4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Gonzo Report: Marcela Mendez’s tip with a barb at the mall

Divina Jasso and Marcela Mendez shine without being the star

Marcela Mendez’s tipper was not fulsome about her “Folsom.”
Marcela Mendez’s tipper was not fulsome about her “Folsom.”

Normally, musicians are drilled in the art of capturing an audience’s attention. And if that’s your training, then performing where people don’t pay attention — and aren’t even meant to — can be a challenge. But it’s one to which some performers are happy to rise. “I absolutely do not mind that I’m more background music,” says OB resident Divina Jasso (Boostive). She’s just one of the local artists who books intimate restaurant and mall gigs via Acoustic Spot — gigs that ask you to shine without being a star. “A lot of the times, I don’t get any applause, but that makes for me trying new things and getting to experiment with what works best, what people enjoy most. This is such great practice for me, and it makes me feel great when people enjoy my music with their food and drinks.”

Mission Valley musician Marcela Mendez, a Bay Area native who showed up here in 2001, plays Waterbar in Pacific Beach, Loews in Coronado, and Kona Kai on Shelter Island. “I come from the world of restaurants, so it wasn’t a big deal for me,” she says of her background status. “I was a waitress-bartender for 22 years before I was a singer. I just do my thing and tune it out. The only thing that drives me nuts is when there’s a table right next to me, and they start watching videos or playing music on their phone with the volume on full blast. I compare it to trying to count money while someone else is counting their own money out loud, right in your ear.”

Both women are happy to take on a variety of gigs. “I’ve played at Westfield UTC, L’Auberge, Loews Coronado, and Estancia La Jolla most frequently,” says Jasso, who grew up in Costa Mesa and Laguna Beach before arriving in San Diego around four years ago. “Westfield is an outside mall, so people are constantly walking around. You get a little of everyone, and I love that. The other spots are restaurants [at] hotels, so it’s more of a lounge-y kind of atmosphere. I perform a mix of my own content and covers. My setup is quite unique, and the way that I perform covers often sounds like my own twist on them.”

Past Event

Divina Jasso

For her part, Mendez mainly performs songs by others. “Truthfully, I’m new to songwriting. It’s like my guitar playing: I’m good in my living room when nobody’s looking. My show differs on whichever guitar player I’m working with. They play, and I follow. I just know it’s always going to be entertaining.”

Past Event

Marcela Mendez

  • Thursday, June 30, 2022, 6 p.m.
  • Waterbar, 4325 Ocean Boulevard, San Diego

The entertainment isn’t always confined to the stage. “I was doing a gig at a local mall,” remembers Mendez. “We were playing ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ and there was a woman there who seemed to be enjoying it. Right when we finished, she came up and threw some cash in the tip jar. So I said, ‘Thank you,’ and she said, ‘Go fuck yourself’ and walked away. Not a second later, security was there asking what she had said to me. Apparently, she was a regular at the mall and they had been having problems with her lipping off and verbally assaulting the performers. She clearly had some issues, but it was classic.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

San Diego 5th in immigrants who walk away

Toni Atkins builds up pro-abortion war chest
Next Article

Pondering pernicious Papas: Jasper Hadley, Wade Hunnicut, Joey LaMotta, and others

If a puny man falls in the middle of a mansion, does anybody hear?
Marcela Mendez’s tipper was not fulsome about her “Folsom.”
Marcela Mendez’s tipper was not fulsome about her “Folsom.”

Normally, musicians are drilled in the art of capturing an audience’s attention. And if that’s your training, then performing where people don’t pay attention — and aren’t even meant to — can be a challenge. But it’s one to which some performers are happy to rise. “I absolutely do not mind that I’m more background music,” says OB resident Divina Jasso (Boostive). She’s just one of the local artists who books intimate restaurant and mall gigs via Acoustic Spot — gigs that ask you to shine without being a star. “A lot of the times, I don’t get any applause, but that makes for me trying new things and getting to experiment with what works best, what people enjoy most. This is such great practice for me, and it makes me feel great when people enjoy my music with their food and drinks.”

Mission Valley musician Marcela Mendez, a Bay Area native who showed up here in 2001, plays Waterbar in Pacific Beach, Loews in Coronado, and Kona Kai on Shelter Island. “I come from the world of restaurants, so it wasn’t a big deal for me,” she says of her background status. “I was a waitress-bartender for 22 years before I was a singer. I just do my thing and tune it out. The only thing that drives me nuts is when there’s a table right next to me, and they start watching videos or playing music on their phone with the volume on full blast. I compare it to trying to count money while someone else is counting their own money out loud, right in your ear.”

Both women are happy to take on a variety of gigs. “I’ve played at Westfield UTC, L’Auberge, Loews Coronado, and Estancia La Jolla most frequently,” says Jasso, who grew up in Costa Mesa and Laguna Beach before arriving in San Diego around four years ago. “Westfield is an outside mall, so people are constantly walking around. You get a little of everyone, and I love that. The other spots are restaurants [at] hotels, so it’s more of a lounge-y kind of atmosphere. I perform a mix of my own content and covers. My setup is quite unique, and the way that I perform covers often sounds like my own twist on them.”

Past Event

Divina Jasso

For her part, Mendez mainly performs songs by others. “Truthfully, I’m new to songwriting. It’s like my guitar playing: I’m good in my living room when nobody’s looking. My show differs on whichever guitar player I’m working with. They play, and I follow. I just know it’s always going to be entertaining.”

Past Event

Marcela Mendez

  • Thursday, June 30, 2022, 6 p.m.
  • Waterbar, 4325 Ocean Boulevard, San Diego

The entertainment isn’t always confined to the stage. “I was doing a gig at a local mall,” remembers Mendez. “We were playing ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ and there was a woman there who seemed to be enjoying it. Right when we finished, she came up and threw some cash in the tip jar. So I said, ‘Thank you,’ and she said, ‘Go fuck yourself’ and walked away. Not a second later, security was there asking what she had said to me. Apparently, she was a regular at the mall and they had been having problems with her lipping off and verbally assaulting the performers. She clearly had some issues, but it was classic.”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

July is San Diego's driest month

Agaves, crape myrtles
Next Article

Date night: try a sensory deprivation tank at flōt on Kettner

Avoid having to manage the usual workings of gravity or the hassle of clothes
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close