DAVID BYRNE & ST. VINCENT—In the adorable St. Vincent (formerly from Polyphonic Spree), David Byrne has found his greatest musical partner. With his original band, The Talking Heads, Byrne was the undeniable frontman, hogging the musical setups with his youthful oddities. But in this duo, the two truly balance each other with quirky and fun melodies and musical sensibilities; her honey-dew voice smoothing Byrne's anxious edges. July 17, Cuthbert, Eugene, $62+.
EIGHT TRACK RELAY—With darn near everyone running with ear buds shoved in their earholes, this is an event that will convince you to pull those things out and pay attention to the sounds around you. The premise of this 24-hour cycle of music and running is simple: Whichever eight-person team completes the most four-mile laps in 24 hours, wins. In between laps, drink beer, barbecue at camp and listen to the highest quality of music from one of the 24 live bands (Blitzen Trapper, The Cave Singers, The Builders & The Butchers, Talkdemonic, etc. Yeah! Wow!). July 20-21 at Portland International Raceway, $800/team of eight.
FLAMING LIPS—Being freaked out is half the fun of going to a Flaming Lips show. Wayne Coyne's No. 1 skill is confusing his audiences with trademark shenanigans, walking into the crowd in a giant inflatable bubble or inviting hundreds of Santas and aliens join him on stage to dance during the set. The Lips' newest album, The Terror, is full of psychedelic-soaked ear candy—exactly what we expect from the band that brought us Clouds Taste Metallic and Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. July 27, Edgefield on the Lawn, Troutdale, $42.
THE NATIONAL—Brooding with dark, velvety vocals and laconic drumbeats, The National is a surprising favorite of President Obama. Producing perhaps the most danceable yet melancholic and wisely penned lyrics since Joy Division, The National is an oddly sunshiney band, wonderful for rum-sipping summer afternoons. September 21, Edgefield on the Lawn, Troutdale, $39.
BEND ROOTS REVIVAL—Central Oregon's local music and arts fest is happening this summer! It has been touch-and-go, but Roots organizers Mark Ransom and Jesse Roberts are taking the celebration to Bend's favorite junk store, Pakit. With its mountainous piles of faucet fixtures, sagging shelves of mismatched cabinet doors and wobbly stacks of antique picture frames, the venue is as if Sanford & Son is hosting one of the funnest concerts of the summer—music snaking through old dryer drums, star-freckled skies and bonfires in bathtubs. Roots 2013 will have six stages (the main stage is outside), and the proposed band list is eight miles long. After last year's event was canceled, expect this year's incarnation to generate twice the enthusiasm. Sept. 24-27, Pakit Liquidators, 903 SE Armour Rd.