I decided to venture a half hour walk from the safe cocoon of Austin's downtown to catch a show by Brooklyn industrial noise rockers Yvette. True, it's my friend Dale's band and he's invited me to go see their shows in New York about twenty times, but I like folk music and my ears intact so I always declined. In the spirit of discovering new music though, I wandered through some strange vestiges of Texan suburbia and past the George Washington Carver museum to Club 1808. Hipster venue it isn't, although the state of dilapidation it exists in borders on the vintage refurbishing that has grown to represent the nü-cool aesthetic. The owner Jean informed me that the venue adopted the name when they were refused the rights to the spot's old name--The Aristocrat. They serve PBR and they also serve "fillet burger n fries" for $5.50, but it might be better to stick to the beer.

An older publicist friend of mine told me that a few years ago Club 1808 was the place that where the cool lineup of DIY acts would have the venue packed to the gills--in the age of #brands and Samsung double headers featuring Jay and Ye, those days are over. Sparse 15-20 people tapped their feet on the gray, painted concrete floor while Yvette's blistering, nearly violent abrasive sound emerged from three huge speakers. Needless to say earplugs were a necessity. My main coverage scope usually includes an acoustic guitar and some earnest singer-songwriters lyrics--I was out of my comfort zone. But it felt good to hear something this loud and abrasive. And it wasn't just Yvette on the lineup either, the showcase was dubbed Escapes, and when I spoke to the organizer, Ethan Smith, he said that the whole concept came from escaping the confines of Austin's more mainstream scene during the festival.

"There were a bunch of bands at SXSW that I wanted to see, and when I was in college I would ride my bike around to see all of them," Smith told me in Club 1880's grassy backyard while another band blasted out a set on the outdoor stage. "I suddenly realized that the most efficient way to see the bands I liked was to just book them myself." After catching a Todd P show at an old, now closed venue called Mrs. B's, Smith picked up the idea of flipping stages, that is, staggering bands on a few different stages at a time. Escape highlights three bands an hour, but they're playing at staggered set times--and over 35 bands were slated to play Club 1880 throughout Tuesday.

After traveling through three flights and three different cities to get to Austin (seriously, don't ask) and dealing with the aggression that is festival logistics, the roaring drone of lone electric guitar and erratic drums felt cathartic. Muhammad, door guy, tells me that he's worked at the joint for a few years now and although he likes lineups like today, his favorite music is jazz and R&B. Austin doesn't see many acts like that through anymore. The fact that the show cost a mere $5 and obviously required no official credentialing was another draw for weary guests. But, it was this very unofficial nature of the show that might've put Yvette out of good graces with the powers that be at SXSW.

On background, playing this show in this time frame--circa 11 PM--puts Yvette in breach of the official SXSW contract for bands playing official showcases. Bands who are SXSW official are forbidden from playing unofficial shows between the hours of 6 PM and 1 AM, perhaps to not create a draw away from officially billed acts? This set at the Escape showcase definitely conflicted with that, and if that breached their contract might prohibit the band from earning money for their performance at Valhalla on Saturday night.

Even so, it kind of seems worth it for the noise duo. Club 1808 was a welcome contrasts to the corporate slickness of Fader Fort's private Dell party I'd walked by on the way. Sponge painted yellow walls and a smattering of neon green lights filled the room--there was no branding anywhere. Finally, I felt like I was in Texas. The noise rock might be a far cry from the acoustic-based country that the Lonestar state is known for, but ironically, this felt like the most outlaw or authentic thing I'd seen so far. If this is the kind of thing that SXSW is now seeking to disengage musical acts from, then the festival has certainly lost it's own core. Long live the backwoods, even if the ones you can get to only exist a few miles away from the center.

Jess Williamson stands in front of twin spotlights, lit from behind as she picks out the emotionally vicious mountain melodies for "Native State." The Austin native alternates between her banjo and an electric guitar for a brief, charged set of songs from her latest EP which shares the name Native State with the excellent title track. She's performing on the first day of SXSW at the daytime showcase for Audiofemme, a Brooklyn-based blog run by two women who specifically seek to highlight women in music, and hire and female voices to do so. Given the strains of independence and spunk that Williamson's music exhibits, it's easy to see how she embodies this.

"This is my first of eight shows this week so we can meet again," she laughs, a little grimly. Sporting a short, thick jacket embroidered with horses, she broods and bleeds a little into every song. "Watch out Angel Olsen," someone mutters near me. But really, she's not derivative of anyone. Her sound was shot through with Texan determination and a sweetly southern chirp that sounds completely her own. Hearing her play the first day of SXSW, the air felt heavy with what was in store for her, within and without the bounds of her hometown.

Head here to visit The 405's SXSW 2014 hub.