I do a bunch of different things online: it’s tangled enough that an extended bio page seems sensible.


Freaky Trigger – the site you’re on – is my main writing outlet. It started in 1999 as a webzine for pop music commentary and is now a site for blogging about wider culture. I’m the “publisher” of FT but it’s always been the work of many hands: the main thing I write for it is Popular, my review of the UK’s #1 singles in order. This has stuttered recently but I remain committed to finishing it. I’m also a keen participant in the various FT offshoots – club nights, the radio, etc. – as detailed in the site’s “About” page.

I used to also do professional music writing. I don’t really think of myself as a “music critic” these days, but I wrote a fair few reviews for Pitchfork and had a regular column there for five years, called “Poptimist”. The columns are some of the best writing on pop (and other things) I’ve done, so do go and look through the archive. I also wrote a fortnightly column in The Guardian for two years, which is archived under my author profile there.

I have done various other pop projects, mostly uncompleted. One – fondly remembered – was an MP3 blog project called It Took Seconds, the nature of which hopefully becomes obvious when you visit it. I may finish this at some point. Two things you might like are my One Week One Band contributions – a week’s worth of posts on ABBA and the KLF respectively.

My pop writing has appeared in a few books: three volumes of the Da Capo Best Music Writing series; The Pitchfork 500; and Zero Books’ The Resistible Demise Of Michael Jackson.


I also have a day job – luckily for me a very interesting one: I am part of BrainJuicer Labs. BrainJuicer is a market research company, Labs is their innovation wing. Most of what I do involves social media, behavioural economics, gamification, or similarly fashionable things.

If you want to know more about BrainJuicer I urge you to read our blog which is nearly all written by me. I help do their Twitter feed too.

I also write a market research and social media blog on Tumblr, called Blackbeard Blog, which I use as a kind of ideas lab for my job and a way to reflect . If it isn’t occasionally interesting to non-researchers then I’m doing it wrong.

I am a fairly regular attendee at research industry conferences, and regularly write papers and articles for research publications. I’ve won some awards, but this isn’t LinkedIn, so I’ll spare you the details. Except that this paper, about online communities, is (I think) very good whether or not you care about market research.


I have a personal Tumblr, which is for links, occasional songs, notes, unformed ideas and things which don’t feel like they “fit” anywhere else.

And I have a Twitter account, with content skewing towards pop, social media and market research topics. I generally try and make sure people only interested in one won’t be too bored by the others.

I’m on Facebook and LinkedIn too but barely use them, and I started the wonderful I Love Music community in 2000 but I’m too busy for more than infrequent lurking there now.

Offline I’m 40, I live just south of London, I’m married with 2 young sons. My brother is the awesome Al Ewing, who writes novels and comics (Mighty Avengers, Loki, Judge Dredd, Zaucer Of Zilk and MANY MORE).

If you want to talk to me about pop, research, social media, or ask me to write or present stuff, please do get in touch. (the.ewings@gmail.com works best)