I've always wondered that too. You'd think that she'd contribute a handful of songs to each album like Bejar does. I guess she just doesn't want to. Bejar's songs are very different from Newman's but they're still generally peppy and upbeat. Neko's songs are rarely like that so maybe they all just agreed that her writing style didn't fit with the band. I still think it would be neat for them to try though. I think it was her idea to cover "Your Daddy Don't Know" that one time and their version of that was fantastic (better than the original imo).
perhaps they don't want to be hampered in their sets by not being able to play her songs when she wasn't playing with them. But then when she isn't there Katherine Calder sings her parts so it's not like they haven't figured that out already. When Bejar isn't there on the other hand they just don't play his songs at all. In fact when he *is* there he only even comes on stage to sing his own songs and then stumbles off into the shadows when he's not. I've always found that to be really bizarre. Did they do that in their early days? It's been the case since the Challengers tour since that's the first time I saw them live. But it doesn't seem like there's any live footage of them on youtube from before that (I see a couple TV performances but that's about it). If anyone has any links to video of their earlier performances (like from their Mass Romantic or Electric Version tours) I'd like to see it.
>I haven't heard a new album from them since Twin Cinema
I'd say Challengers is worth hearing. it's their most subdued album which has caused some people to consider it a weaker album, but I think it has some of their best songs and is overall pretty good. After that their albums have become pretty consistent in having 3-5 or so great tracks while the rest are pleasant but mediocre. So they're worth hearing to pick out those highlights.