Hoping the weather would hold out, I cycled from Gohlis to Radio Blau in Südvorstadt a bit early. Waiting on the other end was Kuba, the guy hosting me on his Saturday evening show at 7.
I met Kuba at a Leipzig Writers Open Mic, and was intrigued about the local life and work of this Lebenkünstler – someone who pursues an alternative lifestyle, with an art to living, so to speak.
It was with that, and translation, that we kind of started our conversation on the crash-out couch of the independent radio station. We briefly touched on translating CVs, which we both do, and how to define the living status of a transitory artist.
I was readying myself to go on the Kubshow and shoot the breeze, but first wanted to know a little more about this artist, and the palette he uses to paint his life.
Like me, he is a bit of a lapsed visual artist. And he says he did really “nothing of note” as far as exhibitions and such are concerned. Now, he is focusing on radio, stand-up comedy and a 9-to-5 job.
Starting slowly, with monthly one-hour shows, he is increasing this with what he calls “bonus shows”. An avid consumer of podcasts, the guy he “riffs off” the most is Tom Scharpling. I told him to check out Q-TV “visual radio” from Canada and, as a fellow Sci-Fi nerd, StarShipSofa (a podcast by Leipzig’s very own Nicola Seaton-Clark and partners).
Jakob (Kuba) Wierzba came to Leipzig for his girlfriend, and after quitting a photography course in Berlin. He graduated from the HGB, but is taking a break from art to do a regular job in Halle, and some fun stuff here in Leipzig. Although moving away from Berlin and parking his aura in Halle, Kuba still has an affinity for LE.
A Polish nomad of sorts, his family came originally from Zgorzelec.
Kuba briefly dwelled in Bad Wurzach, in the south of Germany, near the biggest natural peat-highlands in Europe, and used to “sneak there and get up to shenanigans”. Bit like me and my beloved Cordon Valley in North West England.
The more we spoke, the more we riffed off each other, discovering crossover likes, piques of interest. Despite liking some British stuff, such as the fab-geek-tastic IT-Crowd and Monty Python, Kuba is a self-confessed Amei-ophile (Denglisch for “fan of America”). He grew up with 80s/90s sitcoms, sappy comedies, and Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd and Steve Martin.
In fact, never getting into German comedy could be what nudged him into English stand-up.
Kuba realized he was funny when people laughed at a presentation he was doing for HGB that was not meant to be funny. He took this and ran with it. He dabbled alongside Harry McAlister from the Berlin scene, before taking the stage by joining the Shameless show at Noch Besser Leben.
You can see him there or catch him shooting the breeze on Kubshow on Radio Blau. The show I was on is already out in podcast form.
[mixcloud https://www.mixcloud.com/kubshow/08-four-strikes-with-stew-tunnicliff-and-marta/ width=100% height=120 hide_cover=1 light=1]
Incidentally, my commute to Radio Blau and back to Leipzig North remained dry, for the first time this week during a ride longer than 15 minutes. So the riffs were aligning with the “parked aura” and some fair-weather karma.