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The Afflicted: Petworth resident Patrick Kigongo, 26, guitarist for jangly dance quartet Ra Ra Rasputin.
Diagnosis: Gear hoof. Following an April 1 show at Georgetown University, Kigongo and his bandmates found their van’s window smashed—and a few pricey accessories missing. Among the lost loot was Kigongo’s beloved Roland Jazz Chorus Amplifier, which he estimates sells for a cool $500 to $600.
Symptoms: Thievery desperation. “I’ve been trying to improvise whenever possible,” says Kigongo, who has leaned on musician friends to borrow amps—one of which is “a piece of shit”—and had to play one show with his guitar plugged straight into the mixing board. Life without his Roland hasn’t been easy. “The problem with borrowing an amplifier is that you’re not able to build a strong relationship between the guitar and the amp,” he says. “You’re not going to get the same sounds. For someone like me who enjoys working with feedback and creating noise, it’s extremely frustrating.”
Treatment: Disburdenment plan. At the moment, Kigongo can’t afford to buy a new amplifier to tempt would-be larcenists. Still, Ra Ra Rasputin has vowed to prevent future amp apes by tightening up their gear-transport plans to the point of “religion,” Kigongo says. “We’ve made a point to say, ‘There’s no room for slacking.’ We can’t make any excuses anymore for why the gear shouldn’t be at the practice space as soon as possible after a show.” Until he saves up for a new amp of his own, Kigongo pines for his old devices. “It was a pretty good amp,” he says. “I could coax some pretty interesting sounds out of it. And it was very, very loud. I loved that.” —Amanda Hess
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