Tyler Baum’s short film, Thrift Store Shampoo, is a collection of four short alternative music videos with an equally alternative animation style. Baum is both an indie rock musician and animator, both of which are on full display.
Thrift Store Shampoo takes us on a rock n’ roll excursion through a thrift store. The best way to describe the music is a mid-western punk sound with steel guitars and melodic off-key minor chords. The animation is a video tour of an actual thrift store with its lead character stitched from various stock photo images and a “clutch cargo” mouth syncing to the lyrics.
The next song, Free Jazz, offers an old 1980s arcade machine look. It’s a loose jazz improvisation about a man heading into town for some free jazz. It’s got that relaxed 60s jazz vibe mixed with an 8-bit 80s arcade-style. Watch it, and you’ll get it.
“…a rock n’ roll excursion through a thrift store.”
Psychic Surf Hotline is a smooth rock jam session about a fictitious psychic hotline commercial. It’s the only video to feature live footage from old psychic infomercials and an animated sucker/customer navigating the services phone tree.
The most impressive video is the last song, Black Licorice and Cilantro. Like Thrift Store Shampoo, this song is a punk rock rant about the joys of snacking on black licorice and cilantro. It visually reminds me of Beavis and Butthead if it had been animated as etching rather than line art.
Is Thrift Store Shampoo any good? A few times in my life a friend called and asked me if I wanted to go to a local art gallery. I said yes out of curiosity. I had good times, learned something, and went back to my life. I appreciate experiencing new things, but good or bad is a matter of taste when it comes to art. I enjoyed Tyler Baum’s work and his alternative approach to rock music and animation. If you approach it with a playful attitude, you’ll have a good time.
"…alternative music videos with an equally alternative animation style."