The “Stoned and Starving” New York post-punk band Parquet Courts have a knack for astute observations and biting witticisms (“Ya know, Socrates died in a f---in’ gutter”) coupled with nods to the past via instrumental eccentricities. Singer and guitarist Andrew Savage took a break from Parquet Courts with the debut of his solo album “Thawing Dawn,” released under the name A. Savage, and subsequent tour with London musician and frontman of Ultimate Painting, Jack Cooper. The two played at Durham’s The Pinhook on Thursday night.

The Pinhook, arguably one of the better music venues in Durham, is a mecca for indie enthusiasts, punks and pariahs alike, with a self-evident credo of “come as you are.” Anyone familiar with the Duke Coffeehouse will find comfort here as a member of the Durham community. Upon entering, I noticed a few things — posters lined the walls advertising past and upcoming events, a mural depicting a panda gripping a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon dominated the wall space next to the stage and perhaps most striking, Andrew Savage and Jack Cooper were perched at the bar, socializing with the locals. That, to me, is the beauty of the Pinhook — it serves as an intimate gathering space where locals can directly interact with relevant and emerging artists and their music.

When the house lights dimmed, I made a beeline for the front of the stage — stringing behind me a (less than interested) acquaintance I somehow convinced to come along. Jack Cooper kicked off the first set with tracks from his solo album “Sandgrown.” Savage, donning a black turtleneck and eerily resembling a young Paul Simon, accompanied Cooper on guitar along with backing members on drum and bass. Characterized by gloomy yet ethereal instrumentation and Cooper’s brooding drawl, oozing with nostalgia, the set spellbound the audience into mellow bliss. The tracks “North of Anywhere” and “Stranded Fleetwood Blues” coupled Cooper’s yearning melancholic lyrics (“This isn't a protest song / I need a sign / It's bad and I am trying to shine / But the weight of my chest is bringing me down”) with jangly guitars and classic blues-y riffs, reminiscent of The Growlers circa “Gilded Pleasures.”

The set was met with enthusiasm from fans — or, rather, as much enthusiasm as a room of self-branded music connoisseurs can express — in the form of blasé yet appreciative head nods. With banter between Cooper and Savage onstage and an explosive rendition of the otherwise soft, melodious track “Memphis, Lancashire,” Cooper delivered an energetic and imaginative set to the largely local crowd.

The ensemble took a fifteen-minute break to regroup before Savage’s set. Stepping outside for some air, I conversed with attendees about the show. One Durhamite and indie devotee named Mitchell expressed his love for small-scale shows, noting that “these events bring together some of the most diverse and interesting people from across Durham and the Triangle, and it’s super cool to come together to support small, independent artists who come out here and play for us and have a good time [with us].”

Promptly after fifteen minutes elapsed, it was time for A. Savage to dominate the (rather small) stage. The opening tracks “Eyeballs” and “Wild, Wild Horses” marked a distinctive tone shift as Savage’s sonorous intonation reverberated throughout the room. Savage’s set was noticeably grungier and heavier than Cooper’s, but was distinguished by a departure from Parquet Courts’ seedy, fast-paced New York roots. Rather, it acknowledged Savage’s Texan upbringing, illustrated in the track “Ladies from Houston,” in which he chants, “Like the ladies from Houston / Who walk into my house / Drink coffee and talk softly / Drink wine and speak loud.”

Transitioning into “What Do I Do,” Savage’s singing bore remarkable likeness to The Modern Lovers’ Jonathan Richman’s adenoidal drone. On his knees and frantically shredding the guitar, a look of intense concentration on his face, Savage’s energy surged through the audience — his harrowingly personal and brutally honest lyrics striking us at the core.

Following a cover of The Cranberries’ “Linger” (“We’re not a cover band, but we’ve been really feeling this one lately”) and the haunting “Untitled” track backed by an onerous synth organ, Savage abruptly dropped his guitar, hopped off the stage and urged, “Thank your bartender,” before disappearing backstage. Only seconds later, Savage and Cooper returned, heading straight for the merch table, effortlessly reversing their roles from musicians to salesmen — a role I had never before seen a musician undertake.

In conversation with acquaintances who also attended the show, I was asked which musician’s set I preferred. Some favored Cooper’s smooth, amiable lilt and others opted for Savage’s ponderous cadence. Personally, I don’t see how one can be ranked above the other. The two appeal to disparate moods and were conceived in differing circumstances, making for an entirely arbitrary comparison. What I can say with certainty is that The Pinhook is teeming with an eclectic calendar lineup of musicians who, like Cooper and Savage, transcend the bounds of their respective genres and bring together people from varying facets of the Durham community.