It is difficult to imagine indie rock without Sonic Youth. Only the Velvet Underground can reasonably boast a more important alternative history to the grand narrative of rock and roll. Combining the methodology of no-wave, the populism of punk, and the urbanity of the New York City art world, the band excelled at — nay, invented — the musical abstraction of subcultural memes. Like their peers the Beastie Boys, Sonic Youth are a quintessentially postmodern group, one that delights in traipsing the high-wire intersections of trash culture and high art. William Burroughs, Madonna, Patti Smith, Gilmore Girls, Mariah Carey, and Richard Avedon can all claim an equal share in Sonic Youth’s collective muse.