Drums and a distorted keyboard accompany the singer of the band as he recites the lyrics: "It painted our youth, painted our spirit, painted our rhythm, painted our style." The audience shouts along with the rhythm. Slowly the bass player strides to the front of the stage. Then the guitar players line up beside him. "It painted our virtues, painted our crimes, painted all we have." The drummer and keyboard player join the line. A man - clad in white like the band - enters the front of the stage. The crowd wait in anticipation as the lighting fades. The man in white stretches out his gloved hand, and when the brush with red paint touches the bass player''s throat the tense crowd explodes in hysterical shouting, drowning out the vocals: "painted, painted, painted our lives." This books examines how musicians in postsocialist China use politics to engage audiences.