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.

Support The Stranger

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

Sponsored