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Elton John new CD; Auto show; Big Freedia; GLAAD Awards
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times

Elton John releasing new CD Feb. 5

Elton John will release his 33rd studio album, Wonderful Crazy Night, on Feb. 5 on Island Records.

The album will feature the upbeat lead single, "Looking Up," which is now available. Wonderful Crazy Night was co-produced by Elton and T-Bone Burnett, and recorded at The Village in Los Angeles.

Read more story below....

"Wonderful" marks Elton's return to Island Records, where he had released such albums as 2006's The Captain & The Kid as well as 1975's Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy.

Some of the other tracks on the album include "Claw Hammer," "The Open Chord," "I've Got 2 Wings" and "Tambourine."

Increased security at auto show

The Chicago Auto Show—taking place Feb. 13-21 at McCormick Place—will have an increased police presence this year.

A spokesperson for the agency that runs McCormick Place says the security here is "under review" in light of the recent attacks in Paris and gun violence closer to home, WGNTV.com noted. Just recently, a man was shot and killed in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place Hotel.

North America's largest auto show, the 2016 Chicago Auto Show spans more than 1 million square feet of floor space of the McCormick Place complex and displays multiple world and North American introductions and a

complete range of domestic and imported passenger cars, trucks, sport-utility vehicles, minivans and concept cars.

Admission is $12 for adults, $7 for seniors age 62 and older as well as children ages 7-12, and free for children 0-6.

In addition to the public show, First Look for Charity will also take place. The black-tie affair will be Friday, Feb. 12, 7-11 p.m. First Look for Charity is expected to raise more than $2 million annually to benefit 18 local charities. Tickets are $250 each, and attendees can direct the proceeds from their purchase to benefit any or all of the participating charities. There will also be two vehicle giveaways: a 2016 Lincoln MKX Black Label and a 2016 Jeep Renegade.

The show has an all-new website and will launch an accompanying smartphone app in January designed to enhance the attendee experience and bring the nation's largest auto show to life across the globe.

The 2016 version of ChicagoAutoShow.com will have, among other things, historical videos and social-media integration that is purportedly smoother than in years past.

The website's "Vehicles on Display" section adds real-time inventory from Chicagoland's new-car dealers, provided by DriveChicago.com. This allows site visitors to sift through more than 40,000 new cars directly on ChicagoAutoShow.com as they are browsing their favorite vehicles.

The show's updated app is designed to be a digital companion for the attendee, allowing them to request more information and get instant updates on the daily schedule, among other things.

Big Freedia at Seven Feb. 19

Big Freedia, called the "Queen of Bounce," will perform at Seven Nightclub, 3206 N. Halsted St., on Friday, Feb. 19, at 10 p.m.

Big Freedia performs with dancers she calls The Divas, and has sung at several festivals, including SXSW and Bonnaroo, among others.

Admission is $15 before Feb. 1 and $20 after that date, and there are also VIP tickets for $35 each; see WhatIsSeven.com.

Lesbian duo to perform in Chicago area

Whatismu—a performance duo coming to the Chicago area in February—is the vision of guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Lorrie Kountz.

The members are couple Lorrie Kountz and Laura Jansons. The couple, who own a home in Elgin, Illinois, were married in 2008 in Toronto.

Whatismu's demo attracted attention from industry heavy-hitters, producers Lee and Jolee Popa, who proceeded to produce and engineer the project in Portland. Their debut recording was released in May 2015 on both vinyl and CD.

They will perform Saturday, Feb. 20 at Great Plains Zen Center Benefit, Countryside Church, 1025 N. Smith St., Palatine, at 7 p.m. Admission is $20 online or at the door; http:// www.greatplainszen.org/benefit_concert .

On Friday, Feb. 26, they will perform in the Tomfoolery Show comedy/concert series "Ladies Take Over" at The Patrician, 410 E. Highway 30, Shererville, Indiana. Admission is $20 in advance; $25 at the door; http:// www.tomfooleryfunclub.com/upcoming-shows/ .

See http:// www.whatismu.com/ .

GLAAD Award nods announced

GLAAD has announced the nominees for its 27th Annual GLAAD Media Awards.

The GLAAD Media Awards ceremonies will be held in Los Angeles on April 2 at The Beverly Hilton, and in New York on May 14 at the Waldorf Astoria New York. Special honorees for each city will be announced in coming weeks.

Among the nominees are Academy Award nominees Carol and The Danish Girl; Golden Globe nominee Grandma; Film Independent Spirit Award nominees Appropriate Behavior and Tangerine; FOX's hit drama Empire and Netflix's Sense8, Master of None, Orange Is the New Black, and Grace and Frankie; Amazon's Transparent; HBO's Bessie and Looking; Logo's Banana and Cucumber; ABC's 20/20 for its Diane Sawyer interview with Caitlyn Jenner; and musicians Troye Sivan, Adam Lambert, Miley Cyrus, Le1f and Brandi Carlile.

Some of the magazines and newspapers receiving nods include Essence, The Advocate, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Time, Variety and The New York Times.

Of note: For the first time more than 50 percent of the nominations are trans-inclusive.

See GLAAD.org .

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