25. Yo La Tengo
Years active: 1984 - present
Influenced: The quintessential indie band
Hometown: Hoboken, New Jersey
Jam: "Barnaby, Hardly Working." Long and lingering guitar strolls and obscure, rich lyrics.
Ira Kaplan, who founded Yo La Tengo along with his wife Georgia Hubley, was a music writer before becoming a musician, making the New Jersey band the perfect choice to be a critic's darling. Spanning several decades, their overall sound is most consistently compared to The Velvet Underground, but the group have established their own niche as well. Slowly building a following through the late '80s, in 1989 they released President Yo La Tengo, which established them as a solid presence in the indie rock world. Aside from original material, the band is also well-known for covering acoustic and classic rock songs extremely well. They released their thirteenth studio album, Fade, just this January and it has already garnered praise—this is a band that will probably be around for another ten years.