Title: “Staple Singers” by Pete Muller
Prompt: The meta for this puzzle is a California band from the ’70s.
Year 13 of the Muller Monthly Music Meta begins! I’d like to thank Pete for writing these over the past dozen years, and I’m looking forward to 2023’s challenges.
Easy one to start off with: we’re looking for a 1970s band from California, and our theme entries are:
17-A: [Pioneering 18th-century Black poet] = PHILLIS WHEATLEY
27-A: [Classic Billy Idol tune] = WHITE WEDDING
35-A: [With “The” and 45-Across, classic Looney Tunes cartoon that’s a parody of a classic novel] = SCARLET/PUMPERNICKEL
39-A: [Rhythmic rain sound] = PIT-A-PAT
57-A: [J.D. Salinger classic, casually] = CATCHER IN THE RYE. Deft clue, since the title is “The Catcher in the Rye” but he didn’t want to put “with ‘The'” in the clue since THE is also in the answer, so he found an elegant little sidestep.
With WHEAT, WHITE, PUMPERNICKEL, PITA, and RYE, we’re clearly looking at super-soft-rock band BREAD. This is about as soft as rock gets! Lots of lovely melodies in their tunes. Did you know that Aubrey Plaza of “Parks and Recreation” was named after their 1973 hit “Aubrey”? It’s true.
4.20 stars. Thanks to Pete for an easy start to MMMM MMXXIII. Trust me, they’ll get tougher…
Looks like 568 correct this month.
Starting it off easy as you said.
Aubrey Richmond, who plays violin with the Kindred Souls sometimes, was also named for that song…
One of my solvers suggested an alternate that would have worked well too:
Rock and Roll
Definitely an easy meta, since I was able to get it, and I rarely get those. I started by listing all the answers that had singers, but that got me nowhere. Noticing WHEATLEY and PUMPERNICKEL was all it took for me to see the answer. I completely missed that PITA was part of the meta, maybe because the corresponding symmetrically located answer (SCARLET) isn’t part of it.
Fun puzzle. I was an Elvis Costello fan from early on, but somehow stopped following him in the 1980s, until he released “Spike.” Since “Veronica” got all the airplay, I’m sure that was part of the reason I bought that album.
Great album. Love “Satellite”