Pop Essentials, Sept. 18
MADAM SECRETARY, a new CBS drama, stars Tea Leoni as Elizabeth McCord, the shrewd, determined, newly appointed Secretary of State who drives international diplomacy, battles office politics and circumvents protocol as she negotiates global and domestic issues, both at the White House and at home. (Craig Blankenhorn, CBS)

Main Event

Bootsy Collins


The Word: One of the most important names in funk, Bootsy Collins first came to national attention in the early 1970s as a member of James Brown's backing band The J.B.'s. Collins and Brown performed together for about a year, before Collins left to form funk band the House Guests. Throughout his career, Collins has performed with funk legends George Clinton, Funkadelic, and Parliament. Collins' bass playing and rhythm guitar have been sampled frequently, and his sound forms the cornerstone of early hip-hop.

Details: 7 p.m. Thursday, at The State Theater, 220 N. Washington St., Falls Church, Va. Tickets are $40 and are available at

Hot Ticket

The Black Keys

The word: Though they've been releasing albums since 2002, The Black Keys didn't hit the mainstream until 2010's release of "Brothers." Currently on an upswing of popularity, their most recent album, 2014's "Turn Blue," reached number one on the U.S. charts, a first for the group. A Grammy Award-winning duo, the group is known for their punchy style and critical acclaim. Their best-known hits include "Lonely Boy," "Tighten Up" and "Fever." Their live shows are known for more experimental blues-inspired versions of their famous hits. Those looking for faithful recreations of an album's tunes may be disappointed by the frequent variations and live inspiration.

Details: 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, Baltimore Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St., Baltimore. Tickets are $32 to $80 and are available on

Big Premiere

'A Walk Among the Tombstones'

The word: The Liam Neeson butt-kicking multiverse, including the main characters from "Taken," "Unknown" and "Non-Stop," adds another member with Neeson's role as Matthew Scudder in this adaptation of the well-regarded crime-thriller novel. In the film, Neeson plays a private investigator who helps a drug dealer find the men who killed his wife. The film is written and directed by Scott Frank, who wrote the crime films "Get Shorty," "Out of Sight" and "Malice."

Details: "A Walk Among the Tombstones" premieres Friday in theaters nationwide including Regal Westminster 9. For showtime information, call 410-857-1422.


Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga

'Cheek to Cheek'

The Word: Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga first collaborated on Bennett's album "Duets II" in 2011. Since then, the two performers with similar ethos but vastly different styles have remained close, with Bennett appearing on her television special "A Very Gaga Thanksgiving." The album features renditions of American classics, including Cole Porter's "Anything Goes," Duke Ellington and Irving Mills' "It Don't Mean a Thing," and Irving Berlin's "Cheek to Cheek," popularized in the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers classic film, "Top Hat."


Details: The album will be available Tuesday for $12.49 on Amazon and $12.99 on iTunes.

Couch Potato

'Madam Secretary'

The Word: Tea Leoni returns to television for the first time since 1995's "The Naked Truth" with this White House drama about the U.S. Secretary of State. Leoni plays a former CIA analyst who now takes the office of Secretary of State after the untimely death of her predecessor. The show is created by "Homeland" executive producer Barbara Hall, and looks to tackle many of the same themes and conflicts as that much-loved show.

Details: The show premieres 8:30 p.m. Sunday on CBS.