Better Lemon Podcast Listening Notes — June 2020


I thought I’d start a new series of recommendation posts for folks interested in expanding their podcast library. I’ll be sharing podcast episodes and shows that I’ve listened to recently and enjoyed. As a producer specializing in podcasts for museums and cultural nonprofits, you’ll find a lot of shows about history and culture from both sides of the pond.

About Race with Reni Eddo-Lodge

“1: Things Can Only Get Better”

From the author of the bestselling Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, the podcast takes the conversation a step further by examining more the recent decades of anti-racist activism in the UK. I’ve listened to the first two episodes so far, and it’s a fascinating look at the state of racism in the UK, which is something I’m learning about from page 1 as an American recently transplanted. I haven’t read the book yet, and the podcast definitely stands alone, in case you were wondering about that. It’s fantastically produced with a strong narrative, and a really riveting listen.

Ear Hustle

“Tired of Running”

Can you believe I’ve never listened to Ear Hustle? Shameful. I know. Ear Hustle brings you the daily realities of life inside prison shared by those living it, and stories from the outside, post-incarceration. The podcast is a partnership between Nigel Poor, a Bay Area visual artist, and Earlonne Woods, formerly incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison, and was co-founded with former San Quentin resident Antwan Williams. I think one of the reasons I never listened before was a fear that it would make me really sad, but come to find out, they aspire to keep a lightness that lets you hear stories with sadness and struggle in an empathetic way that doesn’t leave you devastated emotionally. I really loved the episode, “Tired of Running,” which featured stories about being on the run from the law and the impact that had on the mental well-being and families of the storytellers.

Gender Reveal

“Episode 58: Elle Halo”

I was drawn to this show because of the great name and tagline: “A podcast about what the heck gender is.” Gender Reveal is a podcast for nonbinary folks, for people who don’t know what “nonbinary” means, and everyone in between. I listened to a lovely episode with Elle Halo as the guest. I think you could jump in anywhere on this show, that’s just the one I happened to try first, and I really enjoyed it.


“American Police”

There are very few shows I listen to regularly, but Throughline from NPR is always at the top of my queue. The show concept is pretty simple: “The past is never past. Every headline has a history. Join us every week as we go back in time to understand the present. These are stories you can feel and sounds you can see from the moments that shaped our world.” But the execution is brilliant. The hosts do a masterful job of unpacking current topics using history in a way that will impact your understanding of the world around you. Other favorite episodes of mine are “1918 Flu” and “Conspiracy Theories.”

Vikings are Gay!

“Black Lives Matter: Viking Studies and White Supremacy”

This is a truly illuminating episode from a really stellar indie podcast. Amy Jefford Franks and I met when we briefly overlapped at a masters program for Viking and Medieval Norse Studies at the University of Iceland. While I went on to completely forget everything I learned, Amy has carved out a niche for themselves by apply queer theory and an anti-racist/anti-white supremacist lens to Viking Studies–whether the field likes it or not. Amy pulls off a simple scripted monologue really well, and whether or not you’ve ever considered Viking Studies or it’s *really* racist roots, you’ll find yourself completely immersed in this saga (pun intended).

Rabbit Hole


I didn’t expect too much from this show based on the terribly vague description: “What is the internet doing to us? The Times tech columnist Kevin Roose discovers what happens when our lives move online.” But it’s so much more than this. I hate generic “the internet is ruining everything” thinking, but I could not stop listening to this. It’s an incredibly thorough and balanced look at how YouTube in particular has shaped internet dialogue, and how that in turn has affected real world politics. It begins with a riveting story of a young man radicalized to right-wing thinking on YouTube, and gets to the other side as well through interview with YouTube leaders and algorithm creators.

Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness

“How Can We Stop Being Such Grumpy Nightmares? with Happiness Professor Dr. Laurie Santos”

I know a lot of us are really stressed and anxious right now after months of lockdown, political turmoil, and the fight for the rights and lives of BIPOC and LGBTQ people. It’s quite obvious from this episode that JVN is struggling along with the rest of us, and it was encouraging to see that vulnerability. I thought there were some great insights from this guest on how to care for ourselves mentally so we can be there for ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities.


“1. Hope is a Mistake”

A fictional series starring Kristin Wiig and Alia Shawkat that came out in 2018, but just popped onto my radar, so I gave it a listen this week, and was very entertained and intrigued. “Helen’s always dreamed of ditching her hometown, so when she lands a job at the company that makes Sandra, everyone’s favorite A.I., she figures it’s the next-best thing. But working behind the curtain isn’t quite the escape from reality that Helen expected.”

New from Better Lemon Creative Audio

We’ve got some new episode and shows out for your listening pleasure. I hope you’ll check them out and let me know what you think.

On the Record at The National Archives

“Refugee Stories”

Refugee Week is an annual event that celebrates the contributions of refugees to Britain. Many refugee stories have found their way onto our repository shelves. In this special episode, we’re sharing a few of them and going beyond the documents as two of our records specialists interview their own parents about their refugee experiences.

The Vagina Museum Podcast

Muff Busters: Vagina Myths Series (Parts I-II)

Coming to you from lockdown in London, this special mini-series on vagina myths was created from the museum’s inaugural exhibition, which drew in over 100,000 visitors in just a few months.

A Dialogue with Masters by Serendipity

“Codifying Black Dance with Thomas Prestø”

Thomas Prestø is a choreographer, the founder and artistic director of Tabanka Dance Ensemble in Oslo, Norway, and the creator of Talawa Technique. Talawa Technique is a method of codifying African Caribbean dance styles. In this episode, Pawlet Brookes speaks to Thomas about his groundbreaking work in notation around Black dance and the challenges and successes of Tabanka Dance Ensemble.

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Better Lemon Creative Audio is the production company of Hannah Hethmon. We specialize in all things podcasting and creative audio for museums, history organizations, and other cultural nonprofits. At Better Lemon, you’ll get personal, tailored services and advice from folks who understand the challenges facing GLAM organizations. Let’s talk?



Hannah Hethmon (Better Lemon Creative Audio)

Owner @ Better Lemon Creative Audio, where I produce podcasts about and for museums & other cultural nonprofits