Included on the club run is a two-night stand at The Fillmore in San Francisco where the group – backed by their five-member touring band – will open for the B-52s. A few shows in Canada have yet to be confirmed.

While most outside of Japan wouldn’t have the foggiest clue as to who or what Puffy AmiYumi (known as Puffy in Japan) are, the singers are currently the biggest sensations in their homeland. The description “media über-celeb” fits them perfectly, for the two are more than just musicians – they are Japanese music idols, appearing in TV commercials and dramas, magazines, hosting a variety show, hawking footwear, posters, and toys. Needless to say, they’ve spawned a few fashion trends.

Formed in 1996 by Yumi Yoshimaura and Ami Onuki, Puffy AmiYumi sought to create their career by nixing the cheesy synthetic sounds that is so prevalent in Japanese pop. Instead, the girls took a little bit from diverse genres such as jazz, disco and ‘60s and ‘70s rock to create a tuneful sound.

Puffy AmiYumi have become among the best-selling artists in Japan. Their debut single, “Asia No Junshin,” sold more than one million copies alone.

Puffy AmiYumi have several albums in Japan to their credit, but only two North American releases – Spike, and the forthcoming Illustrated History, which is a greatest hits package that was released May 21 in the States.