Hey–even though I criticize Warner Music all the time, I have to be fair–some artists are sticking with them to the bitter end. Over the weekend I ran into two of their biggest group’s leaders–Michael Stipe of REM and Anthony Kiedis of Red Hot Chili Peppers. REM is getting ready for a big release in April. It’s part of their famous $80 million advance from the mid 90s when the old Warner Music was going through an upheaval. You know, I love REM. Michael Stipe, sporting a bushy beard, told me the new music stays with WMG–“that’s where our catalog is,” he reminded me. Stipe says he’s making a bunch of short videos with famous artists and filmmakers to along with all the new songs. Some of the new music was heard at James Franco’s art opening with Gus van Sant. Meanwhile, Kiedis says the Peppers are recording now, and hoping for a late summer release. WMG has two opportunities here if they have any interest in staying alive. How about a little marketing? And I do not mean groceries.