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In the moment 

When Kevin Carlberg--the energetically rhyming frontman of California fusion-based rock quintet Pseudopod (pictured above)--hit the road last year in support of Ohio roots-rock-reggae revivalists O.A.R., he expected to be making decisions about autographs, setlists and solos. After all, Pseudopod--a smart, funk-filled blend of G. Love sauce, Dave Matthews Band steam and UCLA Music Department scholasticism--was hot. They had been winning fans all summer, touring for months with the Jeep World Outside Festival alongside Howie Day, Sheryl Crow and Train, and their crisp major-label debut was starting to get noticed. He didn't expect to end that promising tour on the very first day, checking into a Fort Collins, Colo., hospital after developing a persistent headache and nausea. Days later, he was back in Los Angeles, going into surgery to remove a walnut-sized brain tumor. Now, though, Pseudopod is back at it, hitting the road with an absolutely tangible fervor, picking up dates whenever someone asks. "Now, it's like every day that we can play a show is a real privilege. We're, in a way, playing for the moment," Carlberg says, happy to be cramped in a tour van--at least for now--with his four best friends, traveling to the next town a day at a time. Expect more straightforward, mainstream-geared rock from Pittsburgh's The Clarks and Memphis' Ingram Hill. $12.

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