“Esta Nevando Baby Baby”: DeVotchka and Calexico members dropped a super-cute snow-day music video with puppets

The project has been a long time in the making.

Brian Lopez and puppets in a music video for "Esta Nevando Baby Baby."

Brian Lopez and puppets in a music video for "Esta Nevando Baby Baby."

Courtesy of Shawn King
kyle harris

Years ago, Shawn King, drummer for the legacy Denver band DeVotchKa, wrote a snow-day song for his kid: “Esta Nevando Baby Baby.”

Soon, he was up to his neck making an animated music video. A friend, who builds puppets, offered to contribute. King recruited Brian Lopez of the indie-rock band Calexico to sing the song in Spanish, and they put it on Spotify.

Then King had a friend make puppets. He borrowed cameras and a green-screen setup from a friend with an ad agency and flew out Lopez to perform the video live. British animator Sofie Birken, who is living in Denver, produced the motion graphics. The idea was to make a holiday deadline.

“We didn’t hit the deadline,” King explained. And things were pushed back further after the pandemic hit. For a couple of years, the project sat on hard drives collecting dust.

By the time King retrieved the drives in 2021, he realized the green screen had bled on the footage and Lopez’s lip-synching was off.

Yet King persisted.

“It just bugs me to have something out there that we’ve invested real time and real creative energy into, and it’s not gonna see the light of day,” King said.

After years of stops and starts, King finally managed to drop the video around the holidays — to little fanfare.

His hope is that it becomes a Denver snow-day classic, something local TV stations can use whenever blizzards come and families can listen to while teaching English-speaking kids a little Spanish.

At its heart, the video is all about fun — something that King fears has been missing when it comes to snow days.

Talking about blizzards often brings on talk of climate change and car crashes. King, who enjoys taking his kids to Ruby Hill Park for sledding, wanted to offer something he recalled from childhood.

“I was trying to get back the joy of the snow day,” he said. And here’s that song for your listening pleasure.

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