Wow, it's mind-boggling to realize how much cool stuff is out there awaiting this weekend, let's tackle the highlights

On Thursday night, jazzy fusion guitarist extraordinaire Charlie Hunter will play an 8 p.m. show at The State Room. Hunter's an absolute monster on the guitar so six-string fans won't want to miss it, even though Hunter usually plans an eight-string. The show is a duet gig that also features Hunter's drummer, Scott Amendola. Tickets are $17 and remain on sale.

Check out Charlie right here:

The headline music event on Thursday, however, is undoubtedly the return to SLC by famed rapper Snoop Dogg, who hits the Gallivan Center. This promises to be a rowdy good time. Tickets start at $30.

Also, not to be outdone is the Utah State Fair, which gets rolling Thursday and '90s pop stars Wilson Phillips are at the fair for a 7 p.m. show. The show is free with gate admission. Provo's Fictionist, of Rolling Stone Magazine cover contest fame, is the featured music performer Friday. There is music offerings throughout the fair, along with the usual food, rides and other good-time schmaltz that provides a great farewell to summer fun.

Also Thursday night don't forget Max Pain & The Groovies headlines a 10 p.m. show at Urban Lounge. Fellow killer local bands, The Future of the Ghost and King Niko are the openers. Tickets are $5 and will be available at the door.

Two primo musical treats are also in store Friday when the Utah Symphony launches its countdown of Beethoven's symphonies, starting with No. 9. Conductor Thierry Fischer said earlier this year that the selection is an obvious choice for the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks, because the music celebrates the triumph of the human spirit. Tickets remain on sale for both Friday and Saturday's performances, which begin at 8 p.m.

Another can't-miss show happens Friday when folk songbird Gillian Welch makes a relatively rare stop in SLC. She's touring behind "The Harrow and The Harvest," which is her first release in eight years. It's a fine record and there's no way I'm missing the chance to hear Welch sing or watch her duo partner, David Rawlings, blaze away on the guitar. Tickets are $30. If you like folk or old-school country, don't miss this concert. Here's a sample of the duo's work, right here:

Also, don't forget Saturday is the annual Avenues Street Fair from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. It's on 2nd Avenue between E and I streets.