The ten best concerts this weekend: Dec. 14-16

Eric Gruneisen
Tonight, Big Head Todd and the Monsters return to Herman's Hideaway, the place where it all began.

It feels like we say this every week, and we probably do, but we're continually astounded by how good we have it here music-wise. If you haven't noticed, this time of year, the number of touring acts decreases dramatically, generally in line with the music industry itself, which pretty much slows to a crawl in a lot of places. And that of course translates into the doldrums, giving little reason to leave the comfy confines of your couch. Not so here, obviously, where our exports are every bit as choice and compelling as the imports, as you'll see from this week's best concert bets. While we've got all of the shows this weekend listed in our concert calendar, keep reading for the ten best concerts this weekend.

See also:
- Twins Kendrick and Sherwyn Nichols mix genres as Two Fresh
- Dan Boeckner of Divine Fits on being inspired by the sprawl of L.A.
- Dweezil Zappa on his father's music and the degree of difficulty of playing his songs live

It's one thing to listen to Trace Bundy on record, but it's a whole other experience to actually see the guitarist -- one of the finest acoustic fingerpickers around these parts -- do his guitar gymnastics firsthand, from two-handed finger tapping and percussive slapping to looping phrasing and using multiple capos. There's a reason that Boulder's "Acoustic Ninja" has racked up more than 21 million views on YouTube: People want to see Bundy in action for themselves. Those folks will undoubtedly be in heaven with Elephant King, Bundy's latest release, which includes both a studio disc, which showcases some stellar fretwork, as well as a live DVD recorded at the Boulder Theater last December, which allows fans to get a glimpse of the fretmaster in his native environment doing what he does best, and then marvel at how he actually pulls it all off.

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