News Roundup: Le Tigre, Touch and Go, Kenny Rankin
-- Usually when a band announces an "extended break," it means they are too afraid to say they broke up. Not the case with Le Tigre. The electro-punk trio are back in the studio working with Christina Aguilera, though there isn't much more information available than that. The group has been quiet since touring off 2005's This Island. In the interim, members J.D. Samson and Johnna Fateman formed a new project, Men, while frontwoman Kathleen Hanna taught an art class at N.Y.U.
-- Touch and Go Fanzine, the classic punk publication out of which the record label evolved, is set to publish all of its 22 issues in book form in 2010. The low-budget rag was started in 1979 in Lansing, Michigan by Tesco Vee and Dave Stimson. It kept punk fanatics up to date on the scenes in New York, Philly, D.C. and abroad while promoting bands like Black Flag, Minor Threat, and the Misfits. At its peak, Touch and Go only pressed 1,000 copies, so the long-overdue book is good news for anyone who wants a glimpse at punk's formative years.
-- New York singer-songwriter Kenny Rankin died of lung cancer Sunday at age 69. Rankin signed to Decca Records as a teenager and later moved to Columbia. He played on Bob Dylan's first electric album, 1965's Bringing it all Back Home, and was a favorite of Paul McCartney's, who liked his version of "Blackbird" so much he asked him to perform it when McCartney and Lennon were inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame in 1987.