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The best new podcasts

The best thing about podcasts is that you can listen to them while you’re doing other things: Washing dishes, going for a run, coloring, and especially, driving. But there are so many podcasts these days that it’s simply impossible to keep up. New ones are debuting all the time, and it’s hard to know whether they deserve a spot in your feed.

Every week, we highlight new and returning podcasts we couldn’t put down. Whether you’re looking for the latest and greatest or you’re just dipping your toe into the vast ocean of podcasts, we’ll find you something worth listening to. This week, we’ve got podcasts about creativity abroad, the AIDS epidemic, Hoffa, and the return of the Racist Sandwich podcast.

The Nonnative Creative

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Lots of books and blogs offer advice for starting businesses abroad. Many of these are focused on corporate operations and tech startups. Alisha Ivelich wanted to talk to people who begin creative endeavors in other countries or start projects in their non-native language.

In the most recent episode, Ivelich talks to Luuvu Hoang, a food cinematographer living in Japan. The Vietnamese-American self-proclaimed foodie and photographer has had a range of careers, and he talks about the trickiness of managing expectations with employees and investors who bring different cultural expectations. (If you want to check out Hoang’s jaunty hat-scarf combo, the podcast is also available in YouTube form.)

Plague: Untold Stories Of AIDS & The Catholic Church

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“I will see God soon enough. But right now, the Pope will do,” Fred Powell said when Pope John Paul II visited Los Angeles in 1987. Not everyone shared Powell’s view, including other gay men who were also living with AIDS. Some described the visit as a “meaningless pat on the head.”

This was at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, and it was a time when gay men — a community that was hit particularly hard by the disease — needed care and counseling. These are services often provided by places of worship, but some felt abandoned by the Catholic church. In the podcast series, journalist Michael O’Loughlin tells stories from the time that are both “infuriating and inspiring.” He interviews David Pais, who left the church and then came back to make it a safer place. “And nobody’s kicking me out of my house,” he said. If you’re looking for a good history podcast, this one is worth a peek.

Shattered: Hoffa

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Throughout the 2000s, it seemed like the FBI was digging for Jimmy Hoffa’s body every few years. The former Teamsters union boss has been missing since 1975, and his story has been told many times — including in the new Netflix movie The Irishman.

The fourth season of the podcast Shattered doesn’t have Al Pacino, but reporter Steve Garagiola does interview historians and reporters about Hoffa’s life. The first episode chronicles his start with unions; Hoffa was just a teenager when he led a strike of his fellow warehouse workers, protesting their harsh treatment. “Management wilted before the strawberries did,” according to The New York Times. The second episode will look at his ties to the mob.

Racist Sandwich

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After a long hiatus, Racist Sandwich is back with new hosts. Zahir Janmohamed and Soleil Ho have both moved on, but Stephanie Kuo and Juan Diego Ramírez, the show’s producers, have stepped in as hosts of this food podcast.

In the latest episode, Karla T. Vasquez, talks about the struggle to find a Salvadoran cookbook. Now she’s documenting recipe and stories at SalviSoul. The conversation takes an emotional turn when Vasquez discusses her grandmother and the talks they had as she tried to learn to make the food her family grew up with.

Jenny McGrath
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Jenny McGrath is a senior writer at Digital Trends covering the intersection of tech and the arts and the environment. Before…
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