (Miss Blues also appears on the band's latest release, Sittin' In.) On Friday, April 20, the Skratch party moves to the Duke of Windsor (located, appropriately enough, in downtown Windsor) with sets from Joy Jackson, 69 Times and Blinddog Smokin'/Miss Blues.

Backwash was saddened to learn of the passing of Michael Brown, the Denver-based hip-hop promoter and DJ better known to local 'heads as Mixmaster Mike. Brown died last week in Las Vegas; although police are calling his death an apparent suicide -- he went over a railing at the Luxor Hotel -- there's also talk about Brown's adverse reactions to medication following surgery. But there's no confusion over the legacy Brown leaves behind: The musician/businessman was one of the city's most aggressive supporters of hip-hop, having worked to initiate club nights at F-Stop and, later, the Baja Beach Club. Local consumers of urban-style music have no doubt felt the Mixmaster's influence, whether as patrons at an event he helped produce or simply by hearing his music.

He'll be missed. Services for Brown will be held Thursday, April 19, at the New Hope Baptist Church, 3701 Colorado Boulevard.

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