If you were one of the many (like, a record-setting number) of people who saw Us over the weekend, you may have noticed the Black Flag easter egg. As little Adelaide goes missing on the Santa Cruz boardwalk, a carnie in a Black Flag t-shirt is hovering over her dad while he plays Whac-a-Mole. The shirt shows the cover of My War, the album that came out in 1984, a couple of years before the beach scene takes place. When Adelaide returns to the beach as an adult with her family, one of her friend Kitty’s kids is wearing a t-shirt with the iconic Black Flag bars on it.
No, the twin shirts aren’t because writer-director Jordan Peele is a superfan of the 1980s punk band and just couldn’t help himself (if so, he probably would’ve picked Black Flag’s “Police Story” over NWA’s “Fuck Tha Police”). The shirts are among a number of pointed “coincidences” that happen when Adelaide returns to the scene of her disappearance. It’s been noted that the bars might even represent the number 1111, which mirrors the Bible verse (“Jeremiah 11:11”) on the boardwalk vagrant’s cardboard sign, the score of the baseball game on TV (11-11), and other occurrences of the number.
Actually, I’m surprised one of the Black Flag shirts wasn’t the cover of Everything Went Black—which, after all, shows hands holding a pair of shears much in the same way Adelaide’s “shadow” ominously holds her pair of scissors. But maybe that would’ve been a little too on the nose.
Either way, if all of this has you itching for some “TV Party,” Black Flag just announced a show at Brooklyn Bazaar on Aug 12. It’s the first time since 2014 that the incarnation of the band featuring founder Greg Ginn (not to be confused with Flag, featuring Keith Morris and other former Black Flag members) has played NYC. The upstairs room at Brooklyn Bazaar should make for a fairly intimate (read: bone-crushing) gig, so you may want to go ahead and snag tickets ($30). According to NME, the band is currently recording a new album, so you can expect to hear some fresh material.
I’m not sure about Brooklyn Bazaar’s security policy, but I’m assuming no scissors are allowed.