Sonic Youth is an American alternative/no-wave/noise-rock/much-forward-slashed rock back founded in the 1981. The groups influence stems from avant-garde composers, hardcore punk, garage rock and, uh, Nancy Sinatra.
First formed in 1981 as an escape from the pretentious world of art school, Sonic Youth has established themselves as the most pretentious of all art school kids. How pretentious? REM's Michael Stipe not only cites them as a major influence, but worships the ground they walk on. Pioneers in pretty much every sense of the musical field, they helped usher in the magical age known as the early 90's, championing bands like Nirvana and Mudhoney. They are also an example of a band that could never make a dime off their own music, no matter how much they put out or how hard they tried. They are the Jesus Christ of Indie music, who died for Modest Mouse's sins.