Shonen Knife On U.S. Tour, Forms Osaka Ramones

Japan's Shonen Knife kicked off their North American tour to a full house at the Troubadour in Los Angeles last night. The band is touring to promote their new album, "Happy Hour." The girl group will be headlining their own dates through late August as well as hooking up with the "Suffragette Sessions" tour that hosts allstar jam-style performances from the Indigo Girls, Jane Siberry, violinist Lisa Germano, Kate Schellenbach of Luscious Jackson and Josephine Wiggs of The Breeders among others. Shonen Knife will be opening the shows performing their own set.

The energetic power-pop-punk trio is reminiscent of the Ramones, so it comes as no surprise that the girls are forming a Ramones cover band in Japan they're calling the Osaka Ramones.

Joey Ramone confirms to MTV News that Shonen Knife has invited him to join the Osaka Ramones on stage for at least one major appearance in Tokyo next month. Ramone isn't sure he'll be able to make that show, but either way fans

can expect a dress rehearsal when both acts find themselves back at the Troubadour next week.

Ramone will be on hand for a set by his pet project, The Independents, a 'horror ska' band he co-produces with partner Daniel Rey. The Independents, fronted by singer Evil Presley, are opening for the Voodoo Glow Skulls at that venue August 20.

A representative for Shonen Knife confirms that the girls are expected to attend the show and that they're brushing up on a couple of their Ramones covers in anticipation of being invited up on stage.

Ramone, meanwhile, had been brushing up on his Japanese prior to the Osaka Ramones invite. He just co-produced another Japan-based girl group, Lolita #18, in New York City.