Cry me a river: Back in the mid-'90s, a friend told me about a new company selling books on the internet. "It's a start-up called Amazon, and they started hiring." I was hunting for a software gig, but the name conjured visions of vine-swinging, six-foot-five, muscle-bound giantesses hurling boxes of books into the air, so I demurred. Who would buy a book from a place called Amazon, anyway? I didn't get the Amazon slogan, "a river of books," until several years (and alas, stock splits) later.

By contrast, Dissonant Plane, the name of a new music store in Ballard, resonates right away. As co-owner Tanith Lanzillotta told me, "It describes the music we sell," which encompasses black metal, drone, field recordings, postclassical composition, noise, free improvisation, avant electro- acoustics, and other unclassifiable, often dissonant, musics. Much of the stock comes from the vault of the semidormant Anomalous Records, run by Tanith's business partner, his father Eric Lanzillotta.

I predict Dissonant Plane will be a treasure. Along with the indispensable Wall of Sound on Capitol Hill and the much-missed Electric Heavyland, I can't think of another record store in Seattle so dedicated to adventurous music. On a recent visit, I purchased discs by the utterly obscure Japanese composer Jo Kondo (has anyone else composed a piece for piano, vibraphone, gong, and five cowbells?), David Dunn's Music, Language, and Environment (Innova), and an opera by my favorite living Italian composer, Salvatore Sciarrino. I walked in, or more accurately up—Dissonant Plane is upstairs from Resolution Audio—looking just for the Dunn. But unlike Amazon and other online stores, their "bricks and mortar" counterparts nourish a serendipity that only comes from browsing shelves, flipping through stacks, and heeding the recommendations of folks who love what they sell.

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Although informally open for almost two months, the co-owners of Dissonant Plane offer an official grand opening (Fri Jan 16, 5459 Leary Ave NW, 784-5163, 7 pm, free) with two in-stores: Tanith fronts the black-metal trio Forest of Grey while Eric plays solo, serving up room-thrumming drones on his Moog synth.

I'm eager to catch several shows rescheduled due to the Great Seattle Snowstorm. Sparkle Girl, a self-described "garbage noise duet," open for the Blinding Light and the head-exploding, operatic noise-rock mavens Hemingway. In addition, members of Lesbian collaborate with Hemingway singer Demian Johnston as Shining Ones (Fri Jan 16, Comet, 9 pm, free). The Seattle Pianist Collective rescheduled (Sun Jan 18, Seattle Asian Art Museum, 2 pm, $10/$15) their plans to tag-team piano pieces by Erik Satie. Also, the second week of the festival Is That Jazz? features Boise guitarist Krispen Hartung and RadioSonde, a company of dancers and experimental musicians (Thurs Jan 15, Chapel Performance Space, 8 pm, $15 suggested donation); the JACK Quartet hits the intimate Brechemin Auditorium (Fri Jan 16, UW Campus, 7:30 pm, $10) with avant string music by UW professor Joël-François Durand, Anton Webern's Five Bagatelles, and two by Xenakis, "Ergma" and Tetras. recommended