Motor City Rides 

In five years, this guy Al McWilliams has built up Quack! Media into one swingin' media empire. By doing everything from making demented Super Deluxe videos, distributing Found Magazine and releasing records by area powerhouses Tally Hall, the Hard Lessons, Great Lakes Myth Society and the whole Suburban Sprawl roster, the dude has already left an indelible footprint on Michigan's creative scene.

Given Quack!'s success and cool office that overlooks Ann Arbor's (downtown) Main Street, you'd think McWilliams would sport a pretty sweet ride. Truth be told, the head of the Quack! universe doesn't even own a car.

McWilliams could afford one, certainly, but he prefers to roll his dough into the company and not into wheels. Though Michigan ain't exactly known for decent public transpo, Ann Arbor has a good system in the AATA — and if you work in downtown, you're eligible for a go!pass, which lets you ride buses for free. So McWilliams gets about town on his go!pass, and when he needs a car he'll rent one from Zipcar, which recently set up shop in Ann Arbor. Besides, McWilliams says, "I hate driving. I would spend an hour and a half stuck in traffic commuting from Oxford to Cranbrook when I was in high school and it made me realize how much time we waste stuck in cars. Now I just use cars when I really need to."

Quack! Media will release the Hard Lessons' new album, Arms Forest, around May 2009.

More by Doug Coombe

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