Sunday Music: “Three Hundred” By The Stereo

The first time you hear Rory Phillips as a member of The Stereo, he’s talking about being a young adult, getting woken up in the middle of the night by a girl he’s (unrequitedly, at that moment) in love with, and how she wants to go bowling.  

Teenage luck. To a poppy punk soundtrack. From a band who clearly was way too obsessed with That Thing You Do

As a teenager who A. spent a lot of time in bowling allies, B. had my share of unrequited love stories, C. obsessed over Rory’s previous band, The Impossibles (and wondered why they had changed styles and seemingly imploded), and D. who was also modestly obsessed with That Thing You Do (and E. minor 4 chords, IYKYK), “Three Hundred” hit home on all the levels.  

I think I kind of hated it at the time too. 

One of those – “this is too close to what I wish I could create and still can’t” moments. 

But when I press play, I hear this line and still fall out of my chair laughing with admiration to this day:

Met at the alley, I made a turkey

It never works but the possibility is always there

For you non-90s bowling kids, a turkey is three strikes in a row. As a “not the mall” alternative to hang out in a small town, you learn bowling expressions like this. You also learn how friggin’ hard it is to bowl a turkey. 

And fall in love. 

Or be fallen in love with. 

It never works but the possibility is always there. 

Like a perfect game. 

Which is, of course – for you non-bowlers – a score of 300. 

It’s a perfect song. The references and the sentiments, with all their late-90s glory. Pavement with more pop. Weezer with less smarts. Even it’s melodramatic ending. 


Press play, let out a sigh, press play again.