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The sideman gets no respect. For years, Jerry Busher and James Canty have backed up some of D.C.’s most compelling and eccentric performers. Canty kept time in the Nation of Ulysses. Busher filled in as Fugazi’s second drummer. You were more likely to notice them carting equipment away than actually playing it. Now that the two have finally released their own debut full-length, the aptly named In a Cave, under the name French Toast, they have to compete for your dollars with Dischord’s other new release—from a little band called the Evens.You could dismiss French Toast. But you’d miss hearing the brilliance of these 12 songs. Busher and Canty emote through dark, smoldering slices of dub, soul, power pop, and electronica all in unpretentious and often innovative ways. (See “Insane,” “Lion’s Den,” and the beautiful ballad “Nobody Knows.”) It’s all surprising—especially the Prince in their voices. Please refrain from putting their names in that parenthetical ex-members-of noose when French Toast plays with Shortstack and the Spinto Band at 9:30 p.m. on the Black Cat’s Mainstage, 1811 14th St. NW. $8. (202) 667-7960. (Jason Cherkis)