San Francisco experimental noise-pop trio Deerhoof didn't feel the need to upgrade to a fancy tour bus after being handpicked to open for Radiohead on a string of California gigs last June, which included a stop at Berkeley's Greek Theatre.

Erik Carter, Deerhoof's North American agent at the Kork Agency, arrived early to that day's show. While observing the massive semi-trucks used to load in Radiohead's equipment and stage props, the agent burst into laughter.

"Deerhoof rolls up in a rented Honda with the three of them and all their gear," Carter fondly recalls, noting the band has also opened for the Flaming Lips, Wilco and Sonic Youth. "It was so funny. It was a comical picture of the three of them getting out of this little clown car."

But that's the simple charm of Deerhoof, which drops its eighth album, "Friend Opportunity," via Kill Rock Stars on Jan. 23. It will be the Olympia, Wash.-based indie's first release since the departure of founder Slim Moon, who recently became a senior director of A&R at Warner Music Group imprint Nonesuch Records (Billboard, Oct. 14, 2006).

Click here to read about Kill Rock Star's marketing and promotion plans for Deerhoof's upcoming release.