Keyboardist Amanda Palmer and drummer Brian Viglione prefer to think of what they do as “Brechtian cabaret punk” and certainly do dress the part – he in white face powder, bowler hat and three-piece suit; she in clingy dresses and black-and-white-striped thigh-highs.

It would be a mistake to dismiss the Boston duo as another “art” band, though. The Dresden Dolls have the substance to back up the style. The intensity of the duo’s sound and performances have caught critics’ attention far beyond their home turf.

Their look and sardonic wit is intended as evocative of the Weimar-era Germany of Weill and lyricist Berthold Brecht – any resemblance to the current state of the culture is up to the listener.

The Dresden Dolls have spent most of the last two years plying their attention-grabbing trade in the clubs and halls of Boston, with Palmer working double duty as a kind of manic kinderwhore on the keyboards and solid businesswoman behind the scenes.

As the band’s manager as well as president of its record label, Eight Foot Records, Palmer’s background has served them well.

Now The Dresden Dolls are preparing for an August outing that takes them out of their native New England for sunnier West Coast climes.

The tour kicks off in Montreal August 11, working its way west through Toronto, Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis, San Diego, West Hollywood, San Francisco and Seattle, where the tour is currently scheduled to wrap August 22nd.