On Tuesday morning I didn't want to get up. Despite being excited that it was the fords day of my first ever SXSW, I had stayed up nearly the whole night before working on another deadline and I wanted sleep. Plus our friend Drew was staying in the hotel room's extra bed (his hotel check in was on Tuesday) and having a guest always makes getting up harder. I managed to rally and get free breakfast my hotel, thanks Super 8! Too bad their wi-fi isn't on par with their breakfast.

Around 1 PM we got off the bus downtown and headed to the Audiofemme Emerging Artist Showcase at Parish. I got a free tanktop with a photo of Amanda Bynes from Creep Street, which was great because the day was way hotter than I anticipated. Welcome to Texas right? After watching Jess Williamson perform a solo, intimate set alternating between her banjo and electric guitar, we left to collect wristbands. Fader Fort was only about a half hour wait but Hype Hotel and Spotify House lines both looked to be hours long so we slipped those for now. Passing the Paypal tent I spotted free iced coffee from a local cafe called Cenote (who use Handsome Coffee which is a favorite roaster of mine) so we ducked in. A maze of rooms filled with Paypal paraphernalia and bands was topped off by a backyard stage featuring shitty white rapper Scotty the Kid. We chugged our coffee and headed back out to 6th Street to explore.

As we got our bearings, we came upon Casa Brasil, a house dedicated to all things Brazil that alternates between free barbecue in the afternoon and open bar in the evening. They also had free wifi so needless to say the house was packed. I grabbed a glass of white wine and checked my email but what I really wanted was some food. The DJ was playing a mashup of some EDM track and 'Bittersweet Symphony' but it was only 5 PM and it felt too early for that. After a friend from home sent over the Twitter account @SouthbyFreeNoms I stumbled onto a taco truck deal and we went to download an app and get free taco. That made us even hungrier and a friend texted about bluffing their way into free barbecue at Stubbs. We headed there immediately.

The trick with places like SXSW half the time is to pretend like you belong--even if you're not on the list just say you're covering. That's how I got us into the BMI songwriter showcase and in line for some legendary Stubbs brisket. Of course, the fact that swamp rock purveyor Tony Joe White was dishing out some thickly played blues didn't hurt. After eating some hearty plates of barbecue and watching Tony transition into the Tennessee soul brilliance of St. Paul & the Broken Bones, it was time for a break. I had more deadlines so a quiet place to work in the lull seemed ideal--we headed to Cenote to get more coffee and a quiet place to work.

After this, we ventured from the downtown haven about a half hour walk out to grungey Club 1880 to watch Brooklyn post-punk outfit Yvette play. You can read more about that show in detail here. The noise level of this show was the finally, exhausting task of the day and we caught the bus home from there. For a first day we felt fairly successful. Time to write all night and do it all over again.

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