News & Views » Columns

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.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.