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While India.Arie rocked the Mile High Music Fest, her brother nearly rocked the big house

India.Arie rocked the house Saturday night at the Mile High Music Festival — but her brother, Denver native J'on Simpson, almost rocked the big house.

Simpson, 36, was arrested at about 6:30 p.m. on July 18, outside Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, and charged with receiving stolen property, a misdemeanor, then released with a summons to appear in court. No further details were available on Monday, says Commerce City police spokesman Chris Dickey. "We had three or four dozen reports from over the last two days, so we are still catching up," he explained.

J'on, who now lives in Atlanta, says he did nothing wrong. "I don't go on tour with my sister that often because I have my own thing," he says. But when he does, he handles the doling out of tickets or wristbands to friends and family members, of which there are many. Arie, born India Arie Simpson, and her brother were born and raised in Denver, and their father is former Denver Nuggets player Ralph Simpson, who still lives here. As teenagers, India went to Rangeview High while J'on attended North.

But the police told him that undercover officers saw him selling tickets, something Simpson says is false: "I don't need money; I have been blessed in that area. This is really a case of racial profiling." Simpson says he was able to get back from the police station in time to catch Arie's set and that concert promoter AEG gave replacement wristbands to her friends and family. "I'm from Denver, man," he says. "I've never had anything like that in Denver, and I just want to clear my name."

Check the Backbeat blog at westword.com for updates.

Zine and herd: The DIY movement comes from the punk-rock ethos that people should create products, services and culture themselves rather than rely on the government or corporations to sell it to them in pre-packaged form. And so DIY projects are defined by their grassroots roughness, energy and, typically, pitifully short lifespans.

So in DIY years, the Denver Zine Library qualifies as a historical institution. Launched in 2004 from a backyard shed in Capitol Hill, the library (an inaugural Westword Mastermind award winner in 2005) has evolved into a one-of-a-kind catalogue for thousands of zine memoirs, manifestos and comics from around the world. But after relying on a handful of committed volunteers to do all the work, the free-to-visit non-profit library is shutting down for a while, since it can't come up with the rent. "We loved being affiliated with The Other Side Arts," says zine librarian Kelly Shortandqueer of the library's location in the gallery at 1644 Platte Street. "Unfortunately, because we're all volunteer-run and lots of other factors, $300 rent is just not sustainable."

While it has received offers to move in with other DIYers, the group has decided to be "really intentional about stopping, having community come together and decide what makes the most sense, what's a good location, what's a project we have some overlap with," Kelly explains. And while the members discuss that, the zines will be put in storage.

The plan is to reopen the Denver Zine Library in about six months in a new, centrally located space with cheap rent (and if you know of one, contact the zinesters at denverzinelibrary@gmail.com). In the meantime, anyone who is devoted to the underground art of the self-made booklet is invited to a closing-party picnic in Confluence Park on August 9.

 
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