Local singer-songwriter Brad Smith was asked by Jason Reitman to write a song for the George Clooney-starring “Up in the Air.” “Help Yourself,” the soulful, somber tune Smith penned, is played over one of the more memorable moments in the film, and it’s such the sort of name-making moment for an artist that it’s surprising Smith isn’t already playing larger venues than Hideout. The song, a multi-vocal ballad driven by a beautifully finger-picked acoustic guitar, is a bit of a combo of Elliott Smith and sixties pop—a strong introduction, to be sure. Smith’s record, “Love is Not What You Need,” is a decent pop record that features more elements than “Help Yourself”—especially keyboard, where Smith takes advantage with some charming sonic touchings. Some of Smith’s material is a little over the top, songs titled “Baby, I’m So Sad” and “Everyone Knows That I’m Still in Love with You,” tough mountains to climb for a soft-spoken vocalist and a lonely guitar. But at its heart, Smith’s material rings with truth. (Tom Lynch)
June 17 at Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, (773)227-4433, at 9pm. $8.