Top 11 Weekend Events: Lady Gaga, Robert Mapplethorpe, Parades, and Body Pretzels

It’s a big weekend. There’s a lot to do.

It’s the first long weekend of 2013. Spend your Martin Luther King holiday wisely. Monday, in addition to being MLK Day, it’s the presidential inauguration. If you don’t want to sit at home and watch, there are plenty of things to do.

Photo L.A.— 22nd Annual International Los Angeles Photographic Art Exposition
The exposition explores the role of photography in the fine arts, providing global dealers a platform for exhibiting vintage masterworks and contemporary multimedia installations. (Fri., Jan. 18-Mon., Jan. 21; Santa Monica Civic Auditorium) More information

Femi Kuti and The Positive Force
Nigeria’s Fela Kuti mixed American funk with tribal rhythms and political messages of African unity and self-determination, spawning a movement that traveled far beyond his continent’s shores during the 1970s. His son Femi keeps the torch burning, pairing Dad’s songs with his own groove-filled jams. (Fri., Jan. 18; El Rey Theatre) More information

Kingdom Day Parade
For the 32nd year running, the Martin Luther King Day Parade kicks off at King Boulevard and Western Avenue. The theme, “His Dream Will Never Die,” seems fitting with President Barack Obama’s second Inauguration coming up on Sunday. (Sat., Jan. 19; Leimert Park) More information

He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister Record Release
The New L.A. Folk Fest throws its first show of the year withe a lineup that includes Tommy Santee Klaws, Ramshackle, Jenny O., HMB, and SMS. (Sat., Jan. 19; The Troubadour) More information

Black White + Gray: A Portrait of Sam Wagstaff & Robert Mapplethorpe
James Crump screens his documentary, which focuses on the early collaboration between Patti Smith, photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, and curator/collector Sam Wagstaff. Smith, the last one standing of the troika, reminisces about the glory days of New York’s CBGB and Studio 54. (Sun., Jan. 20; Cinefamily) More information

Northern & Southern California Regional Yoga Competition
Any suggestion of “regionals” evokes Glee PTSD flashbacks, but the bendy folks behind this asana-off assure us they come from a place of silent love — aside from the ujjayi breathing, of course. (Sat., Jan. 19; Edward Roybal Learning Center Auditorium) More information

Lady Gaga
In 2005, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta was just another New York singer trying to land a gig. Three years later she was skyrocketing to fame as a Madonna-be in a meat dress. Chameleon, controversy seeker, fashion victim—when Lady Gaga’s onstage, she’s a force of nature. (Sun., Jan. 20-Mon., Jan. 21; Staples Center) More information

Martin Luther King Celebrations
Check out any one of these Santa Monica College-sponsored events during the holiday weekend: Friday, Calvary Baptist Church plays host for an Interfaith Prayer Breakfast, bright and early from 7:30-9 a.m.; on Saturday, the MLK Education Awards are prefaced by a keynote address by former Santa Monica Mayor Nat Trives and a morning of inspirational readings and music at the SGI Auditorium at 10 a.m.; and Sunday, the Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra presents a free concert after President Obama’s second Inauguration. (Fri., Jan. 18 – Sun., Jan. 20; various locations) More information

Last Look: Giant Robot Biennale 3
Catch the last weekend of this exhibition curated by the editors of pop culture magazine Giant Robot. Their third retrospective features paintings, illustrations, arcade machines, and indie video games along with Project Remix, a customized vinyl figure collection. (Sun., Jan. 19; Japanese American National Museum) More information

Arson Murders and Fire Death Investigation
We know, we know — lectures rarely sound thrilling. But one on arson murders could easily replace your nightly prime time crime drama routine. Spend the afternoon instead with Ed Nordskog, co-lead investigator in the New Year 2012 Hollywood arson spree. (Sun., Jan. 19; The Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Cal State L.A.) More information

L.A. Derby Dolls Bout & Showcase
Saturday night pits the L.A. ladies against their rivals to the North. Who will take home West Coast bragging rights? And Sunday afternoon, the track opens for the Baby Doll Brawl, a chance for fresh meat to showcase their talents and passion for the bloodsport. (Sat., Jan.19-Sun., Jan. 20; The Doll Factory) More information